Phil is a Scottish communications researcher turned journalist and writer, who previously worked with Inter Press Service (IPS) between 1978 and 1998, and between 2014 and 2015. Originally joining IPS as Director of Communication Studies, producing policy and concept papers to help put the agency on the map and shape its recognised identity as a specialist in the coverage of development and civil society issues, he advised the then Director-General and co-founder of IPS, Roberto Savio, on communication strategy.
After leaving IPS in 1998, he acted as editorial and communication consultant for a number of U.N. agencies (including FAO, IFAD, ILO and WFP) before being appointed interim Executive Director from 2011 to 2012 of DEVNET, the international, non-profit, non-governmental association working to create, promote and support partnerships and exchanges among civil society organisations, local authorities and entrepreneurs throughout the world in support of economic development, social equity, ecological sustainability, gender equality, natural disaster resilience and peace.
Together with Prof Peter Golding, he edited and contributed to Beyond Cultural Imperialism: Globalization, communication and the new international order (published by Sage in 1997), a broad-ranging analysis of the international context of world communication, in which an international group of leading scholars discuss different perspectives on the role of the state, the range of cultural impact and influence beyond the media, the roles of international organisations and business interests in world communications, and the potential for resistance and alternatives.
Phil graduated in 1971 from the University of Aberdeen with a degree in Politics/Sociology, before taking up post-graduate studies at the University of Leicester’s Centre for Mass Communication Studies, where he received his M.Phil. in Mass Communications in 1974.