Media Policy and Industries Group
The Media Policy and Industries Group is concerned with the critical analysis of media policy, regulation, political communications, the creative industries, journalism and issues connected with global media and democracy. It is led by Steven Barnett, Maria Michalis and Jeanette Steemers.
Historically the Group was concerned with UK media, but over the past decade its themes and geographical reach have grown. The launch in 2005 of the journal Global Media and Communication, co-edited by Daya Thussu, and the accompanying Internationalising Media Studies conference in 2006, pulled different geographic strands together in addressing relations between power, economics and politics in a changing global environment. This approach has continued with the publication of Thussu’s edited volume Internationalising Media Studies in 2009; conferences on Global Media and the ‘War on Terror’ (2010, with Goldsmiths) and China’s Soft Power (2010); and an annual Journalism Conference, now in its 5th year, in association with the British Journalism Review, culminating in the Charles Wheeler Award for Broadcast Journalism, initiated by the University.
European issues were addressed in the conferences Is the Public Interest under Threat? (CAMRI/ECREA) in October 2009 and Public Service Media After the Recession (September 2010), the fifth bi-annual RIPE (Re-Visionary Interpretations of the Public Enterprise) conference, organised in partnership with the BBC and Ofcom. In June 2012 the Group hosted two ICA pre-conferences in London: Global Communications and National Policies with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation, Queensland University of Technology; and the BRICS Nations: Between National Identity and Global Cultural Citizenship with Georgia State University, USA and Renmin University, China.
The Group’s co-director Steven Barnett has led research on British media policy, as reflected in his role as a Specialist Advisor to several inquiries by the House of Lords Select Committee on Communications and his evidence to the Leveson Inquiry. His research on UK television news and media ownership has been funded by the Leverhulme Trust and the AHRC.
In 2013/14 he is leading an AHRC research fellowship project aimed at addressing media plurality and ownership policy concerns. The project, which will host a series of round table events with leading stakeholders, is looking at issues including the control and measurement of media plurality and the potential for democratic contribution by hyperlocal and community sites and charitable journalism initiatives.
A dedicated website at mediaplurality.com is designed as a forum for discussion about media plurality amongst regulators, policy makers and scholars, and a public space for anyone to showcase their own research, papers, written submissions or any other contribution to the debate.
Other work has included policy research on Europe by Maria Michalis, Jeanette Steemers, and Alessandro D’Arma; on China, by Xin Xin; on the Arab world, by Naomi Sakr; and on emerging economies, particularly Daya Thussu’s work on India. Expertise from AHRC funded work on the production ecology of preschool TV in Britain by Jeanette Steemers has been extended to the international realm, with conferences on ‘Children’s and Young People’s Media in Africa’ (2011) and ‘Children’s TV in the Arab World’ (2010). In 2012, Sakr, Steemers and Tabry secured a 3-year AHRC grant on ‘Orientations in the Development of Pan-Arab Television for Children’, which began in February 2013, combining methods geared to research on industries, audiences and texts. The China Media Centre uses industry and policy expertise to train visiting Chinese journalists and communicators and to consult for Chinese and UK organisations.