Dr Idrees Ahmad

Senior Lecturer
Department of Literature Film and Theatre Studies (LiFTS)
Dr Idrees Ahmad



I am a Senior Lecturer and Director of Journalism at the University of Essex, a founding editor of New Lines Magazine, and a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Review of Books. I designed and directed the University of Stirling’s postgraduate programme in journalism. I am a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am a writer and photographer with a doctorate in sociology and specialisation in international conflicts. I have also lectured in politics, philosophy, international relations, religion, media, film and cultural studies at the Universities of Stirling, Strathclyde, Glasgow, Sheffield and Creative Arts. I am the author of The Road to Iraq (Edinburgh University Press). (Reviews: here, here, here, here and here). I am currently writing a book for Columbia University Press on the war of narratives over Syria. I write for The Washington Post, New York Review of Books, Foreign Policy, The Observer, The Nation, Los Angeles Review of Books, London Review of Books, The Daily Beast, Prospect, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Times Literary Supplement, Al Jazeera, Dissent, OpenDemocracy, The Conversation, Le Monde Diplomatique, The National, VICE News, The Progressive, The Navigator, Huffington Post, In These Times, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Byline Times, Adbusters, Guernica, The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Newsline, Asia Times, IPS News, Political Insight, The Drouth and Tanqeed. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on the BBC, ABC, Al Jazeera, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels. I am the former captain of the American University, Dubai’s tennis team. In 2004, I was the co-winner of the University of Pittsburgh’s Dubai Jazz Talent Hunt, selected by a panel that included Larry Coryell and James Moody.


  • PhD University of Strathclyde, (2011)


University of Essex

  • Director of Journalism, LiFTS, University of Essex (1/9/2022 - present)

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • Practical Reporting, Interviewing and Production (Single Honours) (LT131)

  • Practical Reporting, Interviewing and Production (Joint Honours) (LT135)

  • Audio and Video for Broadcast and Online (Single honours) (LT240)

  • Newsroom Practice (LT313)

  • Journalism and Storytelling (LT396)

  • Dissertation Preparation: Postgraduate Research and Writing Skills (LT901)

  • Journalism Practice 1 (Words and Sounds) (LT990)

  • Journalism Practice 2 (Visual Storytelling) (LT991)

  • Open Source Journalism (LT993)

  • Journalism Project (LT994)

  • Journalism Dissertation (LT995)

  • Newspaper Production Project (LT230)

  • Feature Writing and Magazine Project for Print and Online (Joint Honours) (LT232)

  • Feature Writing and Magazine Journalism (LT241)


Journal articles (2)

Ahmad, MI., (2016). The magical realism of body counts: How media credulity and flawed statistics sustain a controversial policy. Journalism. 17 (1), 18-34

Ahmad, MI., (2013). Pedagogy of the connected: New media landscapes and the challenges of journalism education. Journal of Applied Journalism & Media Studies. 2 (2), 215-230

Books (1)

Ahmad, MI., (2014). The Road to Iraq The Making of a Neoconservative War. 0748693033. 9780748693030

Book chapters (2)

Ahmad, M., Numbers that kill: How dubious statistics shaped news reporting of the drone war. In: Statistics and Public Opinion in a Data-Driven World. Editors: Nguyen, AD.,

Ahmad, MI., (2023). Open Source Journalism, Misinformation and the War for Truth in Syria. In: Open Source Investigations in the Age of Google. Editors: Wilson, H., Samuel, O. and Plesch, D., . 1800614063. 9781800614062

+44 (0) 1206 872619


5NW.6.11, Colchester Campus

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