next day
all days

View: session overviewtalk overview

12:00-13:00 Session 4B: FILM SCREENING: RACING THE KING TIDE – An immersive documentary

Directed by Chris Chadwick

In October 2013, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the province of Bohol, Philippines, inducing land subsidence to some of its small island communities. Now, the islands of Batasan, Pangapasan, Ubay and Bilangbilangan of the Municipality of Tubigon experience partial or complete flooding even during normal spring tides.

This immersive documentary, viewable on an Oculus headset, places the audience on these islands and face-to-face with these island communities, confronted with a hundred years’ worth of sea level rise.

Duration: 5 minutes 30 seconds

Location: W008
13:00-14:30 Session 5A: Industry Voices and Equalities
Location: W001
Connecting Policies and Problems: A Framework for Gender Equity Analysis in the Screen Industry

ABSTRACT. The past decade has seen a plethora of policies to improve gender equity, diversity and inclusion in the global screen and media industries (e.g. Liddy, 2020). These policies differ in how they understand ‘the problem’ – from numerical under-representation of women to stereotypical perceptions of which genders are suitable for which roles. The proposed interventions and ‘solutions’ also vary, as do the rationales for action and levels of enforceability.

What is missing from the current conversation is systematic analysis and comparison of policy interventions for gender equity, diversity and inclusion. Our paper introduces a newly developed Policy Analysis Framework designed to undertake those tasks.

Building on policy studies (Bacchi et al., 2012), screen and media research and using gender equity policies as a specific example, the Policy Analysis Framework has been developed to analyse how policies understand the problem and how they propose to address it. The Framework can also function as a tool for designing new policies. Its modular build makes it applicable to policies on equity, diversity and inclusion across the media industries.

The paper discusses the Framework and its use for critically interrogating policy interventions aimed at structural issues of equity in the screen and media industries.

Obstacles and Opportunities for Women in Journalism: A Scottish case study

ABSTRACT. The media and communication industries media are a key area of women’s continuing inequality in Scotland. Though this has been an area which has been hitherto under-researched, there is a growing body of work which has focused on women’s continuing marginalisation in the media, such as those working in sports media (Jenkin 2020), and the representation and participation of women with disabilities (Darke 2018) and women of colour (Boyle, House and Yaqoob 2021). Contributing to this is recent research prepared for Engender, Scotland’s feminist policy and advocacy organisation, and the Gender Equal Media Scotland project, which seeks to advance gender equality in Scottish media and cultural industries in Scotland. The aim of this research was to provide new research on the intersectional obstacles to women’s participation in Scottish media, creative and cultural industries; mechanisms and initiatives that have been successful in improving access and representation of different groups of women in the sector; as well as women’s experiences of the effectiveness (or not) of these measures. This presentation will focus on a component of this research, discussing the findings of an in-depth qualitative case study of women’s experiences in journalism in Scotland, drawn from interviews with different groups of women working across this sector.

'A better future': People power and collective action spaces in global pioneer journalism

ABSTRACT. Media convergence has challenged journalism’s authority as a facilitator of knowledge and led to calls to reimagine its epistemic practices vis-à-vis increasingly (inter)active publics (Broersma, 2013; Callison & Young, 2019; Carlson, 2017; Ekström & Westlund, 2019; Steinke & Belair-Gagnon, 2020; Wahl-Jorgensen, 2019). Pioneer journalists (Hepp & Loosen, 2021) have made pronounced efforts in this vein in their mission to “bring about media-related change” (Hepp, 2016, p. 927).

This paper examines how pioneer journalists reimagine journalistic epistemologies through their metadiscourses, and traces how pioneering ideas about journalism are embodied in knowledge production praxis in Pakistan, Romania, Malaysia, and the UK. The multi-method study examines 1) pioneer journalist metadiscourses related to the epistemic role of journalism, found in 20 pioneer organisations’ manifestos and web pages; and 2) how metadiscourses translate into storytelling practices, as explicated from semi-structured interviews with 30 pioneer journalism producers from four digital journalism startups – The Current, DoR, New Naratif, and Bureau Local.

Findings suggest that pioneer journalists “imagine” their epistemic praxis as more “relational” and “meaningful”, and through their metadiscourses and storytelling practices, create self-contained spaces of collective action, in which producers, audiences and the public play an equally important role in the negotiation of representations of reality. Furthermore, pioneer journalists go beyond their purely epistemic role and adopt a semi-political role, seeking to act upon their visions of “a better future” (Rappler). The public are invited to “join the coalition” (Bureau Local), and, together, as an imagined collective, to empower communities, make a difference, and spark social change.

References Broersma, M. (2013). A refractured paradigm. In C. Peters & M. Broersma (eds.) Rethinking Journalism: Trust and participation in a transformed news landscape (pp.28-44). Abingdon: Routledge. Callison, C., & Young M.-L. (2019). Reckoning: Journalism’s limits and possibilities. Oxford University Press. Carlson, M. (2017). Journalistic authority: Legitimating news in the digital era. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. Ekström, M., & Westlund, O. (2019). Epistemology and journalism. In: Örnebring, H (ed.) Oxford Encyclopedia of Journalism Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hepp, A. (2016). Pioneer communities: collective actors in deep mediatisation. Media, Culture & Society, 38(6), 918–933. Hepp, A., & Loosen, W. (2021). Pioneer journalism: Conceptualizing the role of pioneer journalists and pioneer communities in the organizational re-figuration of journalism. Journalism, 22(3), 577–595. Steinke, A. & Belair-Gagnon, V. (2020). “I Know It When I See It”: Constructing Emotion and Emotional Labor in Social Justice News. Mass Communication and Society, 23(5), 608-627. Wahl-Jorgensen, K. (2019). Emotions, Media and Politics. Cambridge, UK: Polity.

Industry Voices

ABSTRACT. This abstract pertains to a paper on and screening of the research-led film 'Industry Voices'. The extended cut (22 minutes) centres lived experience and addresses inequalities and intersectional identities in the UK screen industries. It features key contributors from across England and Wales including Amazon commissioner, Fozia Khan; radio presenter, Sideman; Head of the Writers' Guild for GB, Lisa Holdsworth; and Sundance Winning film director, Sean McAllister, each reflecting on professional barriers to opportunity, and discrimination, as well as their hopes for the future of the UK screen industries.

The paper reflects on the practice of making the research-led film series, and asks how we can move toward a more inclusive future.

The 'Industry Voices' film series (2021) was funded by Research England and created by Beth Johnson (formerly EDI lead of Screen Industries Growth Network) in collaboration with Candour Productions and screen industry professionals across the UK.

13:00-14:30 Session 5B: Digital Activism and Political Agency
Location: W002
Chinese young people and a ‘structure of feeling’: an exploration of the internet meme of ‘lying flat’

ABSTRACT. In this paper, I analyse the sentiment of anxiety and powerlessness expressed through internet memes by young Chinese adults who are struggling with work and social challenges. I focus on the "lying flat" meme as an example of this expression, which articulates a refusal of success criteria and a restrictive 'hopeful' narrative imposed by modern Chinese society, including those of the state. With the notion of Raymond Williams's "structure of feeling" in mind, I conducted in-depth interviews with young Chinese people to uncover the origin and cultural context of these memes. that connect the everyday experiences of young Chinese people to the contemporary macro arrangements in their society. I argue that memes are a form of political agency, allowing young people to express collective counter-hegemonic sensibilities - e.g., of hopelessness, helplessness, and pessimism - in a way that helps to avoid punitive action from the government. I also suggest a form of ‘resigned activism’ is informing the structure of feeling evident in this everyday cultural text production and consumption.

Overcoming neoliberal postfeminist sensibilities: An untapped potential for gender activism in a feminised public relations occupation in Slovenia

ABSTRACT. Gender is one of the major axes of structural inequalities that has played a significant yet underrecognised role in the feminised public relations occupation. Unlike other feminised occupations, public relations as a communicative activity has a strategic activism potential to intervene in challenging gendered regimes of injustice at the organisational, occupational and societal levels. The purpose of the study is to explore why this potential often remains unrealised, drawing on 32 feminist interviews with women public relations professionals in Slovenia, which ranks at the top of gender equality indexes globally and – in contrast to the UK, US and Australia – observes female dominance in public relations leadership. This is a Pyrrhic victory as it strengthens postfeminist neoliberal sensibilities. Several participants consider gender inequalities as unproblematic and hold adverse attitudes towards feminism, even though their narratives, often perceived as idiosyncratic, reveal collective experiences of discrimination in employment, devaluation of female work, gendered stereotypes, disproportionate care responsibilities, sexism, harassment, and symbolic violence in exclusion from male-dominated circles of power. In the absence of a collective feminist movement and its political power, the participants lack conceptual repertoire to problematise these structural inequalities and shift responsibility to individual women and their ‘choices’ instead. They are often complicit in perpetuating gender inequalities, including in their promotional communication. Conclusions outline directions on how to overcome these neoliberal postfeminist sensibilities and engage in a collective activism to systematically recognise and challenge gender inequalities at the level of the occupation and society, including interventions in media and public discourses.


