Dr Richard Fletcher

Senior Research Fellow and Team Leader on the Research Team, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism


Richard Fletcher is a Senior Research Fellow and leads the research team. 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 technology and journalism.

Richard primarily works on the Digital News Project and is lead researcher and co-author of the main Digital News Report – the world's largest annual survey of global news consumption. Richard also uses this survey data to underpin comparative cross-national research into patterns of news consumption, audience fragmentation and polarisation, the effects of search engines and social media on news use, trust in the news, and paying for digital news.

In 2018, Richard won the International Communication Association Journalism Studies division's Wolfgang Donbach Outstanding Journal Article of the Year Award (with Rasmus Kleis Nielsen) for Are News Audiences Increasingly Fragmented?. He was also nominated twice for the Bob Franklin Journal Article Award for Paying for Online News (with Rasmus Kleis Nielsen) and The Impact of Trust in the News Media on Online News Consumption and Participation (with Sora Park).

Before arriving at Oxford, 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.


  • Audience research
  • Digital news consumption
  • Social media
  • Polarisation
  • Paying for news

Media experience

Experience of interviews with print media