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Researcher becomes first non-North American winner of media award

1 July 2011

David Hendy, a media historian in the School of Media, Arts & Design at the University of Westminster, has won an international prize for ‘outstanding journalism’ as a result of a BBC Radio 3 series he wrote and presented.

The James W. Carey Award was announced in a ceremony at the University of Alberta, Canada, on 25 June. Dr Hendy received the prize in recognition of Rewiring the Mind, a series of five essays which explored the way in which modern media have shaped mental life since 1900, broadcast on Radio 3 in June 2010 and repeated last April.

It is the first time the award, which was granted by the Media Ecology Association (MEA), based in Toronto and New York, has been given to anyone outside North America. Previous winners include Thomas de Zengotita, a contributing editor at Harper’s Magazine and the author of Mediated, Marvin Kitman, the veteran media critic on the American television series Newsday, and Philip Marchand, the author and celebrated book critic of the Toronto Star.

The MEA promotes the study and public discussion of the ways in which media technologies shape human society and behaviour. The James W. Carey Award, named after the leading American communications scholar and Professor of Journalism at Columbia University who died in 2006, is specifically for work which engages the public with media ecology perspectives.

The radio series, which was produced by Matt Thompson for Rockethouse Productions, was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 for its regular evening slot, The Essay. It was featured on BBC Radio 4’s Pick of the Week programme, and received favourable reviews in the Daily Telegraph, Scotsman, and Spectator. The opening episode was also described by the Guardian’s arts editor Andy Dickson as ‘super-thoughtful… best 15 minutes of radio for ages’. Listeners in North America heard the series on the BBC iPlayer, and it was even chosen as the main topic of debate by a bookshop reading group in Indiana.

David Hendy said he was ‘thrilled’ to get the award: “I was particularly pleased since it’s based on a wider research project I’m still working on, and is a sign of real public interest in media history”.

To speak to Dr Hendy, please contact:

Sarah Evans-Toyne, Melanie Bradley or Lianne Robinson at Broadgate Mainland

Email: [email protected]

Telephone: +44(0) 20 7726 6111

Further information about Dr Hendy’s current and future projects:

Dr Hendy, whose last book, Life on Air: a History of Radio Four (Oxford, 2007) won the Longmans-History Today Book of the Year Award, is about to begin a two-year Leverhulme Research Fellowship, which will let him complete Media and the Making of the Modern Mind, a book to be published by Oxford University Press in 2014. He is also writing a book called Public Service Broadcasting, to be published next year by Palgrave Macmillan. In the School of Media, Arts & Design at the University of Westminster, he is a member of CAMRI (the Communication and Media Research Institute), and teaches courses on media history and sound.

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