ABSTRACT. A central theme in communication studies has been that of witnessing (Ellis, 2000; Zelizer, 2007; Frosh, 2009), particularly in relation to ‘distant suffering’ (Chouliaraki, 2006). The underlying position of audience as witness has been complicated by three things: mobile technologies allowing for a form of ‘participatory witnessing’ (Allan, 2013; Andén-Papadopoulos, 2014; Singer et al, 2009); broader shifts in the presentation of activism and humanitarianism as popular culture (Nash, 2008; Banat-Weiser & Mukherjee, 2012); and audience engagement with these texts embracing forms of participatory culture and undergoing processes of ‘fanization’ (Sandvoss, 2013; Gray, 2017). In an era of networked, digital participation, audiences can become active participants in complex and often contradictory ways.

This paper summarizes, discusses, and develops potential positions that might be occupied. 1) Auxiliaries & volunteers: the donation of labour and time in response to things like natural disasters via things like crisis mapping (Cox et al, 2018). 2) Accomplices and inciters: encouragement, support and cheerleading of things like shootings and terrorism before, during and after the event (Macklin, 2019). 3) Investigators: groups of fan-like communities who participate in the ‘web sleuthing’ of crimes and misdemeanours (Yardley et al, 2018). 4) Vigilantism: attempts to identify, locate, shame, and/or discipline an individual for perceived wrongdoing (Trottier et al, 2017). These positions clearly move away from the moral position of ‘witness’, participation creates a fundamentally different moral relationship between text and audience. Forms of participatory, ‘spreadable’ complicity, I argue, reinforce wider hegemonies relating to responsibilization.

13:00-14:30 Session 5C: The Pandemic: Before and After
Location: W004
Cosy Games, Agency, and Pandemic Play

ABSTRACT. Not characterized by a hypermasculine drive to successfully overcome challenges, nor by the inessentiality of player action typical of idle games, cosy games sit somewhere in the middle. This paper understands cosiness as a matter of degrees (Cook 2018) that games in the cosy genre such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Nintendo 2020) have in abundance, and proposes the concept of cosy agency to productively examine the aesthetics of such games. Drawing on research around hobbies, gardening, and pets in sociology and cultural studies (Dale 2017; Raisborough 2011; Taylor 2008), the paper examines the extent to which cosy games can be thought of as offering escapism from, or even resistance to, anxieties caused by neoliberal ideology underpinning the late-capitalist apparatus championing productivity, progress, and quantifiable result generation (Bolstanki & Chapello 2006). In line with recent work on games and emotions (Anable 2018; Cole & Gillies 2021), I argue that cosy games encourage affective engagement that helps coping with contemporary anxieties in everyday life due to comforting repetitive tasks that create a steady routine, a comparative lack of time-critical challenges creating a sense of safety, the abundance rather than scarcity of resources, and soothing audiovisual aesthetics. Doing so, on the one hand, sheds light on the kinds of agencies designing for cosiness can support or restrain; and on the other hand, speaks to why there seems to be a recent increase in the genre’s visibility especially since the COVID-19 pandemic (Campbell 2022), thereby speaking to the conference theme of media futures.

Works Cited: Anable, A. 2018. Playing with Feelings: Video Games and Affect. Minneapolis; London: University of Minnesota Press. Bolstanki, L. and Chapello, E. 2006. The New Spirit of Capitalism. London: Verso. Campbell, C. 2022. “What Are Cozy games, and What Makes Them Cozy?” Cole, T. and Gillies, M. 2021. “Thinking and Doing: Challenge, Agency, and the Eudaimonic Experience in Video Games.” Games and Culture. 16 (2): 187–207. Cook, D. 2018. Cozy Games. Lostgarden, 24 January. Dale, J. P. 2017. “The Appeal of the Cute Object: Desire, Domestication, and Agency.” In The Aesthetics and Affects of Cuteness, edited by J. P. Dale, J. Goggin, J. Leyda, A. P. McIntyre, and D. Negra, 35–74. London: Routledge. Nintendo. 2020. Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Nintendo Switch. Nintendo. Raisborough, J. 2011. Lifestyle Media and the Formation of the Self. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Taylor, L. 2008. A Taste for Gardening: Classed and Gendered Practices. London: Routledge.

The Impact of Digital Messaging on Waste Management and Plastic Pollution in Low-income Coastal Communities in Indonesia

ABSTRACT. As one of the top 5 countries with the largest population, Indonesia is the second largest contributor to plastic waste in the world. With the coastal population of 187.2 million, they produces 3.22 million tons of unmanaged plastic waste annually. Plastic existed in Indonesia since the middle of the twentieth century but pollution in Indonesia is higher than in other countries. This is cause for concern as developed countries also contributing their plastic waste to this country. Not only in the cities, plastic waste is also problem in the oceans, they are mostly in the form of particles (micro plastics). Non-environmentally friendly use of plastic products causes various serious environmental problems. It can damages human health, plastic waste also endangering the lives of animals , and systematically damages the environment. If not managed well, this type of waste pollution will be very dangerous for earth’s continuance. In the long run, humans may eventually be affected. Fish or sea creatures that have ingested microplastic could be carriers of poison, which in turn could be passed onto humans who consume them. The Covid-19 pandemic that has been going on for almost 2 years has caused changes in people's behaviour that may indirectly lead to increase in plastic waste. Online shopping is currently an interesting phenomenon in Indonesia , data shows that there has been a sharp rise in the number of online consumers, especially during the pandemic. The rise of online shopping volumes since the covid-19 pandemic contributed to an increase in the amount of plastic waste, 96 percent of online shopping packages contains much plastic, from the packaging, tape, bubble wrap and so on. Public awareness on the impact of plastic pollution and waste management is very limited, especially in low-income coastal communities in Indonesia, and in dire need for education through media literacy. This research aims to investigate whether the use of digital messaging could change plastic waste management and pollution behaviours of behaviour of women in low-income coastal communities in Indonesia.

13:00-14:30 Session 5D: Industry Challenges
Location: W009
Self-shooting and Multiskilling: Challenges of occupational convergence in factual television production

ABSTRACT. In the last two decades, economic and technological developments have rearranged traditional work practices in the television industries and created new job roles. This paper focuses on the impact of recent shifts in the division of labour for TV practitioners and investigates how the convergence of occupational roles affects the working conditions in factual television production. In particular, this paper presents initial results of a study that investigates multiskilling demands among workers who produce factual programmes and capture footage on location.

As “self-shooters” these practitioners are expected to do the work of what were previously separate jobs – including camera, sound recordist, director, and producer – all by themselves and often at the same time. Previous work in critical cultural labour studies has highlighted the pressures of excessive workloads and insecurity that are common in British television work. Yet, this occupational convergence creates additional systemic challenges for workers with implications for physical and mental health as well as for the textual quality of the programmes they produce.

Based on qualitative interviews with British self-shooters working in factual programming, this presentation explores the challenges and the resulting risks and coping strategies within this particular work role. It highlights the impact on individuals in terms of career development, working conditions, creative autonomy and personal health and stresses the importance of inter-departmental relationships – in particular between production office, postproduction and on-location workers – in determining the nature and extent of this impact.

Gaps and mismatches: Understanding the creative skills challenge in UK regions

ABSTRACT. Creative industries are increasingly a part of the success stories in regions of the UK outside London and the South-East. However, growth in regional creative clusters has been stimied by ongoing issues of skills shortages and mismatches. Despite a substantial body of research identifying skills shortages at national level (BFI Skills Review, ScreenSkills), more still needs to be done to understand the nuances of these shortages at the regional and sub-sectoral level, removing a key barrier to growth in regional economies.

The paper compares two regions, The Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) and the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), focusing on two sub-sectors of screen production TV & Film, and Video game development. The identified sectors are key drivers of growth for their respective regional economies, but are facing challenges to find appropiately skilled workers. Responsibility for addressing these issues is complex, with a mix of industry, education and government at local and national level holding different levers. The research used interviews with stakeholders in both regions across the spectrum of industry, policy and education to evaluate the challenges facing the growth of the regional creative clusters. The research finds that there are both regional and sectoral differences that required nuanced policy interventions, and highlights the importance of a strong regional identity, the benefits derived from a recognition and prioritising of regional creative industries as well as a sense of fragility around creative industries’ presence in the UK’s regions, and the key roles universities in those regions can play in ensuring the greatest potential for sustainable future growth.

The great divide between acts of journalistic discovery and acts of metric confirmation in digital news production.

