Tagged / CEMP

New CEMP report on TV production finds ‘corrosive cultural divide’

New research into production management in the UK’s TV industry has found that there is a corrosive cultural divide between ‘production’ and ‘editorial’. This distinction between those involved in the ‘creative’ aspects of making tv and those who manage its more logistical aspects is what lies at the heart of much of the discontent experienced by today’s production managers, the research has found.

‘We have known for a long time that production managers lack visibility and feel undervalued’, explains Dr Christa van Raalte, who led the project. ‘When three-quarters of respondents told us last year that they were seriously considering leaving we knew the problem was deeply rooted. The aim of this latest research has been to gain a much clearer understanding of what it is that attracts people into production management roles in the first place and what we could do better to keep them. What’s the point of investing in the recruitment of new production talent if we can’t hang on to the ones we’ve got?’

The new report launched this week, Where have all the PMs gone? Addressing the production management skills gap in UK TV, builds on an earlier survey with in-depth interviews. The result is a detailed and nuanced account of the experience of working in production management. The report makes eleven recommendations for change, from clearer job definitions and more equitable pay rates, to improved training and development.

The report concludes that there is much to be done to ensure that production management is properly recognised and understood both in and beyond the industry, that PMs are treated equitably and respectfully, and that employers are able to recruit and retain the workforce they need. This cannot be achieved without addressing ingrained working culture and practices. The challenge this represents for the wider industry, claims the report, should not be underestimated.

The project’s research team is based at the University’s Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP) and funded by the British Academy and Leverhulme Trust.

The full report and a shorter summary are available at https://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/39530/

CEMP research published by Samsung

CEMP’s Digital Capability study has now been published by Samsung.

In 2015, Samsung funded a six-month research project on the Isle of Portland in Weymouth, exploring the
impact of technology on participants’ engagement with community services, schools and family learning.
We partnered with the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP) at Bournemouth University.
The project has given us a rich set of findings on which to build further work, and we hope this summary will be
of help to schools, community organisations, policy makers, employers and even parents – anybody
who shares our interest in enabling communities to benefit from the power of digital technology.

CEMP books – ‘bumper crop’


November / December see the publication of several books authored / edited by CEMP researchers.

Doing Text: Media After the Subject (Julian McDougall, Auteur / Columbia University Press – with Pete Bennett)

Teaching and Learning on Screen: Mediated Pedagogies (Mark Readman, Palgrave MacMillan)

Popular Culture and the Austerity Myth: Hard Times Today (Julian McDougall, Routledge – with Pete Bennett)

Also forthcoming this academic year –

Digital Media, Culture and Education: Theorising Third Space Literacies (Julian McDougall, Palgrave MacMillan, with John Potter)

The Routledge International Handbook of Media Literacy Education (Julian McDougall, Routledge, with Belinha de Abreu, Alice Lee, Paul Mihaildis and Jad Melki)

Doing Theory on Education: Using Popular Culture to Explore Key Debates (Julian McDougall, Routledge, with Andy Cramp).

BU academics publish in the Special Anniversary Issue of the Journal of Children and Media

children and media journal coverBournemouth University’s Dr Ashley Woodfall and Dr Marketa Zezulkova have recently been published in the Special Anniversary Issue of the Journal of Children and Media. The journal is the most significant interdisciplinary one in the field of children and media, and the special issue features big-picture commentaries and analyses that address the challenges and opportunities facing children and media researchers.

As the journal editorial states: Ashley Woodfall and Marketa Zezulkova focus on the lived media engagement of children as dialogic and holistic, requiring us “to recognise the child as entry point, centre and interpreter of their media experience and learning.”

The paper is available on an open access basis, funded by BU’s open access publication fund.

Woodfall A & Zezulkova M., 2016. What ‘children’ experience and ‘adults’ may overlook: phenomenological approaches to media practice, education and research. In: Journal of Children and Media. 10(1) 98-106.



Serendipitous Impact and the Power of No: lessons from CEMP’s Research Away Day

On Friday February 13, 2015 eighteen researchers across all stages of their careers came together for our CEMP Research Away Day. Hosted at the Old School House By the Sea in Boscombe, the day focused on how we can foster our media & education research culture, from REF strategy to collaboration building, both at BU and beyond.

Kicking us off with REF and Impact, Rebecca Edwards from RKEO spoke about key issues including the new Open Access Guidelines and how we can work to evidence our impact. She summed up 8 key points to takeaway:

1. Know your Open Access
2. Go Gold when possible – use RKEO fund
3. Collaborate with other institutions and international colleagues
4. Identify and developing Impact Case Studies
5. Evidencing your Impact as you go along (testimonials, visitor counts, etc)
6. Promote your research on the BU research website
7. Aim to increase research income
8. Focus on PhD registrations and completions

Sound like a gigantic task for just one person? These goals are not for individuals to accomplish alone. Working in teams and groups is key for doing innovative research, producing outputs and building successful bids. Making connections between our work is a necessary beginning.

