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Dr Mark O'Brien

School of Communications

Name: Dr Mark O'Brien
Department: School of Communications
Role: Academic Staff
Phone Number: 01 700 8452
Email Address:
Room: GLA. C149
Campus: DCU Glasnevin Campus

Personal Contact Information



Biographical Details

I joined the School of Communications at DCU in 2001. Before this I lectured at Maynooth University (formerly NUIM) and before that the Technological University Dublin (formerly DIT). My PhD, which examined the origins, life, and collapse of the Irish Press Group, was published in 2001 as ‘De Valera, Fianna Fáil and the Irish Press: The Truth in the News?’ and was recast as a one-hour television documentary (‘Family Fortune: de Valera’s Irish Press’) for the national broadcaster, RTÉ, in 2004. This was followed by my second book, ‘The Irish Times: A History’, in 2008, the research for which was funded by the Irish Research Council.

My primary research interests focus on press and journalism history in twentieth-century Ireland – specifically on the interplay between journalists / media organisations and interest groups such as political parties and the Catholic Church; how this interplay helped shape our foundational myths and public sphere, and how this interplay has evolved over the course of the past 120 years. This was the focus of my third book ‘The Fourth Estate: Journalism in Twentieth-Century Ireland’ which was published in 2017.

For several years I  was Academic Director (Head) of the Boston University Dublin Program and was a Visiting Fellow at BU in 2007. I’m a co-founder of the Newspaper & Periodical History Forum of Ireland and the Transnational Journalism History Group and have co-edited numerous books with national and international colleagues from these organisations on topics such as the history of Independent News and Media, periodicals and journalism, political communication, the history of Sunday newspapers and the Irish diaspora press in America.

I have published my research in top ranked journals such as Journalism Studies, Journalism Practice, Media History, and Media, War and Conflict and I've also edited a special double edition of Media History (2018) on media connections between Britain and Ireland. 

I chair the DCU Media History Collection Advisory Board. Established in 2007, the Board has acquired over 40 collections of media-related archival material for the University, some of which are of unique national importance. On twitter I am @DCUmediahist

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