Personal profile


Martin Cooper joined the University of Huddersfield in 2005 after two decades in the radio industry. He has taught modules in radio theory and practice, including broadcast genre studies, radio journalism and radio production. He has also led sessions in politics and world affairs for journalists. His academic blog is at

Martin has worked as a reporter, newsreader, programme presenter, political host, and head of news for stations including BBC Radios York, Derby and Leicester. He's also had spells as a production journalist at the BBC World Service and BBC Look North TV in Leeds, as well as freelancing as a newsreader for commercial radio stations in the Yorkshire and East Midlands regions.

He is a specialist in Brazilian culture (the subject of his PhD), speaks fluent Portuguese, and regularly visits the Amazon region of Brazil. He is a guitarist with the worship band at New Life Christian Centre in Wakefield, and is currently studying guitar part-time at the Leeds College of Music. Martin also holds an adult bronze medal (with honours) in tap dancing.

Research Expertise and Interests


(1) Cooper, M. and Macaulay, K. (2015) ‘Contemporary Christian radio in Britain: A new genre on the national dialRadio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media , 13 (1-2), 2015, pp. 75-87. ISSN 1476-4504

(2) ‘Brazil: Modernity and MobilityMobility in History , 6, pp. 97-104, 2015. ISSN 978-1-78238-814-2

(3) Brazilian Railway Culture, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, 2011. ISBN: 1-4438-3191-3

(4) ‘The railway in Brazilian fiction: Negotiating modernity, 1888-1980’, The Journal of Transport History, Third Series, Vol. 32, No. 1, June 2011, pp. 66-82.

(5)Re-presenting the railways of São Paulo state, Brazil, through media texts 1865-2003’, Revista TsT, Madrid, No. 21, 2011 pp. 172-194.

(6) ‘Railway Museums in Brazil: State Politics and the Rise of the Volunteer MuseumJournal of the International Association of Transport and Communications Museums , 28 (1), pp. 51-56 (2009). ISSN 9783936240245

(7) ‘Museum review: Brazilian railway heritage in search of an audienceJournal of Transport History , 23 (2), pp. 184-187 (2002). ISSN 0022 5266

(8) ‘Trust or Bust: York Museums and Art Gallery Trust’, Museums Journal, London, April 2002, pp. 16-17.

(9) Co-Editor and contributor: Olhares Sobre a Amazônia: Looking at the Amazon with Dr Miguel Nenevé and Marilene Proença, a bi-lingual collection of essays analysing foreign writing on the Amazon region, Terceira Margem, São Paulo-SP, Brazil, August 2001

Martin Cooper's specialisms include the study of radio culture as a technological ensemble, both in Britain and in Latin America. He is particularly interested in the way in which radio is represented in TV drama, cinema, literature and popular music.

His PhD thesis, 'Brazilian Railway Culture', completed in 2008, is a cross-media exploration of the place of the railway in Brazilian life and art – including film, TV soap opera, fiction, samba and steam railway museums in the country.

He has led media training sessions of journalists based in the Amazon region and given conference papers in Brazil on further and higher education provision.

Research Degree Supervision

Martin Cooper is particularly interested in discussing projects with postgraduate students at both MA and PhD level in the following research areas:

  • Radio history
  • Cultural histories of radio
  • Radio heritage
  • Radio equipment and cultures of technology.

In addition he welcomes proposals of a multi-disciplinary and transnational/comparative nature which broaden the scope from UK-based studies to include Latin American and developing nations’ radio industries.

Recent postgraduate student research projects supervised include: an oral history of the BBC in Yorkshire (radio and TV) from 1932 to 1985; and an analysis of cricket writing in the Yorkshire Post during the inter-war years.

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Research Output 2011 2015

Brazil: Modernity and Mobility

Cooper, M. 1 Jan 2015 In : Mobility in History. 8, p. 97-104 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

language barrier
1 Citations

Contemporary Christian radio in Britain: A new genre on the national dial

Cooper, M. & Macaulay, K. Oct 2015 In : Radio Journal. 13, 1-2, p. 75-87 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Radio stations

The railway in Brazilian fiction: Negotiating modernity, 1888-1980

Cooper, M. 1 Jun 2011 In : Journal of Transport History. 32, 1, p. 46-82 37 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate