Prof Jon Silverman

Professor of Media and Criminal Justice

Jon Silverman

I am a former award-winning BBC Home Affairs Correspondent (1989-2002) who joined the University in 2007.

My research interests are media and crime/justice policy, international war crimes tribunals and post-conflict justice/reconciliation in West Africa (Sierra Leone and Liberia).

I am also active in the field of media and race, xenophobia and nationalism in Central/Eastern Europe.

Other references


  • MA (Cantab) Upper-second class degree in History, Selwyn College, Cambridge.
  • Fellow of Higher Education Academy (pending)

Research interests

I have two main research areas:

  • The relationship between the media and policy-making in the criminal justice field. I have just written a book on the subject, the first by a journalist-turned academic.
  • Transitional justice, the media, civil society and democracy in Africa. I am also (with Professor Ivor Gaber) active in the area of the media and child protection social work.


  • I have a three-year British Academy grant to research the influence of the media's reporting of war crimes trials in West Africa on civil society. As part of this project, I am supervising a PhD student based in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
  • In April 2012, I organised and chaired a ground-breaking seminar in Monrovia (Liberia) bringing together journalists, law students, and civil society representatives to discuss the media and democratic accountability in Liberia/Sierra Leone.
  • I am also working (with Prof. Gaber) on a research proposal on the media's influence on child protection social work and ways of drawing up a media code of practice to guarantee fairer representation of the issues involved.

External roles

  • Member of the editorial advisory group of the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice and of Safer Communities.
  • Trustee of and media adviser to Fair Trials International.
  • Former member of the media and public confidence sub-group of Prof. Eileen Munro's inquiry into child protection social work set up by government after the Baby P case. 
  • Consultant to the London Jewish Cultural Centre and have been engaged to organise and chair three seminars for journalists from Eastern and Central Europe to discuss issues around race, nationalism and anti-Semitism.



  • Crime, Policy and the Media: the shaping of criminal justice, 1989-2010 Routledge, Oct. 2011
  • 'YouTube if you want to : new media, investigative tele-journalism and social control' in
  • 'YouTube if you want to : new media, investigative tele-journalism and social control' in
  • The End of Journalism, eds. Charles A., Stewart G. Peter Lang, July 2011 ISBN 978-3—0343-0261-6
  • Innocence Betrayed – Paedophilia, the Media & Society (with Prof. David Wilson) Polity.2002. ISBN 0-7456-2888-5
  • Crack of Doom Headline 1994. ISBN 0-7472-0879-4

Other Publications

  • "I feel your pain : terrorism, the media and the politics of response",( with Lisa Thomas ) Crime, Media and Culture(forthcoming).
  • Reflections on the Riots, British Society of Criminology newsletter, No 69, Winter 2011.
  • Addicted to getting drugs wrong ,British Journalism Review, Vol 21 No 4 December 2010,pp.31-36.
  • How Tony Blair fed the feral beast of the media and savaged the criminal justice system, Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, Vol 49, No 2. May 2010.
  • Why Tony Blair could never have been a satisfactory first president of Europe. Amsterdamlawforum, Vol 2. No 1 December 2009.

Contact details

T:  +44 (0)208 445 8665/07850 710966
(appointment by prior arrangement)

Bedfordshire University

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