Lecturer in the Sociology of New Media and Digital Technology, Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge
Ella McPherson is Lecturer in the Sociology of New Media and Digital Technology as well as the Anthony L. Lyster Fellow in Sociology at Queens’ College. She is also a Research Associate of the Centre of Governance and Human Rights, where she leads the research theme on human rights in the digital age.
Ella’s research focuses on symbolic struggles surrounding the media in times of transition, whether democratic or digital. Her current research examines the potential of using social media by human rights NGOs for generating governmental accountability. This involves understanding the methodological and reputational implications of using social media and related networks as data sources and dissemination tools, as well as social media's effects on pluralism in human rights discourse. This research is supported by an ESRC Future Research Leader fellowship as well as by the Isaac Newton Trust.
Ella’s previous research, drawing on her media ethnography of human rights reporting at Mexican newspapers, identified the contest for public credibility between state, media, and human rights actors as a significant driver of human rights coverage.
Ella leads The Whistle, an ESRC IAA-funded project to develop a digital human rights reporting application. She is also co-convenor of the Ethics of Big Data Research Group at CRASSH and on the Steering Committee of Cambridge’s Digital Humanities Strategic Network as well as on the editorial board of Cultural Sociology.
Previously, Ella was a Junior Research Fellow in Sociology at Wolfson College and an LSE Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science's Department of Media and Communications. She earned her PhD from Cambridge's Department of Sociology, funded by the Gates Cambridge Trust and an Overseas Research Scholarship. Her MPhil was in Latin American Studies at Cambridge and her BA was from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University.