Dr David Lee

Dr David Lee


My teaching and research focuses on the cultural industries, cultural policy, cultural economy and television studies. I have published broadly in all these areas. I joined the School of Media and Communication in June 2009. Before that I completed my PhD at Goldsmiths, London, where I undertook an AHRC funded PhD on cultural production in the independent television production industry. This took a qualitative approach to understanding the changing nature of work within this cultural industry, focusing on networking, precarity, craft and cultural value.I also have extensive experience of working in think tanks and consultancy research, with a focus on cultural and creative industries policy. This includes working for Demos and BOP Consulting, where I led a number of research studies which were undertaken for organisations such as DCMS, CABE, regional development agencies, and most of the regional screen agencies, amongst others.

Prior to academia, I worked at the BBC and in the independent sector in current affairs and documentary production, on programme strands such as NewsnightPanorama and The Money Programme. I draw on this professional experience within my teaching and research.



  • Programme Leader MA Media Industries
  • School representative, Arts, Humanities and Cultures Faculty Research Ethics Committee

Research interests

My research focuses on several interconnected areas within media and communications, media and cultural policy. A key area of my research activity is in television studies - I have published widely on the independent television industry and audio-visual cultural production. For example, my recent monograph provides a comprehensive account of this sector, along with an in-depth analysis of the working conditions within it. I have also published on arts television and talk television. My other major area of research is in the study of creative labour where I have published widely on precarity, affect, networking and cultural value. I have also undertaken extensive research on media and cultural policy. For example, with colleagues David Hesmondhalgh, Kate Oakley and Melissa Nisbett, I am the co-author of a book on New Labour's cultural policies, which emerged from a major study of British cultural policy funded by the AHRC. I am currently developing strands of work around regional cultural production, creative hubs, creative labour mobilisation and affective creative economies.

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Student education

My teaching in the school connects to my research interests in documentary, television studies, media policy and media industries. I teach across a range of modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level in these areas. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Media Industries and Cultural Production
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>