Posts By / Daniel Jackson

Latest publication from interdisciplinary BU project on the broadcasting of the Rio Paralympics, with a bit of SRA help

The BU-led, AHRC-funded project on the cultural legacy of the Paralympics is entering its final few months; a busy period involving impact visits to multiple stakeholders, the completion of the project documentary and exhibition, and the development of academic papers.

The latest academic output (written by Emma Pullen, Dan Jackson and Michael Silk) is published in Communication & Sport this week, titled (Re-)presenting the Paralympics: Affective Nationalism and the “Able-Disabled”. The paper is based on an analysis of three integrated data sets from Channel 4’s broadcasting of the Rio 2016 Paralympics: interviews with Channel 4 production and editorial staff, quantitative content analysis, and qualitative moving image analysis. It is an in-depth analysis of the tensions that emerge between nationalism – as a commercial logic of sports mega-event broadcasting – and progressive disability representation.

We are indebted to the two BU student research assistants that worked with us through the SRA scheme on the quantitative content analysis: Jack Beaunier and Bethany Crawford. As well as contributing to this scholarly publication, their work will also form an important part of the report we will present to Channel 4, Paralympics GB, and UK Sport later this Spring.

For more news and information on the project, head over to the Pasccal website.

“When you’re stuck, just narrate” 10 + 1 tips on how to boost your research productivity

A Journalism Research Group research seminar. 3pm – 4.30pm, Wednesday 21 March in WG04.

After years of trial and error, Roman will share some thoughts and tips on how to do research, focusing on the main challenges of staying focused and becoming more productive. He will demonstrate some of the tools and routines he uses to organise his tasks, readings, notes and writing, as well as a few mental strategies on overcoming sticking points. This session is open to all within and outside JEC (including PhD students) but we envisage it as an interactive workshop-type session, in which colleagues will share their own thoughts, anxieties and practical tips.

The session is led by Dr Roman Gerodimos, Faculty of Media and Communication.

What are these sessions about?
They focus on the process of doing research rather than presenting the outcomes. They are less masterclass talks and more quality circles, where we all bring our research questions, dilemmas and dead-ends to the sessions. Whilst there will be someone leading the seminar, they are designed to be participatory.

Spaces are limited, so please email jacksond@bournemouth.ac.uk if you intend to come.

For more information about the Journalism Research Group (JRG) visit the CSJCC website: https://research.bournemouth.ac.uk/centre/journalism-culture-and-community/

All welcome. Hope to see you there.