ABSTRACT. Is the value of journalism lost in translation between news workers and analytic systems? This digital newsroom research explores the intersections between media workers, metrics, and platforms. Through a course of newsroom ethnography and interviews in Australia, I observed how complex feedback metrics were shaped, understood and interpreted by news workers and how metric meanings shaped news content outputs. Following on from the newsroom ethnographies of Anderson (2010; 2013), Christin, (2020) and Petre, (2015; 2021), while drawing upon the conceptual work of authors such as Latour (2005), Mumford (1934), Ong (1982), Waisbord (2013) and Coddington (2015), I argue that journalism’s moral imperative – it’s authentic value – is in its ambition to improve community life and life quality, while metrics are firmly embedded in notions of economic and financial quantity. Thus, the bombardment of analytics in digital newsrooms results in two distinct forms of news production: authentic acts of journalistic discovery which are morally motivated; and manufactured acts of metric confirmation, where media workers produce content specifically to serve and service algorithmic recommenders, metric feedback systems and key performance benchmarks. The latter has a distinct purpose – to inflate metrics where a deeper investment in relevant local journalism may not deliver the numbers, and keep bosses at bay. The case studies highlighted in this work reveal how metrics apply pressure on journalists to perform business functions ahead of journalistic ambitions, and how the interpretation of metric meanings confuse journalistic goals, values and outcomes.

13:00-14:30 Session 5E: Privacy and the Big Data
Location: W003
Contending with media safety and privacy in tackling global terrorism in Africa

ABSTRACT. Both cases of the infamous abduction of scores of schoolchildren in Nigeria and the Michigan school shooting in the United States of America indicate that the global war on terror is far from being won. The overthrow of despotic regimes like Saddam Hussein and the Muammar Gaddafi in Iraq and Libya respectively, stirred the hornet's nest leading to the Arab spring, and later, unleashing terror on a world-wide scale. Bagged by Salafist-jihadi theocracy, the Islamic State and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb poses both offline and online threats to publics. Political communication and media security experts are alarmed at the level which terror-groups exploit social media as a tool for war. Beyond being threats to peace and development, in Sub-Saharan Africa, terrorists violate media safety and privacy of private and public servants thus destabilising governments. This qualitative study employs critical discuss analysis to investigate how international terrorists’ organisations defy challenges such as data-deficit and robust internet infrastructure to mentor their ilk such as Islamic State of West Africa, Ansaru and Boko Haram which are ravaging north-eastern Nigeria - an area neighbouring Niger, Chad and Cameroun. The paper aspires to recommend adhering to international safety protocols on the protection of people’s right to media safety and privacy even as state and regional governments wag the war on terror.

Investigating the Impact of Online Harms Experienced by Sports Journalists in the UK and Ireland.

ABSTRACT. This paper explores sports journalists’ experiences of online harms in the UK and Ireland. Academic and wider media attention regarding online harms has tended to focus on spheres including sport, politics and music. However, the experience of journalists, and particularly sports journalists, has been overlooked within academia. Wolfe (2019) suggests that because the journalism industry is changing, journalists are now increasingly expected to have a visible online presence. Yet, as journalists move into the online public eye, they have become targets of harm. As Isbister et al (2018) states, public figures, including journalists, receive a disproportionately large volume of online abuse. The extent of this abuse is now starting to be understood as the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) reported that 51% of those surveyed had experienced online abuse within the previous year while 78% noted that abuse and harassment had become part of the job. While previous studies have quantified abuse more generally, this paper uses qualitative approaches to critically explore and understand sports journalists lived experiences surrounding online harms. Specifically, we will examine the impact that online harms have on sports journalists both personally and professionally. Drawing on 20 semi-structured interviews with sports journalists, we will consider: triggers and types of online harms; how online harms affects mental health, working culture and practice; possible coping strategies to minimise its impact; institutional support, or lack of; and a series of recommendations aimed at supporting and protecting sports journalists.

Data Ecologies: Connectivity and the Moral Limits of Open Data as Commons

ABSTRACT. Data Ecologies describes the relationships between data and humans, culture, society, and the natural environment. It encompasses how people, as individuals and within communities, generate and consume data. There are complex reciprocal relationships between people and technology as both generators and consumers of data: decisions by individuals, organisations and states are driven by data that are generated by the behaviours and practices of those same bodies, and the values that they uphold. In the same way that it is vital for us to understand how the flow of money affects the economy, or how carbon dioxide generation affects weather systems, it is vital that we understand how the flow of data affects society.

As explored by the Data Commons Scotland project (University of Stirling 2019-22), the impacts of digitisation, datafication, and automation of processes and decision-making, present ethical problems associated with the notion of connectivity. One ethical response is to develop accountable and responsible ways of working with data, through what has described as “Agential Realism” (Ruppert 2015). That is to say, agency considered as a relationship and not as something that a person “has” with “objects” emerging through particular intra-actions.

Considering Data as Commons – a resource held in common, for the benefit of all – has at its roots an opening up, democratising and making transparent, the inequitable effects of history upon the circulation of knowledge and the flow of information. In this paper, we outline our vision of Data Ecologies as a democratising model for the future connectivity and communications.

13:00-14:30 Session 5F: Art, Transgression, and the Avant-Garde
Location: W010A

ABSTRACT. Contemporary capitalism has reached a stage in which production can be achieved through digital labor and the cognitive and affective are commodified. Capitalism is interested in the colonization of our minds, affects, and desires, and thus positivist brain-centered neuroscience seems to be the perfect field for creating ideas, tools and methods that naturalize contemporary capitalism’s ideology.

What kinds of formal- aesthetic gestures might be used under contemporary capitalism to poetically destroy the ideological colonization of our minds, affects and desires? How can montage, understood as a generative and critical embodied praxis, be expanded in the realm of the post-cinematic?

I examine how the entanglement between contemporary capitalism and other oppressive ideologies, such as white supremacy, positivist neurosciences and digital networked technologies, undergirds so-called neuroculture. I argue that neuroculture exerts its underlying ideology through images, and conditions specific formal-aesthetic characteristics such as high quality, smoothness, operationality, modulation, fluidity and the manipulative microtemporality. What I call neuro-avantgarde finds itself in the altered image, appropriating technologies of vision by dismissing their ontological specificity: the digital abject, the glitchy, the low resolution and the extremely slow. Neuro-avantgarde is deeply connected to technology, yet it is also in constant friction with the technological tools used to create neuro-avantgarde works. Neuro- avantgarde is at its height when technology fails and when it can create so-called “inflection points” that disturb, invert, or defy the “cognitive assemblage” of human and non-human elements on a systematic level.

As a project, Neuro-Avantgarde is an embodied theory. It’s custom-built, interactive web-interface invites participants to explore the interplay between theory and practice, following the idea of montage. The presentation will entail a showcase of the website and focus on both conceptual and design processes.

Please use Firefox and enter full screen for the correct experience.

"Is Female-oriented just a lie?": Analysis of slash/yaoi/danmei reading preferences

ABSTRACT. Slash, Yaoi and Danmei are three terms that means the same thing: male and male romantic story in western, Japan and China respectively. Nowadays the Internet has made the widespread access to popular culture possible, as a result, slash, yaoi, and Danmei's umbrella genre may be the most significant erotic subculture created by and for women. From television to film characters, sporing heroes to pop stars, their homoerotic interpretation always be regarded as a selling point all around the world. This article addresses the research question: Is this a completely progressive popular culture from the standpoint of feminism and social movements? This article will evaluate various reading preference of slash, yaoi and Danmei through textual analysis. My research results support my thematic analysis that yaoi and danmei fans frequently read with a heteronomative frame and, slash fans also object to works of gay male slashers appeared in a gay male print magazine. Even the same heteronormative frame, based on different social structure and system, have different patterns in Japan and China.

13:00-14:30 Session 5G: Media and the Environment
Location: W010B
The Climate Emergency and Future Content on UK Television: Carrot or Stick Time?

ABSTRACT. This paper explores two approaches that academia could take to help the UK TV industry embed more climate content in its outputs. The UK TV industry has made impressive strides in measuring and reducing its carbon footprints (McWhirter, 2022). This is in large part thanks to the BAFTA-chaired ‘albert’ ( initiative with directorate involvement from organisations such as the BBC and Netflix where programmes seek positive CO2e reductions and certification. In recent years emphasis has switched focus to what can be achieved editorially to embed climate content in factual entertainment to high-end TV (HETV). Toolkits and guides for scriptwriters and creators are growing – including from albert – to help nudge behaviour change. This paper amalgamates some of these resources and posits a Climate Mise en Scene concept for HETV: an academically informed endeavour, drawing from some research areas around communicating climate science. For example, from Stoknes’ (2015) five barriers to effective climate communication. However, is such an initiative – that builds on existing industry-focused work – enough to inspire creatives to launch new ideas or alter existing ones? If the meta-aim is to inspire audiences for the journey to Net Zero, then a Climate Mise en Scene only adds to the growing ‘carrot’ toolkits. Therefore, perhaps the efforts of academia are better placed in arguing for a tougher ‘stick’ approach. Firstly, with enhanced industry actions. Given albert’s non-scoring editorial question in their certification process already asks how climate has been considered: How far could that approach be pushed towards mandatory requirements? Or, secondly and more controversially, are stronger regulations and media policies now required?

