Primary Department
School of Communications
Head Of School
Phone number: 01 700
Glasnevin Campus
Room Number
GLA. C158

Academic biography

Mark O’Brien is Head of the School of Communications and Associate Professor of Journalism History at DCU where he researches and teaches in the areas of journalism history; media and politics; crime, policing and media; and religion, media and society. He is author / co-editor of over a dozen books - including The Fourth Estate: Journalism in Twentieth-Century Ireland and The Irish Times: A History and is chair of the Mary Raftery Prize for Journalism. 

He joined DCU in 2001 having taught previously at Maynooth University, TU Dublin, and Boston University, for which he was  Academic Director of its Dublin Internship Program. He also spent a year heading up the Deans’ Office at Maynooth University overseeing administrative support for the various faculties and coordinating production of the annual 600-page university Calendar.

Within DCU he chaired the Media History Collection initiative and also chaired the amalgamation of the Bachelor of Arts degrees of DCU, St Pat's Drumcondra, and Mater Dei during the incorporation of the institutions between 2014 and 2017.

Outside DCU he is a former chair of the Newspaper & Periodical History Forum of Ireland and a co-founder of the Transnational Journalism History Network. His current research focuses on the relationship between writers, journalism, and the Irish state from 1922 to 1967. 

Research interests

Core research interests reside in Irish media and journalism history including: 

* The history of and contribution to public and political life in Ireland of specific publications, programmes, editors or journalists;

* The role and impact of Irish diaspora journalists and/or publications worldwide;

* The origins, forms, narratives, and  impact on public opinion, political discourse and public policy of crime, religious, political, education, health, social affairs, and investigative journalism.