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Jean Seaton is Professor of Media History and the Official Historian of the BBC. She will publish in the Autumn of 2014 the next volume of the Corporations story, Holding the Line: the BBC and the Nation, taking Lord Asa Briggs work forward for Profile Books. This involves everything the BBC did in a tumultuous decade from the conflict in Northern Ireland, to the invasion of the Falklands, to Not the Nine O'Clock News, the Proms, the early music revolution, devolution, Dennis Potter's greatest plays, Attenborough's revolutionary series Life on Earth, and Radio 1s most influential moment, as well as the role of women in the Corporation, programmes for children and a tense and complicated relationship with the government. The history was given privileged access to BBC archives, but also gained privileged access to state papers. For the first time the Corporation's history is seen in the round. It has depended on several hundred interviews, and explores both the programme making decision that go into the making of an iconic Television series like John le Carre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but also the high politics around the imposition of the broadcasting ban.

She has been involved in a variety of policy discussion within the BBC - because of her understanding of the historical precedent and shape of concerns. She has also assisted programme makers in formulating problems more accurately as well as appearing on programmes as an expert witness.

She has written widely on the history and role of the media in politics, wars, atrocities, the Holocaust, revolutions, security issues and religion as well as news and journalism and is particularly interested in the impact of the media on children. She has contributed to policy debates and formulation especially concerning public service content and freedom of speech.

Her Carnage and the Media: the Making and Breaking of News about Violence (Penguin) was published in 2005, and gives a, perhaps unexpected, account of sensation in the reporting of news about violence and audience reactions to it. While examining the destructive power of contemporary media in attack mode, it also shows how news paints stories in emotions and argues for the values of stoic fortitude. It shows how news provides us with contemporary ceremonies. It also contains a pictorial essay examining many iconic images and their role in the news.

A new 8th edition of the classic book she wrote with James Curran, Power Without Responsibility: the Press and Broadcasting in Britain will be published in 2014 containing new research on the international role of the British media. This book, which has both been translated into many other languages (including Chinese, Portuguese and Arabic), and copied by other writers, in other countries, has become a moving project, the book still aims to change the media as well as describe them.

Her concern with the impact of the media on politics has been developed in a series of books, including Ed. (with Ben Pimlott) The Media in British Politics, Gower, Aldershot, 1987, The Media and Politics in Britain: Harlots and Prerogatives at the Turn of the Millennium Blackwells, 1998, and with John Lloyd of the Financial Times, What Can be Done? Making the Media and Politics Better, 2006, Blackwells. This long term concern with politics has been developed in work on 'Britishness' in 'Metabolising Britishness: Critical patriotism' in ed Tony Wright Britishness, 2009, as well as the curating of several collections of essays in The Political Quarterly.

Her interest in the role of the media in conflict has been developed in Ed. (with Tim Allen), War, Ethnicity and the Media, Development Books, 1996, Ed. (with Tim Allen) The Media of Conflict. It was taken further in Carnage and the Media, developed in the work she has done as BBC historian on the BBC in Northern Ireland during the conflict. This led to being asked to deliver the 20th Century British History Memorial Lecture in 2012, and the resulting essay revealing, for the first time the background to the imposition of the Broadcasting Ban in 1987. She has opened Exhibition at the Belfast Museum, and run workshops on the BBC and reporting. In a wider way her essay Pragmatic Ethical Engineering: the BBC and the BBC World Service in May 2008, and forthcoming essay (2014) on the BBC and the Cuban Missile Crisis deal with reporting and the Cold War.

She is an editor of Political Quarterly, on the editorial Boards of 20th Century British History and Media History. She is on the editorial advisory board of Prospect. Recently she has received research awards from the AHRC, the BBC, The British Academy, the Leverhulme and the Axess Foundation. She is a founding member of several active media NGO's that hold the media to account, including Full Fact and the Reuters Institute. She has chaired and served on a variety of public enquiries, including recently the Broadcasting of Parliament and the use of images of children for the Home Office.

She was awarded the Thank-Offering to Britain Fellowship for her work on the BBC and the Holocaust. She speaks frequently at conferences and public meetings

In 2007 she became Chair of the Orwell Prize, taking over from Sir Bernard Crick. This has become Britain's premier prize for political writing, set standards and held journalism to account (as well as celebrating good journalism and writing) and has become under her stewardship a well known and respected force in journalism. In 2013, in collaboration with the Joseph Rowntree Trust it will announce a major new initiative. In 2014 it will announce a major appeal to rune.

She broadcasts regularly on historical, political and cultural matters.

She supervises PhD students across a wide range of political and cultural topics.

2016

The new Architecture of Communications (2016)
Seaton, J. 2016. The new Architecture of Communications. Journalism Studies. 17 (7), pp. 808-816.

2015

John Whittingdale should realise a strong BBC is in the national interest (2015)
Seaton, J. 2015. John Whittingdale should realise a strong BBC is in the national interest. Prospect.

2013

The BBC and the ‘hidden wiring’ of the British constitution: the imposition of the broadcasting ban in 1988 (2013)
Seaton, J. 2013. The BBC and the ‘hidden wiring’ of the British constitution: the imposition of the broadcasting ban in 1988. Twentieth Century British History. 24 (3), pp. 448-471.

