Research Fellow

Richard Fletcher is an academic researcher. He is primarily interested in global trends in digital news consumption, comparative media research, the use of social media by journalists and news organizations, and more broadly, the relationship between computer-based technologies and journalism.

Richard primarily works on the Digital News Report project ( He recently authored a report – published in October 2015 – to supplement the main 2015 Reuters Institute Digital News Report. It described the results of a large-scale survey on digital news consumption in six European countries: Austria, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and Turkey. Richard also uses this survey data to underpin comparative cross-national research into trust in the news media, the fragmentation of news audiences, and paying for digital news.

Richard was previously a Junior Research Fellow in the Department of Journalism at City University London. Here he worked on the development and evaluation of SocialSensor ( – a tool designed to allow journalists to collect, process, and aggregate large streams of social media data in order to discover trends, events, influencers, and interesting media content.

Richard’s original undergraduate and employment background was in computer science. Since then he has completed an MSc in Science, Medicine, Technology and Society from Imperial College London and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Surrey.

Recent Publications

Fletcher, R. & Radcliffe, D. (2015). Reuters Institute Digital News Report: Supplementary Report. Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, University of Oxford.

Recent Conference Papers

Schifferes, S., Thurman, N., Fletcher, R., Hunt, S., Newman, N., Schapals, A. K. (2015). Giving Computers a Nose for News: Exploring the Limits of Detection and Verification. The Future of Journalism 2015: Risks, Threats, and Opportunities, September 10-11, Cardiff University.

In Preparation

Fletcher, R. & Park, S. (2015). The Impact of Trust in the News Media on Online News Consumption and Participation.

Fletcher, R., Schifferes, S., Thurman, N. (2015). Building the ‘Truthmeter’: Training Algorithms to Help Journalists Assess the Credibility of Social Media Sources.