RIP Professor Greg Philo

26 May 2024

It is with profound sadness that we report the passing of "fearless academic" Professor Greg Philo, co-founder of Glasgow University Media Group who literally wrote the book on TV bias. He was also a long-standing friend of our charity, a generous donor, humanitarian and someone who hosted people from refugee backgrounds.

Greg Philo was a pioneer in media critique and theory. He did much important work that will last. He was co-founder of the Glasgow University media group and one of the leaders of the Media, Comms and Int Journalism master's. His work on media bias in coverage of refugees & others is as relevant now as ever and hugely influential on the work of former students.

He was also a fearless writer, activist academic & researcher whose work for the Glasgow University Media Group on news bias and power influenced so many people. He was hugely respected for so much original academic work.

Greg never sought the limelight, but the work he did with the Glasgow University Media Group was inspirational. It certainly had a huge influence in a very practical way in understanding how media narratives work.

For more than two decades, Greg was an unwavering supporter of Positive Action in Housing. During critical moments when our Emergency Relief Fund was running low, Greg would generously contribute unexpected large donations.

Moreover, he wholeheartedly embraced hosting people from refugee backgrounds who found themselves destitute, at his home in Glasgow, treating them as cherished friends. Their reciprocal gratitude was a testament to his compassion.

Whenever I encountered challenges or sought guidance in my campaigns or press work, Greg's distinctive blend of good humour, sarcasm, and occasional expletives provided the necessary strength to persevere. 

His profound intellect and unwavering friendship instilled confidence in others. Greg helped us to maintain resolve in the face of adversity and chart a steady course when everything else seemed to fall apart.

Des Freedman, wrote on X: "Passionate to the end in support of union rights, refugees, Palestinian sovereignty and social justice".

Justin Schlosberg also wrote: "RIP Professor Greg Philo who co-founded the legendary Glasgow Media Group, and literally wrote the book on television news bias...Over decades of research he showed us how subtly but systematically the BBC and others serve the interests of state-corporate power, on everything from disability rights to Israel/Palestine. A colleague, comrade and huge loss to the field of critical media studies."

"Greg and Glasgow University Media Group, were trailblazers in analysing our media and how audiences receive it. His books on Palestine and the Media are priceless." Wrote Steve W

Robina Qureshi

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