2010

The defence and security review we need (2010)
Seaton, J. 2010. The defence and security review we need. Political Quarterly. 81 (3), pp. 363-364.
Why the BBC matters: memo to the new parliament about a unique British institution (2010)
Barnett, S. and Seaton, J. 2010. Why the BBC matters: memo to the new parliament about a unique British institution. Political Quarterly. 81 (3), pp. 327-332.

2009

In the name of the child (2009)
Seaton, J. 2009. In the name of the child. Political Quarterly. 80 (3), pp. 405-406.

2008

Journeys to truth: the BBC as a pragmatic ethical engineer at home and abroad (2008)
Seaton, J. 2008. Journeys to truth: the BBC as a pragmatic ethical engineer at home and abroad. Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television. 28 (4), pp. 441-451.

2005

Introduction (2005)
Seaton, J. 2005. Introduction. The Political Quarterly. 76 (1), pp. 1-13.

2003

Public, private and the media (2003)
Seaton, J. 2003. Public, private and the media. Political Quarterly. 74 (2), pp. 174-183.

2001

Watching the World: seeing, feeling — understanding? (2001)
Seaton, J. 2001. Watching the World: seeing, feeling — understanding? The Political Quarterly. 72 (4), p. 498–502.

2015

Pinkoes and traitors: the BBC and the nation 1974-1987 (2015)
Seaton, J. 2015. Pinkoes and traitors: the BBC and the nation 1974-1987. London Profile Books.

2010

Power without responsibility: press, broadcasting and the internet in Britain (7th edition) (2010)
Curran, J. and Seaton, J. 2010. Power without responsibility: press, broadcasting and the internet in Britain (7th edition). Abingdon Routledge.

2006

What can be done? making the media and politics better (2006)
Seaton, J. and Lloyd, J. (ed.) 2006. What can be done? making the media and politics better. Oxford Wiley.

2005

Carnage and the media: the making and breaking of news about violence (2005)
Seaton, J. 2005. Carnage and the media: the making and breaking of news about violence. London, UK Allen Lane.

2014

BBC in crisis.... (2014)
Seaton, J. 2014. BBC in crisis.... in: Mair, J., Tait, R. and Keeble, R.L. (ed.) Is the BBC in crisis? Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk Abramis Academic Publishing.
The BBC and the Cuban missile crisis: private worlds and public service (2014)
Seaton, J. and Hughes, R. 2014. The BBC and the Cuban missile crisis: private worlds and public service. in: Gioe, D., Scott, L. and Andrew, C. (ed.) An international history of the Cuban missile crisis: a 50-year retrospective Abingdon, Oxon Routledge. pp. 43-72
Asa and the epochs: the BBC, the historian, the institution and the archive (2014)
Seaton, J. 2014. Asa and the epochs: the BBC, the historian, the institution and the archive. in: Taylor Miles (ed.) The age of Asa: Lord Briggs, public life and history in Britain since 1945 London Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 184-210

2012

Afterword (2012)
Seaton, J. 2012. Afterword. in: Pimlott, B. (ed.) The Queen: Elizabeth II and the monarchy London Harper Press. pp. 705-718

2009

It was the BBC wot won it: winning the Peacock Report for the Corporation, or how the BBC responded to the Peacock Committee (2009)
Seaton, J. and McNicholas, A. 2009. It was the BBC wot won it: winning the Peacock Report for the Corporation, or how the BBC responded to the Peacock Committee. in: O'Malley, T. and Jones, J. (ed.) The Peacock Committee and UK Broadcasting policy Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 121-145
The BBC and metabolising Britishness: critical patriotism (2009)
Seaton, J. 2009. The BBC and metabolising Britishness: critical patriotism. in: Wright, T. and Gamble, A. (ed.) Britishness: perspectives on the British question Chichester Wiley. pp. 72-85

2008

A diversity of understanding: the increasing importance of major public service broadcasting institutions (2008)
Seaton, J. 2008. A diversity of understanding: the increasing importance of major public service broadcasting institutions. in: Gardam, T. and Levy, D. (ed.) The price of plurality: choice, diversity and broadcasting institutions in the digital age New York, USA Reuters. pp. 120-125
The BBC an imperfect beauty (2008)
Seaton, J. 2008. The BBC an imperfect beauty. in: Thomas, I. and Almqvist, K. (ed.) The future of public service broadcasting Stockholm, Sweden Ax:son Johnson Foundation. pp. 43-58

2007

Being objective: changing the world (2007)
Seaton, J. 2007. Being objective: changing the world. in: Sambrook, R. (ed.) Global voice: Britain's future in international broadcasting London Premium Publishing. pp. 40-56

2006

Nano-truths and the story (2006)
Seaton, J. 2006. Nano-truths and the story. in: Hobsbawm, J. (ed.) Where the truth lies: morality and trust in PR and journalism London Atlantic Books. pp. 181-191
Introduction (2006)
Seaton, J. 2006. Introduction. in: Seaton, J. and Lloyd, J. (ed.) What can be done? making the media and politics better Oxford Wiley. pp. 1-14
Little citizens: children, the media and politics (2006)
Seaton, J. 2006. Little citizens: children, the media and politics. in: Lloyd, J. and Seaton, J. (ed.) What can be done?: making the media and politics better Oxford, UK Blackwell Publishers. pp. 124-146

2004

Writing the history of broadcasting (2004)
Seaton, J. 2004. Writing the history of broadcasting. in: Cannadine, D. (ed.) History and the media Basingstoke, UK Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 141-160

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