Isabella Rega’s Making Connections session got the group talking about where our interests intersect. Using three different coloured post-it notes, we wrote down the issues (green), methods (pink) and stakeholders (yellow) that we work with. Participatory research methods, HE teaching and learning, and Education and Social Change emerged as key overlaps.

Out of these connections some concrete plans emerged, including turning fusion project output into educational resources and a participatory methods workshop day.

From project plans to project afterlife, we shifted to speak about documenting and evidencing impact. We looked at four case studies of research projects including ETAG and Copyrightuser.org, their significance and who they reached. Rebecca Edwards provided advice on how we evidence, measure and track our project’s impact. Sometimes these impacts can be anticipated, but more often there is serendipity and surprise.

Tracking Impact

-Tiers of influence
-Is influencing an organisation enough? How do we understand what this was?
-Formal letters from key institutions
-If you’ve done research at another institution it doesn’t count at our institution. Impact stays at institution. Reason is because it is usually about groups.
-Entire groups can be rewarded for impact
-Demonstrate the evidence of impact on policy —> Following the story
-Distinct contribution of the University
-Can’t always see the impact from the outset —> serendipity involved, not always
-visitors counts and the result of them

After a tasty, if unidentifiable food-filled lunch from Bosconova, we ran a reflection session on barriers to research bidding and publishing. Designed to get us thinking about the personal and structural constraints on our research, the session helped us room-source practical solutions to common challenges.

Richard Wallis got us back up on our feet with a enthusiastic round of Research Speed Dating. Partnering up with colleagues for short bursts of time, we quickly exchanged project ideas offering feedback and fostering more research connections. Julian McDougall and Richard Berger rounded out the afternoon with a go-around. Everyone shared their upcoming plans and outlined the support they would need to achieve them.

Described by participants as a “fantastic day,” we left feeling the best kind of inspired: more excited and less exhausted about the research plans that lay ahead for CEMP’s growing educational research community.

Anna Feigenbaum is a CEMP Fellow. To find out more about CEMP and how to get involved, check out the website: http://www.cemp.ac.uk/

Deadline! Panic. Click Submit: Grants Academy Diary Part 3

Email flurries. Cut-and-paste frenzies. Forgetting if draft v3.1.5 is most recent despite diligent attempts to effectively dropbox. Sound familiar? Grant deadline time demands we are at our sharpest, but more often finds us high on caffeine and flung headlong into chaos. Whether one clicks submit with confidence, hesitation or blind faith, when the closing hour comes, we breathe a sigh of relief. It’s out of our hands and into the 1 in 12 success rate abyss.

Like many colleagues, I’ve been on grant teams where ‘click submit’ was done with varying shades of satisfaction. But this time, something felt different. This wasn’t any ordinary bid. This was my Grants Academy bid. A bid that had gone through three days of extensive surgery via R&KE OP’s staff development programme on bid writing run by expert consultant Dr. Martin Pickard. It benefited from Martin’s expertise, as well as the critical eyes of five interdisciplinary BU colleagues also attending the workshop. Further developed by two CI collaborators,  two external peer reviewers,  BU Quality Approver Richard Berger and the devoted attention of my research officer Pengpeng Ooi, never before had I been on a grant handled with so much personalised and professional care.  This time when I clicked submit, there wasn’t a sentence worth changing.

In two earlier diary posts I discussed the daunting task of getting started with bid writing and my (somewhat unfounded) fears of impact agendas. After the first two workshops we each went off, brains buzzing with new tips and tricks, to independently work on our bid drafts. But rather than spend hours crafting confident cases for support, those two weeks during the start of spring semester saw little time to devote to redrafting. Like the students we sometimes bemoan, most of us ended up in a last minute ‘meet the deadline’ whirlwind, turning in work we were only half proud of.

Building on session one’s tips about project formulation and session two’s insights on expressing the wider value of our research, session three provided a simulated peer review process to help us better understand how bids are evaluated and scored.  This final stage of the Grants Academy began with a discussion of review criteria, followed by a tally of the scores we gave fellow academy members, and then individual rounds of feedback on each of our six draft bid submissions. While none of us broke most research funder’s thresholds of 70% approval, few of us felt we deserved to, at least not yet.

Offering a supportive environment to watch our work get torn apart — a necessary if uncomfortable part of the bid enhancement process — day three of Grants Academy proved as beneficial as the first two. Rather than disheartening, the patterns and repetition of criticism shared across our cross-disciplinary colleagues’ reviews helped us to hone in on what desperately needed fixing. This peer review process was topped off with one-to-one feedback from Martin on where to go next with our bid’s development.