BU academics publish UK election report within 10 days of vote

We are very pleased to announce the publication of UK Election Analysis 2017: Media, Voters and the Campaign, edited by Einar Thorsen, Daniel Jackson and Darren Lilleker.
Featuring 92 contributions from over 100 leading academics and emerging scholars across the world, this free publication captures the immediate thoughts, reflections and early research insights on the 2017 UK General Election on from the cutting edge of media and politics research.
Published just 10 days after the election, these contributions are short and accessible. Authors provide authoritative analysis of the campaign, including research findings or new theoretical insights; to bring readers original ways of understanding the election and its consequences. Contributions also bring a rich range of disciplinary influences, from political science to cultural studies, journalism studies to geography.
The publication is available as a free downloadable PDF, as a website and as a paperback report.
Thanks to all of our contributors and production staff who helped make the quick turnaround possible. We hope it makes for a vibrant and engaging read!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction (Einar Thorsen, Dan Jackson, Darren Lilleker)
Context
1. Looking on the bright side for a change (Jay Blumler)
2. The performance of the electoral system (Alan Renwick)
3. Fixed-term parliaments and the electoral cycle (Richard Parry)
4. Institutions and nation building: there is such a thing as society (Matthew Johnson)
5. Global questions, parochial answers (Roman Gerodimos)
6. The future of illusions (Barry Richards)
Voters, Polls and Results
7. A glorious defeat: anti-politics and the funnelling of frustration (Matthew Flinders)
8. Younger voters politically energised, but the generational divide deepens (James Sloam)
9. Why the younger generation of Corbynistas? (Pippa Norris)
10. Young people and propaganda in the wake of the 2017 election (Shakuntala Banaji)
11. The generation election: youth electoral mobilisation at the 2017 General Election (Matt Henn and James Hart)
12. The 2017 General Election: How Votes were split between “open and closed” (Jonathan Wheatley)
13. Cartographic perspectives of the general election (Benjamin D. Hennig)
14. UKIP’s former supporters were crucial to the outcome – but not as generally expected (Ron Johnston and Charles Pattie)
15. Why did the Lib Dems fail to benefit from the anti-Brexit vote? (Panos Koliastasis)
16. Meeting the public: the perils and pitfalls of ‘walkabout’ questions to Theresa May in GE2017 (Sylvia Shaw)
17. Political participation in the UK: why might voters have voted? (Bruce Bimber, Shelley Boulianne, Karolina Koc-Michalska and Darren Lilleker)
18. Moments of accidental connection with the ‘Great British Public’: because Brenda et al know best! (Richard Scullion)
19. When democracy kicked back (Natalie Fenton)
News and Journalism
20. Conventional wisdom distorted TV news coverage of campaign (Stephen Cushion)
21. A tale of two leaders: news media coverage of the 2017 General Election (David Deacon, John Downey, David Smith, James Stanyer and Dominic Wring)
22. Did broadcast stage-management create a vacuum for social media? (Charlie Beckett)
23. Ducking the debate (Stephen Coleman)
24. Caught in the middle: the BBC’s impossible impartiality dilemma (Martin Moore and Gordon Ramsay)
25. Media policy: the curious incident of the dog in the night-time (Jonathan Hardy)
26. The use and abuse of the vox pop in the 2017 UK General Election television news coverage (Mark Wheeler)
27. Media bias hits a wall (Des Freedman)
28. Declining newspaper sales and the role of broadcast journalism in the 2017 general election (Guy Starkey)
29. Newspapers’ editorial opinions: stuck between a rock and a hard place (Julie Firmstone)
30. It’s the Sun wot lost it (Mick Temple)
31. From Brexit to Corbyn: agenda setting, framing and the UK media – a research agenda (Steve Schifferes)
32. Is our national press a fading dinosaur? Don’t bank on it (Steven Barnett)
33. A mixed mailbag: letters to the editor during the electoral campaign (Iñaki Garcia-Blanco)
34. Long live the wisdom of the phone-in crowd (Ivor Gaber)
35. Fact-checking the election (Jennifer Birks)
36. Should we worry about fake news? (Susan Banducci, Dan Stevens and Travis Coan)
37. Tweets, campaign speeches and dogs at polling stations: the election on live blogs (Marina Dekavalla)
38. Process, personalities and polls: online news coverage of the UK General Election 2017 (Emily Harmer and Rosalynd Southern)
