Martin Cooper is a broadcaster, writer and academic.
His new book, Radio’s Legacy in Popular Culture, is out in 2022. It tells the story of radio through pop songs, movies, novels, poetry, art and sculpture. What’s your favourite radio song?
He’s 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, ITV Calendar News, Leeds, and BBC Look North TV in Leeds, as well as working as a freelance newsreader for commercial radio stations in the Yorkshire and East Midlands regions.
He’s the former assistant subject leader of Journalism & Media at the University of Huddersfield, joining in 2001 after two decades in the radio industry. He’s led modules in radio theory and practice, including broadcast genre studies, radio journalism and radio production. He’s also run sessions in politics and world affairs for journalists.
Martin 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 a worship band (see the video at the bottom of this page), and has studied guitar with Jonny Flockton at the Leeds College of Music.
Martin also holds an adult bronze medal (with honours) in tap dancing.
(1) Martin Cooper (2022), Radio’s Legacy in Popular Culture: The Sounds of British Broadcasting over the Decades, Bloomsbury Academic, New York & London. ISBN 9781501360435
(2) Cooper, M. and Macaulay, K. (2015) ‘Contemporary Christian radio in Britain: A new genre on the national dial’ Radio Journal: International Studies in Broadcast and Audio Media , 13 (1-2), 2015, pp. 75-87. ISSN 1476-4504
(3) ‘Brazil: Modernity and Mobility’ Mobility in History , 6, pp. 97-104, 2015. ISSN 978-1-78238-814-2
(4) Brazilian Railway Culture, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Newcastle, 2011. ISBN: 1-4438-3191-3. Avilable from Amazon.co.uk (I have a limited number of copies available at a special price of UK£24.99 each. Message me via the contact page for details of how to buy).
(5) ‘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.
(6) ‘Re-presenting the railways of São Paulo state, Brazil, through media texts 1865-2003’, Revista TsT, Madrid http://www.tstrevista.com/, No. 21, 2011 pp. 172-194.
(7) ‘Railway Museums in Brazil: State Politics and the Rise of the Volunteer Museum’ Journal of the International Association of Transport and Communications Museums , 28 (1), pp. 51-56 (2009). ISSN 9783936240245
(8) ‘Museum review: Brazilian railway heritage in search of an audience’ Journal of Transport History , 23 (2), pp. 184-187 (2002). ISSN 0022 5266
(9) ‘Trust or Bust: York Museums and Art Gallery Trust’, Museums Journal, London, April 2002, pp. 16-17.
(10) 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.
“Memories and Promises”, a personally curated photographic exhibition telling the story of the Madeira Mamoré Railway and the English-speaking Afro-Caribbean families who helped to build it. The touring exhibition, which was financially supported by Yorkshire Arts, was shown in Brazil (2000), Glasgow (2000), Cambridge (2000), and Yorkshire (2001-2).
- National Union of Journalists – Member 1982 – present
- Higher Education Academy – Fellow, Dec 2009
- News training – Radio Worldwide, part of WEC International Christian Ministries, Rothwell, Leeds. 2011-2018