How to interview a river: Transcending anthropocentricity in environmental journalism
PRESENTER: Bridget Backhaus

ABSTRACT. This paper challenges anthropocentric, hegemonic practices underpinning conventional environmental journalism practice, which routinely silence or filter of the ‘voices of the environment’ – the more-than-human soundscape that is increasing drowned out by development – in favour of the human voice as the primary vehicle for conveying witness and testimony. As such, this paper argues for a greater emphasis on visual and acoustic methods as primary sources of information collection in environmental journalism, as opposed to the conventional use of images and sounds as scene-setting media artifacts and accoutrements in interview-based journalism. This argument is developed by drawing on acoustic and visual data collected through current research that is exploring the impacts of a mega-dam project that has inundated large stretches of the riparian landscape along the Thoubal River in Manipur, India. In doing so, the paper demonstrates information-gathering methodologies that decentre the human voice as the vehicle for authoritative testimony on the impacts of such development projects. The paper shows that such approaches to journalism can incorporate the plurality and diversity of interests and impacts – of human and non-human beings and entities – needed to effectively report on the complex nexus between the infrastructural interventions and the human and non-human experiences of loss and displacement that are inherent in large-scale infrastructural development projects. This paper also posits that such methods can also convey affects, and not merely information, to media audiences, thereby achieving the dual function of representing and mediating non-human ‘perspectives’ of environmental destruction, and facilitating affects that lie beyond linguistic/verbal representation.

Making (micro)plastics news: Reflections on media storytelling, policy, and publics

ABSTRACT. Scientific research into microplastics is making news internationally and the challenge of plastic waste and pollution in our oceans is high on the global policy agenda (Eriksen et al. 2014). Media are considered to have played a significant role in bringing this issue firmly into the public domain. We know from decades of previous research into global threats and environmental crises that media can help constitute public issues (Cottle, 2009; Hansen, 2018) and David Attenborough’s BBC documentary series ‘Blue Planet II’ (2017) is considered a watershed moment in warning audiences of the quantities of plastics in our oceans. This media event was described by the Head of the UN Environment Programme, Erik Solheim, as having “helped spur a wave of action” internationally although there is to date no evidence that it catalysed widespread sustained behaviour change, Blue Planet II is considered a ‘game changer’ in terms of public discourse and the plastics policy agenda. Media images of charismatic mammals (culturally familiar species with symbolic value such as whales or dolphins) ingesting or entangled in plastic waste have become a prominent symbol of the plastic pollution crisis. Environmental charities and activists use these ‘flagship’ images to inspire emotional engagement, raise public awareness and catalyse changes in behaviour (Macdonald et al. 2015). As Borowy (2019) notes, the problem of plastic waste is more than aesthetic and there are warnings of an estimated minimum of 5.25 trillion plastic particles weighing nearly 269,000 tons in the world’s oceans (Eriksen et al.,2014). Microplastics, tiny particles under 5 mm in length are known to be present in air, soil and sediment, freshwaters, seas, oceans, plants, animals and originate from plastic products, textiles, industry, agriculture and general waste (SAPEA, 2019). Environmental scientists have highlighted the heterogeneity of microplastics (diverse molecules, different structures, sizes, shapes, surfaces, colours and a multitude of sources) Hartmann et al. (2019) and there have been calls to understand “microplastics” as a diverse suite of contaminants (Rochman et al., 2019). The discovery of microplastics in the marine food chain has led to concerns for human consumption of seafood although adverse effects on human health is “limited, difficult to assess and still controversial” (Barboza et al., 2018). Microplastics have recently been identified in the atmosphere (Liss, 2020) and an editorial in Nature Nanotechnology (2019) raised concerns about the environmental impact of nanoplastics - smaller than a few micrometres – which can penetrate tissues more easily. To date there is no scientific consensus on the absolute risk to the environment and human health posed by microplastics (and nanoplastics) though “the presence of plastic debris in the biosphere is unwanted from an aesthetic, ethical, economic, and ecological point of view” (Koelmans et al., 2017). This paper reflects on media framing of plastic pollution and public engagement with the topic as well as some key challenges for scientists and policy makers. The paper draws on empirical research conducted with UK audiences as well as the author’s experiences as a member of the Science Advice for Policy by European Academies (SAPEA) working group for microplastics. The paper thus reflects on microplastics as a useful case study through which to explore the interplay of power dynamics between media and the scientific, public and policy communities

15:00-16:30 Session 7A: Representing Lived Experience
Location: W001
Public Discourses and Children’s Voices: from Liushou Children’s Perspective to understand Labelling and Pathological Discourses

ABSTRACT. In past decades, children whose parents migrated but they stay in their hometowns in China tend to be seen as a social problem. They are widely named liushou children by public media. In public media reports, these children are often associated with many negative descriptions, such as depression, loneliness, misery, poverty, and deviant youth. As a result, shaped by such powerful discourses, ‘liushou children’ has become a negative label, and these groups are miserable, which has become commonsense in China. However ironically, although these children are the core of such narratives, their voices and valuable insights are often overlooked by current public media and research. Considering these children are not bystanders of such labelling processes and public discourses, by interviewing 25 liushou children in Sichuan Province, this research provides them with opportunities to critically discuss how public media labels them and produces pathological discourses about their family lives. In that process, these children present how they negotiate, resist and reform such public discourses. Their counter-narratives about their family lives show that they are acute toward hypocritical public media, which presents a pro-family stance but rarely focuses on the structural core of this social phenomenon, further othering and pathologising these children and their families.

Racing the King tide: A case study, examining the potential for immersive documentary to connect audiences with people’s lived experience to generate empathy.

ABSTRACT. Racing the King Tide is an international research project that re-frames the debate about sea-level rise by providing not just a voice to the islanders in the province of Bohol, Philippines, who live with the consequences, but by connecting audiences with the islanders, bringing them face to face, in a series of immersive documentaries. By placing the audience in the ankle-deep water on these flooded islands, they are connected to the islanders lived experience.

This work has been shown locally in the Philippines and internationally, including at COP26, and has affected policy at a local level. Audiences have been moved by these immersive films. Sir Noel Cano Mendana, Local Government Unit, Tubigon commented ‘The film of kids playing in the flooded basketball court and the classroom inundated with water during class hours has really helped in getting support.’

This paper will discuss the emerging field of immersive documentary and examine its ability to generate empathy in an audience by placing them in the scene and providing a first-person point of view. Chris Milk described immersive media thus, ‘you feel present in the world you’re inside and you feel present with the people you’re inside of it with’ (Milk, 05.47, 2015). In placing the audience in the space is greater immersion achieved? The paper will consider how immersion might create a greater empathy than conventional film, using Ryan’s three types of immersion, ‘spatial immersion, the response to setting; temporal, the response to story and emotional immersion, the response to characters.’ (2015)

Milk, C. 2015. How Virtual Reality can Create the Ultimate Empathy Machine. Accessed February 2, 2023

Ryan, M. Narrative as Virtual Reality: Revisiting Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media. Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press (2015)

Narrative Content and Social Concerns: Representations of Gender, Sexuality, Mental Disability and Social Class in Korean Films and Televisions based on Social Events

ABSTRACT. As a specific media narrative language, film and television extend real life and affect people’s perception and understanding towards social events. Movies based on realistic social events have increased and received extensive attention since South Korea abolished film censorship in 1977. Directors and other workers began to leverage the social events as the scripts of the blueprint, extracting, processing and creating the actual events of the core role, role relationships and narrative methods. In this paper, we focus on the role identities and relationships of different classes in Korean films and televisions under social issues, particularly gender discrimination, lack of education, sexual innuendo, and mental disabilities, discussing how to enable or disable these characters to achieve appropriate narrative adaptations in the specific plot.We describe multiple confinements of money, rights, education, and survival in South Korea in the context of social history and national culture, and critically reveal the inevitability of the exclusiveness of the upper class and the contradictions between the upper and lower classes under the solidification of social classes.

15:00-16:30 Session 7B: Violence, Conflict, and Disaster
Location: W002
Repatriationscapes: margins of difficult deaths in the UK death politics

ABSTRACT. “Repatriationscapes”(Gumisiriza, 2021) is a framework for exploring death and the process of repatriation of the deceased in my on-going research into corpse repatriation among African diaspora. Difficult deaths refers to people who have died in particular circumstances, including murder. The parallels of continuing campaigns of two mothers following the murders of their children demand justice for all. This paper explores one key question. How does media shape spaces of the dead, repatriationscapes, and restoration of dignity after loss in the UK? The body of Stephen Lawrence murdered in 1993, was repatriated to his mother’s natal land, Jamaica. Stephen’s mother, Doreen Lawrence, says: “Britain does not deserve to have his body because they took his life.” Why Jamaica? Doreen says, “… we brought him here so that he can be next to his great grandmother, so she can look after him” (PA, 2012). Mina Smallman, the mother of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman in a park in London in 2020 says: “My faith and both my African and Scottish ancestors held me together after the news of the murder of my daughters.” Mina talked about her loss at the Death Festival in Brighton in November 2022. The posthumous ‘personhood’ of ancestors and restoration of “posthumous dignity” (Baets de, 2008, p.116). Ancestors and faith as means to navigate the margins of difficult deaths, drawing on diverse contexts of migration trajectories in the UK.