After the session a few of us stayed behind, manically typing away, not wanting to forget any of our colleagues’ sage advice. I knew my deadline was only a few weeks away and I wanted that 60 up to a 90, to fill the gap of the 1 in 12 success rate with sure-fire reasons why we deserved funding. Over the next two weeks my CIs and I racked up 57 emails, 3 hours of skype meetings and 5 budget drafts — all for just a £10,000 bid. In the words of our Grants Academy Guru, “To compete, we train.”

My biggest takeaway tip for colleagues registered in an upcoming Grants Academy session, or those thinking about enrolling, would be to come with a bid in the early to mid-stages of development. (NOT something either brand new or nearly finished.) This will allow you to get the most out of the developmental process of the workshops. Attending the sessions forces you to make time for drafting by providing structured deadlines and feedback to carry forward. I chose to develop a small Fusion Funded pilot project. 

Anna Feigenbaum is a Lecturer in CMC group at the Media School. As part of her CEMP Fellowship she created this diary of her time at the Grants Academy.  You can read her Day One Diary post here and Day Two here.  


CEMP Success: Three BU Colleagues approved as Higher Education Academy Associates

Last week colleagues from BU’s Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP) and Centre for Excellence in Learning (CEL) won appointments to the newly approved Higher Education Academy (HEA) Associates programme. CEMP’s Director Julian McDougall, Head of CEMP’s Postgraduate Research Richard Berger, and CEMP Fellow Anna Feigenbaum from the Media School’s CMC will join the re-developed Academic Associates community. As Associates they will take part in research projects, event programming and developing the HEA’s UK and International consultancy.  The HEA is the UK’s main provider of resources, events and workshops relating to learning and teaching in higher education, servicing 28 different disciplines. In addition to running its professional recognition Fellowship programme–that many BU staff are a part of–the Higher Education Academy also offers a robust funding scheme for education research and practice.  Through their Academic Associate roles, Julian, Richard and Anna look forward to strengthening CEL and BU’s relationship with the HEA.  Continuing CEMP’s track record of internationally recognised higher education research, this role will enhance the centre’s engagement in media education research consultancy, shaping innovative teaching practice and influencing HE policy.

BU paper shortlisted for the UKLA/ Wiley-Blackwell Research in Literacy Education Award 2014

Congratulations to Associate Professors Julian McDougall and Richard Berger in the Media School who have had a paper (Berger, Richard and McDougall, Julian (2013)  Reading videogames as (authorless) literature.  Literacy 47 (3): 142-149) shortlisted for the UKLA/ Wiley-Blackwell Research in Literacy Education Award 2014. 

This is an output from Julian and Richard’s AHRC funded project on how the videogame L.A. Noire (which was released for Playstation 3 and XBOX 360 in May 2011) can be used to teach the English Literature curriculum (see our previous blog post: http://blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk/research/2012/02/01/bus-richard-berger-wins-an-ahrc-grant/).  This was an open access publication, funded from BU’s Open Access Publication Fund.

The award is given annually for papers published in each of UKLA’s journals – Literacy and Journal of Research in Reading (JRR) – judged to be exemplary in terms of the following criteria:

  • Relevance to readership – taking account of an international readership
  • Accessibility to a knowledgeable readership
  • Original content which contributes significantly to existing knowledge or the development of new knowledge, policy or strategy
  • Clear theoretical position
  • Methodologically sound research processes /design appropriate to the theoretical standpoint
  • Sound level of critical analysis
  • Relevant and appropriate citation base 

The shortlists will be announced online next week.  Good luck Julian and Richard!

You can download a copy of the paper on BURO here: http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/20847/

BU academics are co-appointed as Co-Editors of the Journal of Media Practice

Dr Julian McDougall and Professor Neal White (Media School) have been appointed as Co-Editors of the Journal of Media Practice (JMP). This is a significant moment for the only print-based peer-reviewed journal to focus on practice based media teaching and research as it moves to Routledge and into a new digital publishing future with its online presence, JMP Screenworks.

The proposal outlined a strategy for collaboration between CEMP and colleagues working in all areas of media practice and pedagogic enquiry in the Media School. The vision for the journal is interdisciplinary and, in the development of a full editorial strategy, Neal and Julian will invite researchers and practitioners in the school to contribute. They will also be working with the editorial board, Routledge and Auteur to plan a productive relationship between CEMP’s existing journal, MERJ and JMP.

This is a real opportunity to collaborate across the Media School and the range of disciplines and to impact on the dissemination of media practice research and developments in digital publishing.