39. Online election news can be bloody difficult (for a) woman (Emily Harmer)
40. Not just swearing and loathing on the internet: analysing BuzzFeed and VICE during #GE2017 (James Dennis and Susana Sampaio-Dias)
Parties and the Campaign
41. The battle for authenticity (Karin Wahl-Jorgensen)
42. Was it the Labour doorstep or the Labour smartphone that swung it for Jeremy? (Tim Bale)
43. The election at constituency level (Ralph Negrine)
44. Over-managing the media: how it all went wrong (Suzanne Franks)
45. Aristotle and persuasive copywriting in the 2017 General Election (Nigel Jackson)
46. Rhetoric of the 2017 General Election campaign (Andrew Crines)
47. When is an electoral ‘bribe’ not a bribe? (Chris Roberts)
48. PEBs in 2017: not gone, but largely forgotten? (Vincent Campbell)
49. ‘Strong and stable’ to ‘weak and wobbly’: Tory campaign, media reaction and GE2017 (Anthony Ridge-Newman)
50. The Greens and the “progressive alliance” (Jenny Alexander)
51. It’s the way I tell ‘em: car crash politics and the gendered turn (Karen Ross)
52. Dogwhistle sexism (Heather Savigny)
53. The Women’s Equality Party and the 2017 General Election (Elizabeth Evans and Meryl Kenny)
54. The resurrection of ethical foreign policy (Victoria Honeyman)
55. Why immigration faded from view in election 2017 (Thomas Brooks)
56. Invisible enemies, wars without winners: when ‘khaki elections’ fail (James Morrison)
57. The sobering reality of backdoors: cybersecurity and surveillance circumvention during GE2017 (Einar Thorsen)
The Digital Campaign
58. Corbyn, Labour, digital media, and the 2017 UK election (Andrew Chadwick)
59. Was it ‘AI wot won it’? Hyper-targeting and profiling emotions online (Vian Bakir and Andrew McStay)
60. Sharing is caring: Labour supporters use of social media #GE2017 (Anamaria Dutceac and Michael Bossetta)
61. Labour’s social media campaign: more posts, more video, and more interaction (Richard Fletcher)
62. Like me, share me: the people’s social media campaign (Darren Lilleker)
63. The alternate and influential world of the political parties’ Facebook feeds (Matt Walsh)
64. Social media and the Corbyn breakthrough (Mark Shephard)
65. The UK digisphere and the 2017 election (Aljosha Karim Schapals)
66. From voices to votes: how young people used social media to influence the General Election (Vyacheslav Polonski)
67. All LOLs and trolls (Alec Charles)
The Nations
68. Nasty, British and Short: an emotional election (Russell Foster)
69. Scotland in the 2017 UK General Election (Michael Higgins)
70. The General Election did little to solve Wales’ ‘democratic deficit’ (Morgan Jones)
71. GE2017 in Northern Ireland: total eclipse of the moderates (Neil Matthews)
72. Twitter, dual screening and the BBC Northern Ireland Leaders’ debate (Paul Reilly)
Brexit and European Perspectives
73. Brexit without Brexitland (Chris Gifford)
74. Why the General Election will make little difference to the Article 50 negotiations (Simon Usherwood)
75. Totem, taboo and trigger word: the dominance and obscurity of Brexit in the campaigns (Charlotte O’Brien)
76. The Conservatives and Brexit: the election and after (Philip Lynch)
77. The 2017 UK election: reflections from Norway (John Erik Fossum)
78. Partisan and plentiful: the 2017 UK election in the German press (Isabelle Hertner)
79. Expect the unexpected: French media perceptions of the 2017 UK General Election campaign (Emmanuelle Avril)
80. Poles apart: Polish perspectives of the 2017 UK ‘Brexit election’ (Paweł Surowiec)
81. Theresa and Jeremy: who is closer to Matteo? An Italian view of #GE2017 (Emiliana De Blasio and Michele Sorice)
Personality politics and popular culture
82. A tale of two leadership campaigns (Pete Dorey)
83. Seeing Jeremy Corbyn and not seeing Theresa May: the promise of civic spectatorship (Katy Parry)
84. Corbyn and his fans: post-truth, myth and Labour’s hollow defeat (Cornell Sandvoss)
85. It’s the stans wot (nearly) won it (Matt Hills)
86. Celebrities4Corbyn: continuity and change in Labour’s use of celebrities (Ellen Watts)
87. The othering and objectification of Diane Abbott MP (Deborah Gabriel)
88. “Theresa May for Britain”: a personal brand in search of personality (Margaret Scammell)
89. Maybot, Mummy or Iron Lady? Loving and loathing Theresa May (Shelley Thompson and Candida Yates)
90. Politics, charisma, and the celebrity spectre of Nigel Farage (Neil Ewen)
91. Mainstream broadcast comedy and satire (Kay Richardson)
92. Sound bites: the music of Election 2017 (John Street and Adam Behr)