Cellphilming the hidden: A digital counter-narrative of natural disasters

ABSTRACT. In recent years, natural disasters have been rampant around the world. With the advancement of technology, disaster news is promptly disseminated on television and social media. However, previous studies have suggested that the way of broadcasting is not neutral; evacuees tend to be depicted as victims in need of help and diversity among them is undermined in the media narratives (Monahan & Ettinger, 2018; Sommers, et al., 2006). Some art practitioners/researchers have pointed out the potential of cellphilming (filmmaking with a cellphone) as an alternative storytelling method that can unsettle the dominant media discourse (Mandrona, 2016; Mitchell, et al., 2017). This study involves collaborative cellphilming with twelve university students in Kumamoto, Japan. Kumamoto was severely hit by huge earthquakes as well as heavy rain and floods successively, and numerous residents were displaced. When digital youth gather together for cellphilming, what do they capture with a camera and express in their film? In September 2022, a cellphilming project began in collaboration with my seminar students majoring in intercultural communication, and a film was completed in January 2023. The produced cellphilm, bilingual in English and Japanese, intertwines the past, present, and future through the storytelling of the youth affected by the series of disasters. Applying the concept of the “Third Space” discussed by Bhabha (1994), this paper demonstrates that cellphilming as a digital counter-narrative is effective for destabilising the dominant media representation of those displaced by natural disasters, connecting the filmmakers and the viewers, and showing diverse views once hidden.

15:00-16:30 Session 7C: Political Communication
Location: W009
An illiberal turn? Media, Terrorism, and “Imagined Audiences” in British Parliamentary Debates (1988-2018)

ABSTRACT. For the past ten years, it has become habitual to read news stories about how someone became radicalised by watching online videos or how new media content controls have been introduced to prevent terrorism in the UK. Although theories and measures that address the complex relationship between the media and political violence are not new, this paper argues that over the last decade, there has been a significant transformation in the conceptualisation of the audience and the ways of thinking about the media’s role in terrorism. Based on a discourse-historical analysis of Parliamentary debates from 1988 and 2018, this paper shows how widespread theories of self-radicalisation, which have similarities to so-called contagion theories developed during the 1970s and 1980s, have established new frames to understand the relationship between terrorism, the media, and the audience in the British context. As a consequence, despite a lack of empirical evidence, contemporary political debates limit their focus to the media’s power to draw individuals into terrorist activity. This has serious effects on the regulation of the media, as it is exemplified with the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act 2019 which poses important threats to civil liberties and human rights. In summary, the aim of this paper is to explore the profound transformation of the “imagined audiences” and elite's discourses on the media’s role in terrorism and to discuss the important consequences that include the introduction of censorship measures and the criminalisation of speech.

Participatory Politics and Place: Talking Teesside & Ben Houchen

ABSTRACT. Participatory politics features at the forefront of Western democracies. National UK politicians like Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn regularly engage supporters via online content, in-person events, and self-projection. Local participatory politics has also grown more popular recently with Andy Burnham dubbed the ‘King of the North’ for rallying against the government in Manchester. Yet beyond a former health secretary re-inventing themselves locally there is a more relevant grassroots northern mayor thriving off participatory politics in the form of Ben Houchen, the Conservative Tees Valley Mayor. Houchen has twice won election after nationalising a local airport in a former Labour stronghold and holds significant local decision-making and policy power. However, there is a divide in how participatory politics is covered nationally and locally. Existing literature on participatory politics has predominantly focussed on fans of national politicians (Cohen 2012; Jenkins et al 2017; Sandvoss 2019) and neglected local politics. This ongoing research aims to address this divide by seeking to understand local participatory politics. The paper will present initial findings from interview data collected over the spring of 2023 exploring the local experiences of Teesside residents. Houchen has been selected as a conversational case study to navigate these topics because he employs a strong participatory approach through his high ad spend, online polls, whiteboard style explainer videos, and virtual townhall Q&As. Through these interviews, the research will showcase how local people react to Houchen’s participatory politics, highlighting ways in which political communication and participatory populism shape everyday discourse around key local decisions.

Abusing the ‘unprotected poor’: Anti-welfare hate speech in online news debates about the UK 'cost of living crisis'

ABSTRACT. This paper explores the occurrence of everyday hate speech directed at unemployed and ‘economically inactive’ benefit recipients on newspaper comment threads focusing on the UK cost-of-living crisis and post-Brexit/COVID labour shortages. UK law prohibits incitement and prejudice against individuals and groups with ‘protected characteristics’. Both the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and Sentencing Act 2020 recognize five types of ‘hate crime’ in England and Wales, relating to race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and transgender identity, while the Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 bans language inciting hatred on grounds of race or religion. Separately, the UK-wide Equality Act 2010 forbids discrimination based on age, sex, race, religion/belief, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership, and pregnancy and maternity. Yet, while the range of protected characteristics has expanded over time, no safeguards exist against hate speech or discrimination based on people’s social class or economic status. This legislative ‘blind-spot’ extends to most areas of UK media regulation, with industry ethical codes prioritizing the protection of the same groups as the law – barring that of the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which also prohibits hatred based on ‘social origin’. In practice, this gap in regulation allows both news outlets and their audiences to publish statements about people experiencing poverty that would breach journalistic codes and invite prosecution if applied to protected groups. In exploring the proliferation of such ‘anti-welfare’ hate speech on online news comment threads, the paper raises questions about the inadequacy of both current legal/ethical protections and individual news-sites’ moderation policies.

Towards a banal populism: the long-term normalisation of political populism in media

ABSTRACT. This paper is interested in the extent to which the recent political success of populism will exercised a sustained influence over the relationship between media and populism. In setting about this task, the paper takes account of three longer-term developments. The first is a long-standing tradition of media engagement with politics that pursues populism’s pro-people, anti-elite interpretative grammar and rhetorical style; from the plain-speaking “popular ventriloquist” of the Nationwide studies to Clayman’s specialist “tribune of the people”. Second, are the on-going influence of those non-populist political institutions that have internalised components of populist strategy in their communication and policy expression; from “the big society” of the Cameron years to contemporary Scottish nationalism. Third, is the growth of an agonistic political field, latterly sustained by the performative indignance of the populist style, and arguably nourished by Elon Musk’s Twitter policy. Drawing upon contemporary examples, the paper will assess an emergent “banal populism” in the communicative and performative practices of political actors and institutions, and its implications for the study and improvement of mediated politics.

15:00-16:30 Session 7D: European and Transnational Connections
Location: W003
The Microsoft/Activision Blizzard case: Antitrust policy in the European Union and the significance for media regulation

ABSTRACT. Competition/anti-trust regulatory policy within the European Union has historically been framed in a way that offers benefits to the consumer through the regulation of corporate behaviour, including cognisance of market position, market dominance and power.

This paper analyses EU competition law towards games and platforms, explicitly considering alternative ways of identifying dominance and power through analysis of the ongoing challenge to the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. Key texts in analysing the role of competition in the digital age tend to frame the question around questions of efficiency and of definition of the market (Ackman, 2019), but little has been developed in interrogating the role of competition in regulating platforms as communicative and cultural spaces. Traditional economic theories under neoliberal capitalism lead us to believe that markets tend towards efficiency. However, the knowledge that the markets are not neutral but subject to power dynamics undermines the concept of efficiency in considerations of platforms as sites of cultural production.

This paper places the ongoing case into wider context, comparing the EU’s approach as regulator to that of the US Federal Trade Commission and the Uk Competition and Markets Authority, both of whom have also commenced investigations. This analysis is carried out through a focus on power dynamics in antitrust cases, specifically using theories from the Regulation School of political economy (Lipietz, 1984) and the emerging neo-Brandesian framing of antitrust law through the law and political economy approach (Khan 2918; Paul, 2021).

Key competition cases in the EU frame competition as exploitation of a dominant position, as relating to a position of economic strength. However, certain of the platforms through which we communicate are not in a position of economic strength, and have developed positions of power by alternative means – not power over consumers, but power over communication modes and practices. This paper explores the potential for radical thinking beyond market power dynamics as a form of platform regulation using the tools of competition law within the EU.

Akman, Pınar. "An agenda for competition law and policy in the digital economy." Journal of European Competition Law & Practice 10.10 (2019): 589-590.

Lipietz, Alain. "Imperialism or the beast of the apocalypse." Capital & Class 8.1 (1984): 81-109

Poell et al “Platforms & Cultural Production” 2022, Wiley.

