The role and social importance of TV and film during this pandemic has been much commented on. But how healthy is this industry? The good news is that this sector has been expanding at more than three times the rate of the wider economy, generating an annual trade surplus of almost £1 billion. The less good news is that this expansion has been at the expense of its most valuable resource – its skilled workforce. The preliminary report from our State of Play survey, undertaken shortly before Christmas and published today (11 January 2021) contains some shocking revelations. The picture to emerge is one of an industry rife with unfair recruitment practices, a chronic lack of diversity, poor management, lack of professional development opportunities, entry-level exploitation (including unpaid work), mental health issues, and susceptibility to a culture of bullying… The list is a long and depressing one. As one participant told us:
“I’m leaving the industry after twenty years. Had enough of bad practices. e.g. Bullying execs, relentless criticism, toxic working environments, stress, long working hours, not feeling valued, bad effect on my own mental health. No career development possibilities, no security.”
More than a third of our respondents told us they would have chosen differently had they known at the start of their career what they now know. It’s a far cry from the more familiar narrative about the joys of being creative, and work associated with self-actualisation. A summary of these findings has been published by Broadcast today.
None of this will come as much of a shock to scholars in the field of media industry studies (or indeed those of the Creative Industries more broadly). The past decade has seen a steady flow of research suggesting that all is not well. What has changed since the arrival of Covid-19, is that people are now seem to be much more willing to talk about it. For a long time there has been a reluctance to discuss these systemic issues outside the academic community, and a tendency to dismiss them as ‘just the way the industry works’. The publication of this report comes at a time when many in the industry are finally asking the question ‘why does it have to be the way the industry works?’ That makes it an exciting time for media industry scholars to be contributing to the debate.
The State of Play survey is a collaboration between BU’s Faculty of Media and Communication, the industry union Bectu, and the professional association Viva La PD. Bectu and Viva La PD are currently engaged in crucial discussions with major broadcasters, streamers and production companies, for which this research will provide critical insight.
The State of Play preliminary report is available here.
This week sees the launch of The State of Play survey, an important new study into management and recruitment practices across the UK’s television industry. The initiative is a collaboration between colleagues in the Faculty of Media & Communication, the television union Bectu, and the freelance Producer-Directors’ association, Viva La PD.
It’s an exciting development’ says Christa van Raalte, Deputy Dean for Education & Professional Practice in the Faculty. ‘BU has long been known for the graduates who go on to work in the media, but we also have an important contribution to make to improving the way these industries actually operate’.
Prior to the pandemic, the UK’s film and television sector had been generating an annual trade surplus of almost £1 billion. Yet Covid-19 has exposed systemic and routinely overlooked problems. Chronic under-investment in professional development and over-dependence on an army of freelance workers has made it especially vulnerable. These workers – reliant on precarious, short-term contractual employment – have faced months without work, with over half ineligible for any Government support. Many may be permanently lost to the industry, exacerbating both pre-existing skills shortages and the industry’s well-documented lack of diversity. However the crisis has also been instrumental in raising awareness of structural weaknesses, previously unacknowledged by many industry leaders. This presents an unprecedented opportunity for much needed reform.
The study draws on previous work that BU has done in this area, and feeds into a larger piece of work for which external funding is currently being sought.
For more information about The State of Play survey, contact:
Richard Wallis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Department of Media Production, FMC.
Minesh Khashu (BU Visiting Faculty and clinician in Poole Hospital) and Jeremy Scrivens published their third instalment of a series of online papers on the NHS. This contribution is called ‘Can We Heal an Ailing Healthcare System? Part 3’. They deep dive into this idea of transformation through a strengths-based approach. They consider how we can build an NHS Social Movement by bringing the whole system together to inquire into and extend NHS’s Positive Core. The blog (online paper) can be accessed here!
For more information you can also follow the two authors on Twitter: Minesh Khashu(@mkrettiwt) & Jeremy Scrivens (@jeremyscrivens)
Prof. Edwin van Teijlingen
A centre to provide leadership and management development opportunities and support across the health and social care sector has been launched at BU.
The Centre for Leadership, Impact and Management in Bournemouth (CLiMB) offers a range of development options – including leadership and management programmes; coaching and mentoring development; accreditation for in-house programmes; and consultancy, research and impact evaluation.
Director of CLiMB Professor Keith Brown said: “CLiMB is being launched to bring together Bournemouth University’s strengths of research, consultancy and education in the leadership of health and social care services. “Never before have these services been under the level of financial pressure and public scrutiny that they are currently, coupled with increasingly high public expectations for quality services. “These needs and demands can only be met by better leadership at all levels within the health and social care sector.”
The centre has been launched after more than five years of research and development in the field of leadership and management in health and social care. Professor Brown was asked by the government’s Social Work Reform Board, established following the death of Peter Connelly, to develop a leadership pathway for social work managers.
This was extensively evaluated for impact and then adapted for healthcare in response to the Francis report at Mid Staffordshire Hospital.
The Centre was officially opened on 12th November by Bournemouth West MP Conor Burns, who said: “Too often in health and social work, organisations have become too immersed in process and procedure that they lose sight sometimes of the outcome. We should be proud of what Keith and the team do in terms of outcomes for people… making a contribution emotionally and economically.”
Sue Sutherland OBE, Chair of BU’s Board and former Chief Executive of Poole Hospital, said: “The launch of this centre is really important. It is absolutely rising to the challenges that the sector faces, helping to develop the best health and social care service that’s borne out of leadership at every point of the sector.”
CLiMB currently receives HEIF funding. Higher Education Innovation Funding aims to support and develop a broad range of knowledge-based interactions between universities and colleges and the wider world, which result in economic and social benefit to the UK.
As part of the overall internationalisation dynamics spreading through the School of Tourism – especially concerned with creating opportunities for students – Dr Tim Breitbarth, Senior Lecturer in Sports Management, will travel to South Carolina and Florida end of October.
The project is funded through the BU Fusion Investment Fund, based on the trips’ three impact-focused objectives of, firstly and mainly, advancing partnership development for the sports academic group as well as the School of Tourism and potentially other Schools as well; secondly, Tim will collect further sets of empirical data for an established and awarded international collaborative research project on CSR and sport; and thirdly, develop and foster industry and research contacts aiming towards strengthening BU’s golf/sport management programmes and editing a first book on global golf business.
Main contacts and places to go are the University of South Carolina, which has the largest undergraduate sports and entertainment management programme of its kind in the USA, with more than 1000 majors and minors (recently been listed in the Top25 in the 2013 SportBusiness Global Postgraduate Ranking), and the University of Central Florida, where a university partnership agreement covering many subject areas is already well underway.
“My experience with the Fusion fund and the way it is managed is that coherent applications focusing on wider impact and multiple outcomes are very welcome,” says Tim, who already was successful with staff mobility and networking applications in the past. Please feel free to contact Tim (email@example.com) if you like to learn more about his upcoming trip.
The European Commission has published a call for tenders for a comparative study of pressures and measures in the major river basin management plans in the EU.
The study will gather, in a structured way, information on pressures and measures in the river basin management plans, and on the following topics related to river basin management: governance, agriculture, hydromorphology, intercalibration, specific pollutants, typologies, drinking water protected areas, costs and benefits, enforcement and control systems, and innovation. It will also compare the information in order to provide a Europe-wide overview on the aforementioned topics.
The publication will contribute to the development of the 2012 Blueprint to Safeguard Europe’s Waters.
Funding is worth between €1.45 million and €1.5 million over 12 months
Deadline: 4 July 2011