FMC Research Seminar: Adapting to dominant news narratives: tax ‘fairness’ as a Trojan horse for anti-austerity politics: Wednesday, 9 December, 3-4pm, Room W240

FMC Cross-Departmental Seminar Series 2015-16

Time: Wednesday, 9th December, 3-4 pm

Venue: The Screening Room W240, Weymouth House, Talbot Campus. 

Adapting to dominant news narratives: tax ‘fairness’ as a Trojan horse for anti-austerity politics

Over the past five years the issue of tax avoidance has broken through into mainstream news media and public debate, after many years in which the campaigning efforts of NGOs, trade unions and a few investigative journalists were met largely with indifference.  Protest group UK Uncut have been widely credited with increasing public engagement in the issue.  News routines are less reliant on official and elite sources than in the past, and protesters less universally delegitimised in dominant news discourse, but the political claims of social movements still tend to be neglected or reduced to vague or naive opposition.  UK Uncut were conscious of the common pitfalls and attempted to fit their own framing of the issue into existing news frames.  In presenting a practical alternative to cuts, they hoped to substantiate an argument against the broadly accepted ‘necessity’ of public spending cuts, smuggling an oppositional claim inside a familiar narrative.

Their framing of the issue in terms of compromised political interests and ‘fairness to taxpayers’ fitted with dominant news narratives and was widely adopted by other sources, including the Public Accounts Committee, and by journalists, but generally in terms of individual and organisational wrongdoing and self-interest rather as a systemic critique.  This did little to challenge or disrupt the overarching dominant narrative of fiscal crisis, necessary cuts, and even of fair tax as low tax.  However, the playful performativity of the protests themselves – although part of an activist repertoire, risking distancing themselves from the mainstream – were successful in achieving some limited press coverage of the cuts that they claimed could be prevented by corporations paying their ‘fair share’, but those arguments were not picked up by other voices.

This paper analyses the extent to which this ‘adaptation’ approach to news framing (Rucht 2013) or intervention in dominant narratives (Hirschkop 1998) was successful in advancing political claims and objectives, and whether this case supports the contention that strategically performative and rhetorical interventions in the public sphere can compensate for marginality and lack of discursive power.

Jen Birks is an Assistant Professor in the department of Culture, Film and Media at the University of Nottingham, where she teaches political communication and public cultures.  She is the author of News and Civil Society (Ashgate 2014).

All are welcome!!

About the series

This new seminar series showcases current research across different disciplines and approaches within the Faculty of Media and Communication at BU. The research seminars include invited speakers in the fields of journalism, politics, narrative studies, media, communication and marketing studies.  The aim is to celebrate the diversity of research across departments in the faculty and also generate dialogue and discussion between those areas of research.

 

Contributions include speakers on behalf of 

The Centre for Politics and Media Research

The Centre for the Study of Journalism, Culture and Community

Narrative Research Group

Journalism Research Group

Advances in Media Management Research Group

Emerging Consumer Cultures Research Group

Public Relations Research Group

Faculty of Media and Communication Seminar Series – this week – Richard Norrie from Demos

We are delighted to invite you to this week’s Faculty Seminar Series, hosted by the Politics and Media Research Group. It is this weds 4 November, 3-4pm in the screening room (W240), Weymouth house.
It is Dr Richard Norrie from the think tank Demos. See below for his abstract and bio. It promises to be a fascinating talk on the topical issue of immigration and integration.
No need to book – just come along
All welcome!
The ‘is’ and ‘ought’ of integration
In a recent speech David Cameron announced a new review to be led by Louise Casey into how integration and opportunities can be increased in divided communities. The philosopher David Hume famously argued that when it came to questions of morality, it was impossible to say what should be based on what exists – in short, you cannot get an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’But still, whatever Casey’s review will recommend will have to reconcile what we would like to see in our communities with what is possible given the existing conditions. This presentation is all about how evidence on ethnic and religious integration can be used in order to allow us a better understanding of what can be done in order to improve things. In essence, the question is what are the constraints placed by ‘what is’ on what ought to be?
At the think tank Demos, we have recently completed the first stage of major research repository called the Integration Hubas led by David Goodhart. This website aims to bring together much of the available evidence and research on the key questions pertaining to integration. In this presentation I will review what we know about integration in terms of differences in residential patterns, economic outcomes, everyday social life, education, and identity. ThenI will present an empirical model of integration in the towns and cities of England and Wales. Provisional analysis has so far identified two key dimensions of integration – a situational dimension reflecting differences in where and how people live and an identity based dimension reflecting people’s strength of commitment to Britain. 
Throughout, I shall be returning to the questions of what is right and what is wrong in terms of integration and what can be done given the evidence we have and the limitations imposed on us. 
Dr Richard Norrie is an Associate Researcher at Demos and the lead analyst on the Integration Hub website.

His research interests include ethnic integration, political participation, religiosity, and civil society. He has co-authored reports on populist political parties in Europe, how immigration is discussed on social media, and online misogyny. He specialises in quantitative research methods.