Transnationalising viewing communities: British screen culture and Danish youth

ABSTRACT. As screen encounters across borders undergo rapid transformation, transnational video-on-demand services like Netflix and YouTube are fundamentally altering viewing patterns, affecting the nature and extent of overseas audiences’ digital encounters with the UK. Yet precisely how this happens, particularly among 16-34 year olds, has gone under-studied. This paper, focusing on the case-study of Denmark for its high level of English proficiency and perceived cultural proximity to the UK, fills this knowledge gap at a pivotal, post-Brexit context for geopolitical relations, revealing the influence of screen media upon national perceptions. Drawing on a wider 2022 study, it analyses: (1) How young Danes define, find, access, value and experience screen content (fiction & non-fiction) from the UK, and what motivates them to do so; and (2) how they understand the UK and British culture based on their screen consumption and wider UK-related experiences, and how this impacts their attitudes about the UK. As radically different mediascapes (Appadurai 1996) emerge, it is vital that we comprehend how such digital zones of traversal reshape viewing communities, impacting UK content distribution and by extension the production and 'modes of cultural reproduction' (Vertovec 1999) that inform and influence perceptions of the UK. Addressing questions about how screen cultures travel and re-articulate across translocal contexts, this presentation looks specifically at how young audiences in Denmark engage with British screen culture, drawing on a 2022 survey and wide interview and cultural intermediary evidence. This not only illuminates viewing behaviours and preferences, but also encourages a reassessment of conceptions of the ‘global’ and ‘local’ and the continued value of theorisations around cultural and linguistic proximity (Hoskins & Mirus,1988; Mast, de Ruiter & Kuppens, 2017; Sinclair, Jacka & Cunningham, 1996; Straubhaar 1991; Straubhaar et al, 2021). Since British (and American) culture has become almost an extension of young Danes’ own domestic culture(s), with the shift to streaming diminishing the former “national Danish TV viewing community”, determining the location of culture becomes ever more difficult. This work is part of a larger project called Screen Encounters with Britain: What do young Europeans make of Britain and its digital screen culture?, supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council [reference: AH/W000113/1).

‘Going global’ or ‘exiled?’ The success of Chinese SVODs’ boy’s love serials in Southeast Asia

ABSTRACT. ‘Exile’ is becoming an urgent matter for the Chinese film industry when the famous director Peter Chen has recently launched his new company Changin’ Pictures, which focuses on producing pan-Asia television serials for SVOD platforms. Chen’s announcement has been interpreted by Chinese film observers as fleeing the country (exile) due to China’s increasing censorship of films. While it is a famous director who makes ‘exile’ sounds through his latest announcement, ‘exile’ production around China has already been successful in recent years with Chinese SVODs going abroad. Combining Social Network Analysis (SNA) and Actor-Network Theory (ANT) to analyse one of the most popular boy’s love TV serials, KinnProche (2022), produced by IQIYI against the background that, the country banned all BL TV drama production and Chinese SVODs started their international expansion, I will: (1) map how the flow of fandom content crosses platforms and national borders; (2) outline the central role played by Chinese fans in promoting KinnProche on Twitter to show how ‘exile’ production is blooming outside China yet closely relates to the Chinese market; (3) investigate how the actors and networks are framed through consistent negotiations. The research shows that China’s cinematic content ‘going global’ is not merely a meticulously designed top-down strategy but also a precarious and resilient ‘exile’ as a result of increasing censorship in the domestic market, the global expansion of Chinese SVODs and the state’s encouragement of going global.

Our Fish, Our Sea and 'Us': Fish, Europe and Populism in the British Press (1960-2020)

ABSTRACT. Fish (and other foods) has been used in the press as a vehicle to stir an emotional response against the European ‘other’ before Britain became a member of EEC in 1973 (e.g. cod wars with Iceland), and has culminated in post-Brexit populist Eurosceptic disputes over fishing rights with France. In addition to positioning France and the EU as ‘them’, these discussion of fish in the British press and political discourse sustain the revival of the myths of a British ‘us’ which fuse together ideas about diet, morality, politics and economy. The study, which is based on a corpus analysis five years before and after the Brexit vote (all British newspapers, 2011-2020), will demonstrate the changing discussion of fish in the British press in the last decade interrogating through this relations in which fish and fishing appears with reference to other European countries (and France/Scandinavia) and potentially to self (Scotland and its territorial waters in the North, in particular). In addition, and building on this, it will demonstrate through a cultural-historical analysis how fish as one of the salient identity anchors in the UK (e.g. fish&chips) has been used to further populist (Eurosceptic) discourse building on the assumption that food - as a banal, everyday object – is a handy subject through which complexities of national and international politics can be communicated in a common sense, understandable language. As the role of food in populist (political) discourses is only starting to be addressed (e.g., Rankine, Tominc, Irwin, in review; Irwin and Tominc 2023; Parasecoli 2022; Demuru 2021; Garcia Santamaria 2021; Edwards 2019), this presentation will contribute to understanding of the role of food in British (Eurosceptic) populism.

References: Demuru, P. 2021. Gastropopulism: a sociosemiotic analysis of politicians posing as “the everyday man” via food posts on social media. Social Semiotics, 31(3): Political Ideology in Everyday Social Media Use, 507-527. Edwards, J. 2019. O The Roast Beef of Old England! Brexit and Gastronationalism. The Political Quarterly, 90 (4). pp. 629-636. García Santamaría, S. (2021). The Italian ‘Taste’: The Far-Right and the Performance of Exclusionary Populism During the European Elections. Tripodos, (49), 129-149. Irwin, M. & A. Tominc (2023): ‘Bendy Banana’ and the Framing of EU Regulation in the British Press: Populism, Political Mythology and the Construction of anti-EU sentiment, in The Political Relevance of Food Media & Journalism: Beyond Review and Recipes (Routledge Research in Journalism Series). London, New York: Routledge. Rankine, A., Tominc, A, and Irwin, M. (in review). One of the Boys: Beer and Populism in Contemporary British Politics. Parasecoli, F. 2022. Gastronativism. Food, Identity, Politics. Columbia University Press.

15:00-16:30 Session 7E: The Future of Television
Location: W010A
The BBC at 100: Three Modes of Discourse

ABSTRACT. In the context of the BBC’s 100th anniversary (2022) this paper explores three recent and different ways of writing about the Corporation: David Hendy’s The BBC: A People’s History (Profile Books, 2022), Patrick Barwise and Peter York’s The War Against the BBC (Penguin Books, 2020) and Ofcom’s Fourth Review of Public Service Broadcasting: Small Screen, Big Debate (Ofcom, March 2021). In the current period of arguably heightened political attacks on the BBC and with some three years to go before the ending of the current Charter, the Corporation has experienced persistent and often hostile scrutiny from a succession of Conservative governments. Although it should be noted that in the early part of the 21st century, in the wake of the invasion of Iraq, an angry Labour government had applied pressure that resulted in the resignation of both a Director General (Greg Dyke) and the Chair of Governors (Gavyn Davies). The three publications noted above have to a greater or lesser extent either openly explored the issue of government attacks or, in a more measured and detached way noted the strengths and weaknesses of public service broadcasting in general and the BBC in particular. Taken together these three publications offer a rich and complex picture of the role of the BBC as it enters its second century of existence. The aim of this paper is to explore and - to some extent- to evaluate the different ways in which the Corporation has been written about and/or evaluated in these strikingly different kinds of publication. 5 Keywords: BBC, Public Service Broadcasting, culture, politics, discourse.

Cultural Proximity in a world of transnational television content.

ABSTRACT. Research (see Gillespie, 1995; Somani & Doshi, 2016) into South Asian diasporic television audiences, particularly in the UK and US, found there was a need for cultural proximity amongst the participants and their choice of programming. Straubhaar (2003:85) describes cultural proximity as ‘‘the tendency to prefer media products from one’s own culture or the most similar possible culture’’. Anecdotally I can attest to this, when I worked and studied abroad I often sort out media from the UK, whether it was BBC television programming or reading the Guardian newspaper. However, with readily available television content from around the world on free streaming sites, SVOD, social media, and so forth, do audiences still seek out media that remind them of their culture or are they now comfortable with easy to access transnational content. This question forms the background to a new research project that centres on South Asian higher education students studying in the UK. I seek to understand what role cultural proximity may play amongst future television audiences, particularly those from the South Asian sub-continent. The primary research will be based on a survey to be conducted in the Autumn of 2023, therefore this paper will be an exploration of literature that informs the primary research and helps to establish a gap in which this research can fit. I hope to move focus away from scholarly work around students’ use of social media whilst aboard (Saw, Abbott, Donaghey & McDonald, 2013; Wong and Hjorth, 2016) to their uses and preferences of television.

The Future of TV Development

ABSTRACT. We live in a multi-channel TV world with tremendous choice and competition! Gone are the days when Executive Producers wrote ideas on the back of cigarette packets and made pitches over lunch with the (add broadcaster from a choice of four channels) commissioner. Today, legions of TV development teams are dedicated to finding ‘the next big thing’. Millions are spent on TV development each year; TV production companies cannot exist without them. The trouble is that as many as 95% of ideas never see the light of day. It’s a tricky balancing act for TV production companies to spend enough money to get the return and ride the risk when the development pot runs dry. With the emergence of AI and ChatGPT, what challenges lie ahead for TV development teams and what is in store for the future of TV development in an increasingly competitive multiplatform media landscape?

Dan Twist is a TV Development Producer and University of the West of Scotland Broadcast Production: TV and Radio lecturer. He has worked for over twenty years in the TV industry, in the Nations and Regions, both in development and production. Dan has had his ideas commissioned but experiences development hell when thousands of his ideas never see the light of day. This paper will discuss the highly competitive factual and entertainment TV genre and the process of developing and commissioning some of the most challenging ideas for the TV screen – Formats - from the TV Development Producer and Lecturer who has produced BAFTA Scotland and RTS Scotland award-winning shows.