Media and Information Education in the UK: Recommendations to the European Union

Dr Julian McDougall from BU’s Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP) will make recommendations on UK media education at a conference in Paris later this month.

The conference brings together comparative analyses on media and information education from EU member states and Dr McDougall will present the UK report alongside his London School of economics (LSE) research collaborators.

Dr McDougall said: “In the UK report, we have mapped media education provision in the UK against the various EC and EU frameworks and draw a clear conclusion, that the UK is rich with expertise, energy and leadership for media and information education, and to a significant extent is the envy of other European nations in this respect, but deeply entrenched prejudice against ‘media studies’ means that promoting media literacy through schools is continually undermined.”

The report examines the progression of media education through three key phases:

  • Pre-OFCOM: the establishment of Media Studies, Film Studies and other related areas in the curriculum.
  • 1997 – 2011 New Labour Government and OFCOM media literacy intervention with some correspondence to Media Studies
  • Post-OFCOM Coalition Government, discontinuation of media literacy strategies

When examining the current ‘state of play’ in UK media literacy education, Dr McDougall and his colleagues looked at four areas: the study of media in formal secondary and higher education through curriculum subjects such as Media Studies, Film Studies and Media/non-literary textual analysis in English as well as vocational courses; broader, less formal examples of media literacy across the UK curriculum and extra-curricular activities such as literacy education in primary schools and related subjects like Citizenship, Sociology and History; e-safety policies in the school system; and media & information literacy outside of formal education.

Having examined the current scope and provision of UK media education and media literacy, the report identifies a scarcity of funding and training and a contradiction between support for creative industry employability, digital literacy and e-safety and derision towards, neglect of and undermining (through UCAS tariff distinctions, for example) media education where it already exists for thousands of young people.

At the same time, the recent Next Gen Report, well received by policy-makers, fails to locate media education as a context for teaching digital programming and coding. The UK report predicts that the combined effect of proposed secondary curriculum reform and this response to the Next Gen report will place UK media education in further ‘limbo’ between the cultural value afforded to English Literature and Art as academic /creative disciplines for their own sake and the vocational importance of strong media and technological literacy, such as those assumed for games and effects education within the STEM subject cluster, in today’s modern  media-saturated tech-savvy workplace.

Three clear and compelling recommendations are presented from the UK report’s findings:

  • The model of media literacy currently provided by the various EU and EC strategies is too broad in scope and ambition for mainstream education to ‘deliver’ and therein lies a fundamental mismatch between the objectives of media literacy as articulated in policy and the capacity of education as the agent for its development in society
  • To coherently match Media Studies in the UK to the policy objectives for media literacy expressed in European policy, Government funding (for teacher training), support and endorsement for Media Studies is essential
  • Funding should be prioritised for broader research into the capacity for Media Studies in schools and colleges to develop media and information literacy as defined by the European Union.

The conference is hosted by the French National Research Agency project TRANSLIT (convergence between computer, media and information literacies), in association with the European network COST “Transforming Audiences/Transforming Societies.” It takes place on 13-14 December at the Grand Amphi of Sorbonne Nouvelle University, Paris.

Dr McDougall was lead author on the report, entitled Media and Information Education in the UK, alongside his LSE collaborators Professor Sonia Livingstone (Leader of the TRANSLIT/COST Media Literacy Task Force) and Dr Julian Sefton-Green.

The Teaching Exchange Workshop Goes International

Developed by Bournemouth University’s Dr. Anna Feigenbaum alongside Dr. Mehita Iqani, the Teaching Exchange Workshop was designed to foster a space for collegiate interaction and sharing experiences of the challenges and opportunities involved in teaching. Piloted at five Universities across the country in 2010-2011 through support from the Higher Education Academy, the Teaching Exchange Workshop offers colleagues a chance to work through departmental issues including curriculum development, diverse student expectations, and teaching time management.

Participating institution, the London School of Economics and Politics, said the workshop activities “got colleagues thinking creatively and learning from each other. These could be applied by any department wanting to improve teaching practice and make best use of their staff’s experience and knowledge.”

On November 8, 2013 Dr. Feigenbaum was invited to South Africa to facilitate the first international Teaching Exchange Workshop at Wits University in Johannesburg. Drawing on successes of the pilot workshops in the UK, the Wits workshop featured new participatory exercises for generating innovative assignments that bridge practice and theory, and for problem-solving challenges associated with teaching in a time of 24/7 email and social media access.

As a low-cost and high productivity model for teaching quality enhancement, Dr. Feigenbaum and Dr. Iqani are keen to see the TE Workshop continue to grow both nationally and internationally. To learn more about the Teaching Exchange Workshop, you can download a free TE Workshop handbook. You can also read a sample of pilot study results published in the Journal of Further and Higher Education.