Dr Brendan Lawson

PhD Media and Communication, University of Leeds

  • Lecturer in Communication and Media

Research groups and centres

Brendan Lawson was awarded his PhD from the University of Leeds in 2020. He began working as a University Teacher at Loughborough University in Februaray 2021 and became a Lecturer in Communication and Media in August 2023. His research focuses on the communication of numbers by politicians, journalists and experts, with a particularly emphasis on COVID-19.

Brendan has signed a contract with Bristol University Press to write "Life of a Number: measurement, meaning and COVID-19".


  • LAWSON, B.T. 2023. Life of a Number: measurement, meaning and COVID-19. Bristol: Bristol University Press. 
  • HALL, N.A., LAWSON, B.T., CHADWICK, A., VACARRI, C. 2023. Not a quick-fix: the challenges and opportunities for anti-misinformation measures on personal messaging. In progress. 
  • LAWSON, B.T. 2023. Hiding behind databases, institutions and actors: how journalists use statistics in reporting humanitarian crises. Journalism Practice. 17(3). 429-449. 
  • LUGO-OCANDO & LAWSON, B.T. 2023. Comparative trends in the portrayal of poverty and inequality. In Schifferes, S. & S. Knowles (eds). The Media and Inequality (pp.150-161). London: Routledge. 
  • LAWSON, B.T & NGUYEN, A. 2023. Balancing Between “Statistic Panic” and “Statistical Boredom”. Allan, S. (ed). The Routledge Companion to News and Journalism (pp.188-196). London: Routledge.* 


  • LAWSON, B.T. & J. LUGO-OCANDO. 2022. Political communication, press coverage and public interpretation of public health statistics during the coronavirus pandemic in the UK. European Journal of Communication. 37(6). 646-662.* 
  • ORTEGA-CHAVEZ, J. & B.T. LAWSON. 2022. How journalists do memory work with numbers: The case of the 220,000 deaths during the Colombian conflict (1958-2013). Journalism. 0(0). 1-22. 
  • LAWSON, B.T. 2022. Communicating open-book governance during the NHS Winter Crisis of 2016-2017. The Information Society. 38(1). 25-35. 
  • LAWSON, B.T. 2020. Re-imagining the quantitative-qualitative relationship through colouring and anchoring. Journalism. 23(8). 1736-1750.  
  • TASSERON, M. & B.T. LAWSON. 2022. Legitimising military action through statistics and discourse in the 2014 IDF assault on Gaza. Media, War & Conflict. 15(2). 238-256. 


  • LAWSON, B.T. 2021. Review: Quantification and Humanitarianism. Journal of Humanitarian Affairs. 3(1). 53-60. 
  • NGUYEN, AN., X. ZHAO, B.T. LAWSON & D. JACKSON. 2021. Reporting from a Statistical Chaos: Journalistic Lessons from the First Year of Covid-19 Data and Science in the News. Discussion Paper. Bournemouth University, Royal Statistical Society and Association of British Science Writers. 
  • LAWSON, B.T. & M. LOVATT. 2021. Towards a Rhetorical Understanding of Statistics in Politics: Quantifying the NHS ‘Winter Crisis’. European Journal of Communication. 36(2). 110-124.* 


  • LUGO-OCANDO, J. & B.T. LAWSON, 2018. Poor Numbers, Poor News. In: NGUYEN, A. (ed.) News, Numbers and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 62-77. 
  • LAWSON, B.T. 2018. Support, not solutions: how the news media used statistics during the 2017 South Sudanese Famine. Radical Statistics, 1. 120. 46-64. 

*The work for this co-authored article or chapter was carried out mainly by Brendan Lawson