Advancing Media Production Research
This one-day event will be an International Communication Association (ICA) Post-conference & International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) Pre-conference
University of Leeds - Monday, 24 June, 2013
IAMCR Co-sponsor: Media Production Analysis Working Group
ICA Co-sponsor: Journalism Studies Section
ECREA Co-sponsor: Media Industries and Cultural Production Working Group
As the internal workings of media institutions change beyond the recognition of early researchers, and as the challenges to understand those internal functions become ever greater, there is a need to review what new knowledge is emerging from production research, what gaps remain, what challenges to production research persist, and discuss how those might be overcome. Researchers in the UK might question if, in the post-Levenson Report age, media institutions will become more transparent and open to scrutiny, or less?
This conference is intended to address the issues raised in the process of researching within media, journalistic, and cultural organisations, primarily from the anthropological and sociological traditions of long-term exposure to production cultures through ethnographic observation or participant observation. Scholars like Tuchman and Born have provided insights into production cultures which have shaped contemporary understandings, but can such research keep pace with the rate of change in media production environments? And is the classic research setting of the newsroom or studio now too limiting; should our focus shift, for news, at least, to the journalistic “ecosystem,” as Anderson has argued?
In addition to panel sessions, the conference will feature discussions with prominent researchers of media production addressing:
- how theories of journalism and cultural production have been advanced and challenged by recent media production ethnography
- the ongoing challenge of access to media and cultural institutions for in-depth, critical research
- pressing questions for production research in the coming decade
The conference will also feature presentation of new production research in concurrent panels – a call for papers follows.
Expected speakers and participants include:
- Georgina Born (Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC)
- David Ryfe (Can Journalism Survive? An inside look at American Newsrooms)
- Philip Schlesinger (Putting 'Reality' Together)
- David Hesmondhalgh (The Cultural Industries)
Additional confirmed speakers and a preliminary programme will be posted to the conference website.
There is further the opportunity to attend a guest lecture by ICA past-president Professor Barbie Zelizer, organised separately, which takes place immediately after the event.
Call for Papers
We seek papers from researchers who have confronted the contemporary challenges of long term research within production environments. Papers should highlight the manner in which such research provided insights and contributions to theory which other methodologies could not; as well as highlight challenges such as access limitations or efforts to influence findings by the organisation involved. Papers should be distinct from any presented at ICA, IAMCR, or other venues. 300 word abstracts may be submitted via the conference website, below, by 28 January, 2013. Accepted authors will be notified by 28 February.
The event will be held on the campus of the University of Leeds, which is easily accessible by train, road or air from London; and air/sea from Dublin. Leeds provides an ideal base from which to explore the north of England between conferences. Details of the venue and cost, and advice on travel, are available at the conference website:
Chris Paterson and the University of Leeds Institute of Communications Studies