Digital Public Criminology in Australia and New Zealand: Results from a Mixed Methods Study of Criminologists’ Use of Social Media


The proliferation of social media in the ‘post-broadcast era’ has profoundly altered the terrain for researchers to produce public scholarship and engage with the public. To date, however, the impact of social media on public criminology has not been subject to empirical inquiry. Drawing from a dataset of 116 surveys and nine interviews, our mixed-methods study addresses this opening in the literature by examining how criminologists in Australia and New Zealand have employed social media to engage in public criminology. This article presents findings from surveys that examine the practices and perceptions of criminologists in relation to social media, and insights from an analysis that explores the political and logistical issues raised by respondents. These issues include the democratising potential of social media in criminological research, and its ability to provide representation for historically marginalised populations. Questions pertaining to ‘newsmaking criminology’ and the wider performance of ‘public criminology’ on social media are also addressed.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2019-07-29
Pages:1 to 17
Fetching Scopus statistics
Fetching Web of Science statistics
How to Cite
Wood, M. A., Richards, I., Iliadis, M. and McDermott, M. (2019) “Digital Public Criminology in Australia and New Zealand: Results from a Mixed Methods Study of Criminologists’ Use of Social Media”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 8(4), pp. 1-17. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v8i4.956.

Author Biographies

The University of Melbourne

Mark A Wood is a Lecturer in criminology at the University of Melbourne. Most of his research falls within the sphere of digital criminology, examining informal justice, crime-watching, public criminology, networked offending and countersurveillance on social media. His first book, Antisocial Media: Crime-Watching in the Internet Age, was released by Palgrave Macmillan in 2017.

Deakin University

Dr Imogen Richards is a lecturer in criminology and a member of the Alfred Deakin Institute at Deakin University. She specialises in the areas of surveillance, counterterrorism, and social media, and has published on issues related to online extremism, with a focus on comparative and cross-disciplinary approaches to online criminological research. Her work has appeared in the International Journal of Cyber CriminologyStudies in Conflict and TerrorismCritical Studies on Terrorism, and elsewhere. Her broader research interests include the performance of security, theories of violence, and drugs and crime.

Deakin University
Dr Mary Iliadis is a Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University and Newsletter Editor for the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology. Mary’s research adopts a socio-legal framework to examine, critique and impact legal policy concerning victims' rights and role in criminal trials. Informed by international and comparative contexts, Mary explores the rights and protections afforded to victims of sexual violence across the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, and explores how access to justice is negotiated for victims. Mary's recent work focuses on mechanisms of victim participation in criminal trials and explores prospects for legal representation for victims. More broadly,   Mary researches prosecutorial discretion and gender and family violence as a global crime problem. Mary also conducts research in the areas of newsmaking and digital criminology, and is co-authoring a book titled Criminology and the Media: International Comparative Perspectives and Experiences, with Dr Mark Wood (University of Melbourne) and Dr Imogen Richards (Deakin University).    Mary has published in leading criminology and law journals, and her first book, Adversarial Justice and Victims’ Rights: Reconceptualising the Role of Sexual Assault Victims, will feature in Routledge's Victims, Culture and Society series. Mary has advised on law reform internationally and her research findings have gained significant traction in government circles, including in Sir John Gillen's Review on The Law and Procedures in Serious Sexual Offences in Northern Ireland. In February 2019, Mary was announced as a Semi-Finalist for The Bridge Create Change Award which forms part of the Seven News Young Achiever Awards in Victoria, and in June 2019, Mary received a St Mary's College Visiting Women's Fellowship at Durham University. ​