School of Communication & Journalism

Mei-Ling McNamara

Mei-Ling McNamara Lecturer, Journalism
232-B Tichenor Hall

Office Hours

  • Monday 10-11 a.m.
  • Wednesday 10-11 a.m.
  • Friday 10-11 a.m.


Mei-Ling McNamara, PhD, University of Edinburgh, is a lecturer in the School of Communication and Journalism at Auburn University, where she teaches courses in newswriting and reporting. She also works as a print and documentary journalist, with a focus on human rights, criminal and social justice issues, and in-depth investigations. She produces multimedia investigations with the Guardian, and has worked for a number of international and national media outlets, including CNN International and Al-Jazeera English as a reporter, producer and documentary filmmaker. 

Dr. McNamara’s investigative work for the Guardian and Al-Jazeera English has received a number of awards for its in-depth coverage of issues on human trafficking, worker exploitation and modern-day slavery. She has also published articles in Electronic News; Global Perspectives on Human Rights, Oxford Human Rights Law Journal; The Guardian; The Guardian/Observer magazine and Al Jazeera English. She recently reported and directed a two-year multimedia documentary and print investigation with the Guardian on the trafficking of women out of US jails.  

Prior to working at Auburn, Dr. McNamara was an assistant professor of journalism at CU Boulder where she taught multimedia journalism, reporting and documentary film. Some of her public engagement work involved partnering with local Colorado media outlets, including Colorado Public Television, to showcase in-depth reporting by journalism students. She also spearheaded a journalism conference series at CU Boulder, bringing together the academy, the industry and community to address critical media topics. These included “Reporting in the Age of Alternative Facts” (Spring 2017) and “Rights, Wrongs and Responsibilities: Covering Race in Today’s America” (Spring 2018). 

Her research interests focus on the intersection between criminal justice, biopower and human rights.


PhD, University of Edinburgh, Transdisciplinary Documentary Film, 2016 

MA, Goldsmiths, University of London, Journalism, 2009 

MA, University of Essex, American Poetry and Prose, 1998 

BA, University of California, Davis, English, 1997 

Research and Teaching Interests

intersection of criminal justice and biopower, media ethics, human trafficking, modern-day slavery and exploitation, journalism and witnessing, documentary, human rights and society   

Classes Taught

  • JRNL 2210: News Writing 
  • JRNL 2310: Reporting 
  • JRNL 4490/4493: Literary Journalism  

Last Updated: August 24, 2021