Research Case Study: Food Policy and Journalism

Rebecca Wells is a former BBC producer and a visiting lecturer at City,  University of London  where she has been studying for a PhD in Food Policy and Journalism for the past 4 years. Her research is examining at whether UK print media influences food policy.


City, University of London Library

CityLibrary Search is a resource discovery tool which searches across a wide range of resources such as print and electronic books, databases, electronic journals and much more. Rebecca’s topic is cross-disciplinary. There are Library Guides for Food Policy and Journalism and a comprehensive researcher guide.

Rebecca has used the Nexis newspaper database very frequently for research and for teaching Masters students. There is a guide to Newspaper and news resources. Other useful news resources include Factiva and PressDisplay. The off-air recording and media archive streaming service Box of Broadcasts is also useful. See the City Library guide to finding audio and film.

The British Library

The British Library at St Pancras has news and media collections and also has a Newsroom. The newsroom has a  blog

All research staff and students should register for a British Library Reader Pass which allows access to facilities such as the Newsroom.

Useful research tools

City subscribes to the reference management software package Refworks. Staff and students can register for an account at and there is a RefWorks Library Guide. Rebecca has used Refworks while writing her thesis.

Rebecca recommends that a good way of keeping up to date with new research  is  to set up  email alerts from Sage Journals  and Ebscohost to find new research in her field which might be relevant to her subject area.

Another useful and visual tool is the journal browsing website and app BrowZine

Article & blog posts

Wells, R. &  Caraher, M. (2014). ‘UK print media coverage of the food bank phenomenon: From food welfare to food charity?’. British Food Journal, 116(9), pp. 1426-1445. Available from:

Rebecca has written some posts on the BBC College of Journalism blog:

Social media resources

Rebecca is an active Twitter user.

Her account is @wellsrebecca and she also tweets from the Centre for Food Policy Twitter account.

Advice to new researchers

“The library can provide rich resources to support your research from beginning to end. Take advantage of it from the beginning and spend time with your subject specialist – they can really help you and support your research. You can get access to almost any book or journal and if the library do not have it they will consider buying a copy for you and future researchers. As you progress through your research the library is an important resource that can underpin your work, whether it’s helping with a copyright query or giving tips on the best reference management tool to use, from help finding the right journeys to target to publish your research or advice on the best way to share your research the library can help!”

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