He holds degrees from the Universities of Warwick, Oxford, and Cologne. His doctorate was awarded in 2014 with a thesis written on the subject of country context, religiosity, and participation in public life.
Richard Norrie

BU Researchers Deliver Journalism Training for the Big Issue

IMG_0306

The Big Issue Online Journalism training programme finished off last week with a gallery exhibition of the participants’ work, open to the public. The event which took place in Poole Library featured articles and photos produced by the trainees during the 6-week course. The course, organised by the Big Issue, in collaboration with communications agency Poached Creative and Bournemouth University, targeted as participants Big Issue sellers or unemployed people with an interest in writing or photography. Its main aim was to equip the trainees with basic journalistic skills that would help them find their own public voice and offer a pathway to future employment.

BU researchers Dr Ann Luce, Dr Dan Jackson and Dr Einar Thorsen were approached by the Big Issue to deliver part of the training, after their successful collaboration with Access Dorset – a charity for disabled people – on a similar project that aimed at empowering people with disabilities through citizen journalism.

The Big Issue Online Journalism included lessons on news and features writing and photography, with a focus on interviewing and how to connect to the audience, as well as promoting work through social media. Participants also had the opportunity to put their newly adopted skills to practice by creating photo-essays and covering the Wheels Festival in Bournemouth, and individual choices for stories included such on the Dino Exhibition in Christchurch and a feature article about Chaplin’s bar in Boscombe. Works by all of the participants were published on the project’s blog. Guest talks were also given, including one by the editor of Dorset Life magazine.

One trainee said: “Training like this is not available anywhere. This is really good because it’s hands on as well as the written part of it. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot in a short period of time.”

Another participant also praised the course: “I’m stepping back into the right zone of getting back to work. Freelancing is difficult. This is good for networking, getting back with people, seeing how different people work and getting good feelings about yourself.”

Many said the training had given them a clearer idea of what topics they want to implement in their work, and a better understanding of what editors are looking for in order to get their work published in the future.

All of the participants had an artistic background and were engaged with writing, photography, music or painting – a hobby for some, a means for a living for others.

Dr Dan Jackson and Dr Einar Thorsen – assisted by students Daniel Weissman, Naomi Mihara and Stefani Tasheva – also worked on evaluating the project through interviewing the participants prior to their training as well as after to learn about their background, their expectations of the course and their experiences throughout the six weeks, and in what ways it was beneficial to them. The data from these interviews will be disseminated in upcoming publications.

 

 

BU staff take ICSR conference to Barcelona

 

On 9-10 October, BU staff helped organise the 3rd international Conference on Social Responsibility, Ethics and Sustainable Business (aka ICSR), at Blanquerna School of Communication and International Relations in Barcelona. Previous conferences – led by CMC’s Georgiana Grigore with help from CMC colleagues – have been held in Romania in 2012 and Bournemouth in 2013.

CSR and business ethics remains high on the agenda: the conference attracted 76 delegates from 23 countries, delivering 70 papers. We started the conference in style at a wine tasting event, held in central Barcelona. For your benefit, your correspondent made copious mental notes about the various wines on show; their nose, their balance, their body, their finish and so on, but sadly forgot almost everything other than they tasted good and were Spanish. Maybe he tasted too much wine that night…

Anyway, the morning after the conference was opened by a keynote by Professor Josep Rota (University of Iowa), who spoke about communication and development.

Josep Rota

 

We then broke out for panel sessions for the rest of the day, before convening for a keynote delivered by Ana Palencia, Communications Director for Unilever Spain. Her talk showcased the various CSR initiatives Unilever is pursuing in Spain with the aim of achieving ‘sustainable growth’.

Ana Palencia

The first day was finished at the spectacular San Pau Hospital, where the gala dinner was held. We were pleased to learn that they did not serve hospital food: at least not British style.

They don't call him Tasos "three puddings" Theofilou for no reason...

 

The second day was kicked off by a keynote by non-other than BU’s Professor Tom Watson. His critique of both the theory and practice of CSR was finished by the proposal of a CSR checklist for practitioners to build into their practice.

