From the evolution of dog facial muscles to the impact of climate change on cricket and vodka distilled from crops grown in Chernobyl, 2019 saw our research and innovation activities reach a global audience.

The total number of national and international stories published by Our Press and Media team in 2019 (648) exceeded those published in 2018 (641):

  • We had 9,789 news articles and broadcast interviews picked up by our media monitoring service. The coverage had an Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE – the amount it would have cost to have bought that space in the publication) of £11.2 million.
  • There was significant coverage nationally and internationally across the BBC, from Radio Solent and TV South to Radio 4, News Channel, 5 Live and World Service. Our research and expert comment from academics was featured in high-profile media outlets including The Times, The Guardian, Sky News, Newsweek, National Geographic, Times of India, New Scientist and many more.
  • 60 per cent of the coverage was UK-based, with 40 per cent of all coverage coming from outside of the UK.
  • The USA was the second most popular international market. Our key international media markets featured in the Top Ten countries for news articles – India (5th), Nigeria (7th) and China (9th). Having reputationally important countries such as USA and Australia (4th) in our top ten, will help us to meet the University’s strategic target of Top 100 Young Universities.

In terms of media coverage, the top three news stories of 2019 were:

There was global media coverage for a radioactive-free vodka produced from crops in Chernobyl’s abandoned zone, brewed by a team of scientists, led by Professor Jim Smith. (August):

Research by Dr Juliane Kaminski and Professor Bridget Waller gained extensive media coverage, including BBC Breakfast, BBC national radio stations, BBC Online, Sky News. The Guardian, The Times, New York Times, TIME magazine and New Scientist. They found that found that dogs have evolved muscles around their eyes, which allow them to make expressions that particularly appeal to humans. (June):

As England won the Cricket World Cup, there was global media coverage, including The Times, The Daily Mail, BBC Radio 4, BBC World Service, ABC Australia and Forbes for the Hit For Six report about how climate change could affect cricket, which was co-authored by Professor Mike Tipton and presented to the World Cricket Committee (September):

The Conversation

A number of academics and researchers took the opportunity to position themselves as an expert voice to a global audience through The Conversation.

  • We published more articles on The Conversation (63) compared to 2018 (61) that had 1.7 million reads, compared to 1.1 million in 2018. More University researchers (57) authored articles in 2019 than the previous year (49).
  • Portsmouth also published the highest number of articles and had the most reads against our six UCAS competitors – Bournemouth (35 articles, 1.03 millions reads); Brighton (22 articles, 555,000 reads); UWE (1 article, 15,000 reads); Plymouth (3 articles, 34,000 reads); Surrey (40 articles, 760,000 reads); Southampton (24 articles, 1.07 million reads).
  • The top three articles in terms of readership were –

Jim Smith – Ten times the Chernobyl television series lets artistic licence get in the way of facts – 187,587 Reads

Bob Nichol – Dark energy: new experiment may solve one of the universe’s greatest mysteries – 89,614 Reads

Tamsin Bradley – Breast ironing: a harmful practice that doesn’t get sufficient attention – 77,254 Reads

If you would like to sign up for media training or write for The Conversation, please contact the Press and Media Team at