RESEARCH by a former Advertiser journalist on the impact of internet trolls on journalism and democracy has been featured in a new academic book.

Anti-social Media? The impact on Journalism and Society includes a chapter by University of Worcester principal lecturer Claire Wolfe, based on interviews with journalists and students who publish material online.

Claire, from Astwood Bank, began her journalism career at the Redditch and Bromsgrove Advertiser newspapers and became night editor on a regional publication.

Other contributors include Sir Peter Bazalgette, chairman of ITV plc, Baroness Chakrabarti, Shadow Attorney General and former Director of Liberty, and Phil Harding, former editor of BBC Radio Four’s Today.

Claire said: “There is a danger that, unless we prepare our students to cope with the challenges of engaging with the public through social media, they will become fearful of expressing themselves freely.”

She has devised a guide for students to help prepare them for work in the media sphere and to provide them with the tools to help them develop good practice when involved in online discourse.

She is developing another version for those working in the media.

Speaking at the London launch was Gina Miller, who suffered a barrage of online abuse after winning a court action when challenging the Government over its right to implement Brexit without parliamentary authority.

Published by Abramis, the book was launched at the Frontline Club, London, a hub for those involved in international affairs and independent journalism.

Claire also presented a paper on the same theme at the Club, the venue for the annual conference of the Institute of Communication Ethics Annual Conference.