15:00-16:30 Session 7F: Media Feminisms
Location: W010B
Individuality versus collectivism: The urban-rural divide in intersectional Chinese digital feminist activism

ABSTRACT. With the fast development of internet technology, Chinese feminists are increasingly active online and engage in gender debates in a context where such discussions are largely invisible and unspeakable in the offline world. While some researchers have focused on Chinese digital feminist activists as mostly urban middle-class women who support women's rights (Fong, 2002; Zheng, 2016; Yang, 2020), others have begun to question whether all feminists online are necessarily urban middle-class women and suggest that we should investigate the diversity of online feminist activism. (Dong, 2019).

To explore the intersectionality of Chinese digital feminists from the perspective of gender, class and the rural-urban divide in China, I draw on the data from 34 in-depth interviews with Chinese digital feminists, including former international students as well feminists from rural backgrounds without international experience. Despite their significantly different experiences, almost all Chinese digital feminists in my study identified the gender stereotypes and patriarchal ideas inscribed in traditional culture as the common enemy. Most of them have been influenced by popular culture in Asia and the west. However, my research is beginning to show distinctions between digital feminists with advantaged and disadvantaged backgrounds in terms of their understanding of feminism and their activism.

My findings are beginning to suggest that digital feminists with advantaged backgrounds, especially urban middle-class women, tend to be more careful, reserved, and calculated about their participation/activism, and understand feminism as part of a narrative of individual self-development; while digital feminists from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially those from rural areas, and/or multiple-child families under the one-child policy, tend to be more radical in their online advocacy, and discuss feminism and feminist activism for all women as a community or collective. My research therefore is beginning to reveal just how Chinese feminist digital activism is shaped by informants' natal families, socio-economic backgrounds, and related cultural capital.

reference Dong, Y. (2019). Does China have a feminist movement from the left?. Made in China Journal, 4(1), 58-63. Fong, V. L. (2002). China's one‐child policy and the empowerment of urban daughters. American anthropologist, 104(4), 1098-1109. Yang, F. (2020). Post-feminism and chick flicks in China: Subjects, discursive origin and new gender norms. Feminist Media Studies, 1-16. Zheng, J. (2016). New feminism in China: Young middle-class Chinese women in Shanghai. Springer.

Shaming Women: Gender, Digital Media and the Production of Online Othering & Divisive Culture

ABSTRACT. Despite utopian discourses of digital technology proposing the ushering in of a world of deeper technical and cultural connectedness, contemporary British society is marked by increasing polarisation, division, dispute and malice. This is exemplified in a range of phenomena, from ‘culture wars’ to Brexit debates, from ‘cancel culture’ to an explosion of online abuse (Sun Lim 2020). Lumsden and Harmer (2019) have recently proposed the term ‘online othering’ to capture the sheer variety of abusive practices on digital media – shaming, trolling, flaming, misogyny, trial by media, character assassination, hate speech and so on. This paper uses online shaming of women as a case study. Online othering disproportionately affects socially disadvantaged groups. Shaming is a specific type of othering practice which labels acts as transgressive and exposes, degrades and condemns the ‘transgressor’. Shaming practices have become increasingly ubiquitous and digital. Women are a particular target as they are shamed for a wide range of behaviours and issues, from wedding-shaming to fat-shaming. This paper illuminates in what ways digital shaming feeds off established gender stereotypes and norms and re-works them in a digital context. This involves exploring how the lack of moral worth of women or the value degradation of all things feminine make women easy targets for attack; how the importance of appearance in ideals of femininity predispose women to be subjected to body shaming in its many forms; how women’s historically prescribed and limited agency leads to female behaviours being much more easily defined as transgressive and therefore calling for shaming. Moreover, the paper considers specific aspects of digital media and culture, for example hypervisibility and hyperconnectivity, in terms of how they interact with gender and shaming practices.

Neoliberal feminism and workplace mentorship: connecting policy and media discourses

ABSTRACT. Gender issues in the workplace have taken a central role in mainstream discussions of gender inequality in the West in the past 10 years. Among the issues that are mostly discussed is vertical segregation, which describes the lack of women in senior positions in the industry. Consensus is that ‘mentorship’ between senior and junior women is one of the ways to redress the situation. Circulating in both public policy and the media, the theme of female mentorship consists in a shift in the representation of intergenerational female (and feminist) relationships, away from conflict and toward solidarity. This paper offers an insight into the overlaps between policy and media, and their impact on the cultural construction of female intergenerational relationships. Employing a Foucauldian discourse analysis, the project takes as its object of study the work produced by the Women’s Business Council in the UK (an industry-led advisory group founded in 2012) and three contemporary popular culture shows that include narratives of female mentorship (The Good Fight; The Bold Type; Hacks). Ultimately, I argue that, while the contemporary focus on female mentorship produces more positive representations of female intergenerational relations, it may be complicit in reproducing neoliberal feminism’s focus on work-place success as the preferred route to personal emancipation.

Feminist DIY in a digital age: Semiotic connections in feminist activism

ABSTRACT. This paper will further develop a secondary theme that emerged from my 2022 PhD that considered the role of beauty in 16 Scottish feminist campaigns to end men’s violence against women. The analysis drew from social semiotic text readings, expert interviews, and archival documents.

That secondary theme is how production practices can function as semiotic resources that embed meaning in the materiality of texts (Kress & van Leeuwen, 1996/2006, pp. 215–238).

The Glasgow Women’s Library archives of the Scottish rape crisis and women’s aid movements from the 1980s and early 1990s are full of photocopied ephemera like hand-stapled reports or posters with hand-drawn illustrations. One of my interview subjects described the traditional production practices of feminist activism as “handknitted” and “rough.” These production practices lend feminist authenticity to their messages and might resonate with people suspicious of more highly polished materials. They signify that these materials were a sisterly labour of love from women who – despite often constrained financial resources – were dedicated to the liberation of women from men’s violence.

The semiotic power of less visually polished materials was also highlighted by another interview participant who described more recent digital campaigning around so-called “revenge porn” as “scrappy” and “DIY.”

This paper will revisit archival materials to explore this feminist tradition of “DIY” activism, both historically and in more recent activist interventions that use digital resources like social media. Importantly, this paper will demonstrate how this rich semiotic tradition can connect past, present, and future feminist activism.

Kress, G. R., & van Leeuwen, T. (2006). Reading images: The grammar of visual design (2nd ed.). London, UK: Routledge. (Original work published 1996)

15:00-16:30 Session 7G: Film, Affect, and Storytelling

4851 - screening, 26 minutes

Location: W008
Nothing Echoes Here (Hay, 2022): Grief as Lived Experience in Fiction Film

ABSTRACT. Nothing Echoes Here (Hay, 2022) charts a 36-hour period in the life of a woman and her two children, in the near-aftermath of the death of their husband and father. The film explores the role that space – interior, exterior, familiar, non-familiar – plays for those grieving a profound loss, while using formal elements of film language and performance to portray grief in an authentic and empathetic manner, prioritising a sense of experience over story and narrative. The film is responding to a tendency in fiction cinema to relegate grief to a plot device, offering superficial depictions that fail to capture the lived experience of mourning in emotional, psychological, and physical terms. As a result, screen depictions of grief can be misleading and dangerous, either negating the real impact of grief or constructing mourning as a process that, while painful, will incrementally and (relatively quickly) dissipate until one is essentially ‘over’ it. As current grief discourses attest, the grieving process is a far more complex and multifaceted experience, and Nothing Echoes Here seeks to explore the potential for conveying grief in a more nuanced, authentic, and empathetic manner. Informed by autoethnographic and phenomenological approaches to grief; current grief theory including the ‘dual-process approach’ ; and Gilles Deleuze’s theory of the time-image and the any-space-whatever , Nothing Echoes Here considers whether it is possible to affectively portray the lived experience of grief in a fiction film through the formal elements of film language. In doing so, it opens up a conversation on cinematic representations of grief in cinema – considering the representational, ethical, and broader public health implications of this – while also contributing to the burgeoning, but still significantly underrepresented, practice-research engagement with fiction filmmaking.

Much Naatu about nothing? Deciphering the success of Indian film RRR in the West

ABSTRACT. This paper will examine the discourse surrounding the global popularity of the Indian film RRR. While some commentators have criticised RRR for its use of Hindu religious iconography considering India’s increasingly divisive religious and casteist politics, Western media have hailed it as the Indian superhero film. To explore the range of discourses about the film’s success across geographies, a mixed methods design will be employed, comprising of document analysis of key Western and Indian media reports, content analysis of #rrrmovie hashtags on Twitter and semi-structured interviews with viewers of the film. Despite India’s rich filmmaking history, rarely does an Indian film, consisting of a menagerie of song and dance sequences and heightened emotions win accolades amongst a non-Western audience, which is why RRR’s win at the Golden Globe and Critics Choice Awards is historic for Indian cinema. An examination of RRR’s success is pertinent not only because it plays to the galley of representation and diversity in popular culture and media, but to also evaluate how transcultural flows of films are affected by strands of nationalist discourses, commercial imperatives, changing audience behaviour and histories of cinema.