Prof Tom Watson

After a day of parallel sessions and a keynote by Professor Luis Franco (University of Barcelona), delegates were taken on a bus tour of Barcelona, stopping for a tour of the Miro Foundation and Olympic Mountain. The day was closed by some much needed ‘networking’ over sangria and tapas.

Conference delegates at the Miro Foundation, Barcelona

 

BU staff were prominent throughout the 2014 conference as Chair (Georgiana Grigore) and on the organising committee (Tasos Theofilou and Dan Jackson). The ISCR network is growing in numbers, influence and confidence. The conference organisers are currently evaluating offers to host next years’ conference from South America, India and Europe. The best papers from the Barcelona conference will be published in a special issue of Tripodos.

The "Bournemouth mafia"

 

 

New report on enterprise education led by BU staff

Enterprise is becoming a more important part of UK Higher Education Institution (HEI) activity as a source of revenue, added value to students, and broader demonstration of the contribution of HEIs to the economy. Despite this there is little information on the overall provision of business services by HEIs in the UK and even less on that which involves students engaging with consultancy. This new report, by BU staff Dan Jackson, Mike Molesworth (now Southampton) and Graham Goode, maps out what we do know about how other universities engage students in enterprise projects. The report contains:

– An overview of how involved students are engaging in knowledge exchange through consultancy via a comprehensive audit of all 164 UK HEI’s. Here, we identify different models of student consultancy in terms of their links to research and education, and offer some more broader reflections on the way that UK universities are engaging with business.

– Through four case studies (with a total of 32 interviews and 3 focus groups), an analysis of the key tensions, barriers and motivations (both internal and external) in integrating students in consultancy in ways what benefit them, academic staff, HEIs and external organisations.

– The implications for the management of such projects, and a series of recommendations for those who wish to involve students in university consultancy services.

The report should be essential reading for academic leaders and staff involved in delivering education for employability.

The full report and case studies that underpin the session can be found here: http://microsites.bournemouth.ac.uk/cmc/sector-intelligence-reports/
The authors will be leading a CEL session about the project in November 2014, but please get in touch if you would like to talk about the findings and they can help inform your practice: jacksond@bournemouth.ac.uk

How to commercialise academic research

Want some expert advice on how the commercial research world works, and how academic insight is being used within it?

 

Call it a workshop, masterclass, training session. I’m not sure I really know the difference, but on Tuesday 10th June, 10am-12 in PG11 Stuart Armon is doing a session for BU staff on commercialising our research and translating academic thinking into industry insight etc. It’s what he’s done for the best part of the last 20 years and he’s very good at it. Stuart’s experience is in consumer research, so will be of particular value for those who research the broad areas of marketing, consumer behavior, branding, media and communications; but many of the lessons will also cross disciplines.

 

In the session, Stuart will cover:

 

–      The pressures commercial clients are under

–      The ways in which academic research is used

–      How to manage commercial clients expectations

–      How to present research in client friendly ways

 

If you are interested in attending then please just drop an email to Dan Jackson: jacksond@bournemouth.ac.uk

 

Stuart Armon has more than 20 years commercial experience working with agencies, brand owners and academia. In recent years he has championed the use of academic research in the commercial sector for organisations such as ITV, Channel 4, The Mirror Group, Toyota, CBS Outdoor and The Telegraph Media Group. In this time he has worked closely with the staff in the CMC academic group and the Creative Enterprise Bureau. He is now Practitioner in Residence for the CMC group.

BU Hosts PSA Media and Politics Group Annual Conference

The Annual Conference of the PSA Media and Politics Group (MPG) was held at Bournemouth University on 13-14 November, 2013, attracting over 50 delegates from the UK and abroad. It was organised by BU colleagues Heather Savigny, Richard Scullion, Anna Feigenbaum and Dan Jackson.

A crisis of political engagement?

The conference opened with a keynote by Ruth Fox, the Director and Head of Research for the Hansard Society. Her talk titled: “The Media and Political Engagement: Helpful or Harmful to our Democratic Health?” presented some of Hansard’s recent data on political engagement and the media and politics. For Fox, the situation is no less than a crisis, with their data suggesting that the media has a lot to answer for, and little evidence that tabloids enhance the democratic life of the country. She also encouraged scholars to download and use their data and engage in further scrutiny of their work.

