John Mills

Reader (Associate Professor) in Emerging Technologies and Journalism Innovation

School of Journalism, Media and Performance

Media Factory, ME413

+44 (0) 1772 89 5797

Subject Areas: Journalism

Based at the Media Innovation Studio at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), John’s research interests span journalism, the Internet of Things (IoT), augmented paper, mobile journalism, wearables, human-centred design, drone journalism and innovation theory. He is also active within journalism, media theory and practice and the journalism research group.

Full Profile

In recent years, John’s research has focussed on IoT and journalism, and how news organisations could utilise physical-digital platforms and experiences. This work includes the Google-funded NewsThings and SenseMaker projects, creating an IoT content management system and exploring how conductive ink and web-connected print could be used in editorial contexts. John is also a member of UCLan’s Civic Drone Centre team, which is exploring how next generation unmanned aerial vehicles can be used in a variety of contexts, including the media. It’s most recent project is the €1.4m Aerial Uptake project, funded by Interreg.

John also teaches innovation and multimedia journalism techniques and theory at UCLan. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and collaborates and partners World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers’ Global Alliance for Media Innovation. 


  • MA 19th Century English Literature and Culture, University of Sussex, (2003)
  • BA English, University of Sussex, (2001)


Mills, John, Wagemans, Andrea, (UNDER REVIEW), Media Labs: Constructing journalism laboratories, innovating the future, Convergence, Sage

Mills, John, Lochrie, Mark, Metcalfe, Tom, & Bennett, Peter. (2018, March). NewsThings: Exploring Interdisciplinary IoT News Media Opportunities via User-Centred Design. In Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction(pp. 49-56). ACM.

Mills, John, Pellanda, E and Pasé, A (2016) New Interactions: The relationship between journalists and audiences mediated by Google Glass. Journalism Practice . pp. 1-20. ISSN 1751-2786

More publications


  • AERIAL UPTAKE (Autumn 2019 to December 2022) – €1.4m Interreg Europe – Co-Investigator
  • SenseMaker (November 2018 to December 2019) – £48,000 Google Digital News Initiative – Principle Investigator
  • Drone Flying High Challenge (February to June, 2018) – (Nesta) National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts and Innovate UK – Co-investigator
  • NewsThings (November 1st 2016-ongoing) £43,000 awarded by the Google Digital News Initiative – Principle Investigator
  • Media Innovation Mapping (2016 - present) - Principle Investigator
  • DroneHack Journalism (2015 – 2017) - Principle Investigator
  • Rare Occurrence (2016 – ongoing) - Principle Investigator
  • Glass Journalism (2014 to 2016) - Principle Investigator
  • EKKO – (2015) £43,000 (£23,000 match-funded from industry) - Principle Investigator
  • Interface of Things: A Content Management System for the Internet of Things (2015) - £20,000 – UCLan Innovation and Enterprise Ideas Voucher
  • Civic Drone Centre (2014-2017) - Project team member
  • Speak Up Preston (2012-2013, funded by Nesta - £23,000) - Coordinator and trainer
  • Interactive Newsprint (2011 – 2013) £372,320 – EPSRC-Named Researcher
  • Bespoke (August 2009 to July 2011) £894,362 – EPSRC - Project Coordinator


External Affiliations

  • 2019 to present: Reviewer for Media and Communication
  • 2016 to present: Reviewer for Designing Information Systems
  • 2016 to present: Reviewer for Interactive Surfaces and Spaces
  • 2015 to present: Advisor to the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers’ Global Alliance for Media Innovation (GAMI)
  • 2014-2015: Steering group – Preston FM community radio station
  • 2014-2015: Reviewer for Journal of Media and Communication Studies
  • 2013: Judge for Digital Innovation Award at National Newspaper awards