Dr Ruth Fox, Director and Head of Research for the Hansard Society

Minority Voices, Media and Politics

The primary theme of this year’s conference was ‘Minority Voices, Media and Politics.’ The conference explored the often problematic relationship between the media, politics and marginalised, silenced or minority voices in contemporary society. Taking a broad approach to the topic, our conference included papers from different disciplinary, methodological, historical and national perspectives; from the voices of extremist violence, to mediations of tear gas and representations of disability in the media. We were also treated to a keynote by Dr Emily Harmer (Loughborough University), who presented her research on press coverage of female politicians in historical perspective. We aim to take forward some of the conference papers into an edited collection on the conference theme.

Music and Beer

Our third keynote was more than just a Professor of American Literature and Culture, Will Kaufman is a musician whose keynote was a musical tribute to Woody Guthrie; the enduring voice of 1930’s protest music.

Prof Will Kaufman (UCLAN) delivers his musical keynote on Woody Guthrie

Alongside this musical feast, we decided to give the conference drinks reception something of a twist. We have all attended conference wine receptions, right? Memorable? Probably not.  We therefore wanted to make our drinks reception stand out, and offer something for those beer lovers like ourselves. Ably supported by our BA Politics and Media students (who are responsible for the funky logo!) we ran the inaugural Media and Politics Group beer festival. A selection of ten British ales was offered, each with accompanying tasting notes courtesy of BU’s Dr Darren Lilleker. We even got a bit carried away and designed a beer festival logo which was printed on conference glasses!

All modesty aside, it was a rip-roaring success, and something we will be doing for future events.

The MPG beer festival

Prof Ivor Gaber (City University/ University of Bedfordshire) and Dr Michael Higgins (University of Strathclyde) settling into their beer tasting…

 

MeCCSA Annual Conference, Jan 2014: Final call for papers and registration open

 

In January 2014 The Media School at BU is hosting the MeCCSA Annual Conference. MeCCSA is the subject association for the field of media, communication and cultural studies in UK Higher Education.

 

We have two announcements!

 

1. The deadline for abstracts is almost upon us. Colleagues must submit abstracts by 16 September 2014. See the full call for papers for more info.

2. For those who are either uber-confident of abstract acceptance, or just uber-keen to attend, registration is now open via the conference website.

 

We look forward to seeing you there!

Bringing industry and education together through the ‘F’ word…

… Fusion, of course! Dan Jackson, Melanie Gray and Tasos Theofilou report on setting up a national competition for PR students.

This time last year we had just submitted a Fusion bid with the aim of setting up a national PR competition for final year UG and PG students. The idea was simple: we set up an intra-university and PR industry body; give it a catchy name – we chose ‘Amilla’, which is Greek for ‘healthy competition’; get a big-name PR agency to set a brief for students to respond to; teams of students from across UK PR education then submit a written pitch, with the best five being invited to the PR agency’s offices to pitch and a winner announced amid great fanfare.

We knew it was a good idea, we knew what we needed to do, but getting others to believe in it and commit to it was always going to be the biggest challenge. Thankfully, the Fusion committee believed in it and we received funding to support our endeavors. We set up a website, recruited and met with a coordinating committee, articulated a mission, set the competition rules – so far so good.

Looking back, this was the easy part. We had so far targeted those we knew would be most enthusiastic and able to contribute. The bigger challenge was persuading other colleagues in PR education to champion the competition and encourage their students to participate. Again, we knew the idea was strong – it’s about having greater ambition for our students and giving them a greater external platform, which can enhance their employability etc etc! – however, getting other PR lecturers to support the venture was a surprisingly big challenge, which stretched us to our limits.

In the end we got an adequate number of entries, and were able to shortlist five teams for the finals. The finals day was a genuine success, with strong representation from the PR industry and PR education from across the country. The quality of student work was outstanding and was highly praised by the PR agency that was judging. The feedback from participating students was overwhelmingly positive.

So it is onwards and upwards for next year’s competition, which will be hosted by the University of Central Lancashire. We will continue to grow the network of PR educators and industry, and have a sustainable model from which to move forwards.

Oh, and in case you were wondering who won the first Amilla competition, it was a team of BU students. And before you start thinking of the other ‘F’ word, it definitely was not a FIX!!