Articulating Ecological Imaginaries: The case of Avatar: The Way of Water

ABSTRACT. What comprises and feeds contemporary media audiences’ ecological imaginaries? Fraser (2021) has argued that concern with the environment is now mainstream insofar as it is proclaimed and acted on from a vast range of political and social perspectives. Drawing on Taylor’s (2002) work on the imaginary, Chouliaraki and Georgiou (2022) demonstrate that imaginaries work to regulate what is ignored as well as what is deemed to be relevant – with subsequent lived consequences. People cannot act, intervene, or care about ecological crises and alternatives for socio-ecological transformation that they cannot even imagine.

This paper focuses on a blockbuster film—Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)—and the contradictions of its environmental politics. Building on a circuit of culture approach (du Gay et al. 1997), we will bring together perspectives from critical political economy, textual analysis, and audience studies to explore ecological imaginaries and omissions prompted by this case. Our environmental critique will attend to: the companies involved in the film’s production, distribution, and exhibition; stories told about ‘nature’ in the film, accompanying promotional texts, and fan discourse; and technological imaginaries. We also will consider the role of filmmaker James Cameron in shaping the environmental meanings and fallout of the film.

Class and Storytelling in Joanna Hogg’s The Souvenir (2019, 2021)

ABSTRACT. Joanna Hogg’s much-praised The Souvenir (parts 1 and 2) was a meditation on difficult romances, fragmented memories, and the art of film and storytelling. Despite not addressing the topic of class directly, the film also becomes a meditation on how it is intertwined with the narratives we tell ourselves and others. Exploring the filmic techniques that replicate the everchanging emotional and vital gaze of the protagonist, this paper will analyse the intersections and meditations on class narratives and storytelling present in the film; building on the British social realist tradition and evaluating Hogg’s treatment of class as an issue related to storytelling. Considering also the metatextual elements that compose the film reflection, this paper will draw on Marxist and cultural studies to establish the influence and relationship between class and the art of storytelling. Finally, the paper will conclude by delineating a portrait of Hogg’s class experience and narrative.

17:00-18:00 Session 9A: PANEL: Safety and Sustainability in the Screen Industries
Location: W001
Panel Proposal: Safety and Sustainability in the Screen Industries

ABSTRACT. This panel addresses urgent challenges around safety and sustainability in a global screen sector grappling with precarity, exploitation and the climate emergency. It maps out existing initiatives relating to working practices and production cultures before exploring potential solutions and problems posed by technological innovations. Susan Berridge draws on her work with Tanya Horeck investigating the relatively new role of intimacy coordination in UK television through original interviews with practitioners. Understanding this practice as a form of care, she considers its ability to foster deeper understanding of health and safety on set and explores its significance within a post-#MeToo context. Lisa Kelly and Katherine Champion examine health and safety in more detail, highlighting the specific risks created by contemporary working conditions and the limitations of current safety training. Through a case study of their research and innovation project Set Ready Safety, they outline the potential for digital technologies to transform safety in the screen industries. The panel concludes with Rebecca Harrison’s examination of the environmental impact of filmmaking through a case study of the Star Wars franchise. Drawing on the work she has carried out as part of the Environmental Impact of Filmmaking project, she adopts a historically informed perspective that problematises the use of a digital technologies as an eco-friendly alternative to traditional methods.

Care, Consent and Collaboration: The role of intimacy coordination in fostering safety on set

Intimacy coordination, a relatively new role in the film and television industries, involves choreographing and overseeing the production of intimate scenes. It has taken on increased significance post-#MeToo, concerned as it is with foregrounding consent and ensuring that production practices are safe for performers and crew (Sorensen, 2021). Before intimacy coordination was established, the production of intimate scenes was often informal and opaque, creating conducive conditions for potential harm. Drawing on original interviews with intimacy coordinators, conducted by myself and Tanya Horeck during our BA funded study into intimacy coordination in contemporary UK television, this paper explores further the significance of the role in fostering a deeper understanding of health and safety on set (Horeck and Berridge, forthcoming). By normalising detailed discussions of consent, embracing collaboration and recognising the need for care and after-care in the production of intimate scenes, intimacy coordination challenges the ‘endemic carelessness’ of the sector, in turn promoting safer and potentially more sustainable working practices (Torchin, 2022).

Susan Berridge is Senior Lecturer in Film and Media at Stirling University. Her current research explores intimacy coordination in contemporary UK television (with Tanya Horeck).

Set Ready Safety: Transforming safety in the screen Industries using technological innovation

The screen sector is a hazard-rich environment where mistakes can cost lives, as the deaths of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, camera operator Mark Milsome and camera assistant Sarah Jones attest. Since 1990, at least 43 people have died on sets in the US alone while a recent survey found that 63% of UK-based crew believe H&S regulations need improving (McCartney, 2016; Mark Milsome Foundation, 2021). In an increasingly global film and television landscape, project teams of specialist workers are assembled at pace in the context of constant pressures on budgets, resources and timescales requiring intense activity, round-the-clock working and its attendant impacts on sleep, diet, health and wellbeing (Curtin and Sanson 2016; Caldwell, 2008). Every shoot is different (in terms of size, location, identifiable risks) and involves workers in varying roles (technical, craft, contract, freelance) making it difficult to ensure safety standards are maintained across projects. This paper examines the specific risks created by work practices and production cultures in the sector and explores the potential solutions offered by digital technologies through a case study of Set Ready Safety, our research and innovation project to transform safety in the screen industries.

Lisa Kelly is Senior Lecturer in Television Studies at the University of Glasgow. Her current research examines health and safety in the screen industries.

Katherine Champion is Senior Lecturer in Communications, Media and Culture at the University her Stirling. Her current research examines regional screen production and work practices in the screen sector.

A long time ago, but not so far away: using Star Wars to improve sustainability initiatives

Technological innovation is often championed by scholars and practitioners as a solution to the environmental harms caused by the screen industries. From ‘volumes’ (studio spaces in which live action and pre-recorded footage are composited) to swapping practical for VFX, sustainability initiatives are often tied to the digital. But despite their organic allusions to clouds, streams, and green screens, digital media’s carbon footprints are not always better than their analogue counterparts (see Vaughan, 2019). Drawing on case studies from the Environmental Impact of Filmmaking project, which explores the fabrication of props and costumes made for the Star Wars franchise, this paper advocates a more historically informed perspective when attempting to overcome the ecological challenges caused by film production. Via archival materials, filmmaker interviews, and life-cycle assessments of assets such as aluminium and CGI Artoo Detoos, it argues that some traditional methods present filmmakers with greener - albeit more expensive - alternatives to newer, seemingly eco-friendlier technologies. In doing so, it makes the case that studios and funders should resource productions according to the specific needs of the shoot, rather than apply a one-size-fits-all approach to sustainability.

Rebecca Harrison is Lecturer in Film & Media at The Open University. Her current research investigates the environmental impact and cultural significance of the Star Wars franchise.

17:00-18:00 Session 9B: PANEL: Connected Futures: Feminist Methods and Practices
Location: W004
Connected Futures: Feminist Methods and Practices

ABSTRACT. In exploring feminist methods and practices in film and television studies, this panel opens with Yvonne Tasker’s talk on women’s history and feminist media studies. Tasker draws on the possibilities and constraints of conducting feminist analysis, arguing that women’s media history must acknowledge complexities and diversities.

Where Tasker sets up the panel’s larger questions, the rest of the talks delve into various methods and practices. Eylem Atakav and Sarah Barrow discuss their collaborative “The Women of Influence” project (2021-2023), where they work alongside Asháninka and Yanesha young women, activist members of the National Council of Indigenous Women of Peru. Reflecting on the global pandemic, Atakav and Barrow outline the value and challenges of various methods and practices such as online workshops, in-country fieldwork, participatory research, and community screenings. From there, Abigail Jenkins turns to autoethnographic textual analysis in their exploration of fat and plus-sized bodies in British and American television. For Jenkins, valuing fatness and its visual language offers important and underexplored pathways to intersectional critique.

In the final talk, Zahra Khosroshahi looks to Iranian women’s cinema and activism to discuss a decolonial and de-westernized approach to feminist media studies. In imagining our connected futures, this panel is invested in thinking about how our diverse approaches, geographies, and identities can be supported through feminist methods and practices.

17:00-18:00 Session 9C: PANEL: Intersectional Representations of Sexual violence in Recent Entertainment Media
Location: W009
Intersectional representations of sexual violence in recent entertainment media

ABSTRACT. Entertainment media can play an important role in influencing public attitudes to social and criminal issues, such as sexual violence. While much has been written on the damaging stereotypes and ‘rape myths’ often presented in film and TV depictions of sexual violence, media also has the potential to amplify marginalised voices in more accessible formats than typical academic or policy discourses allow.

Recent TV shows like 'I May Destroy You' and 'Unbelievable' present more nuanced understandings of sexual violence as it intersects with race, gender, sexuality, and class. These media products also portray the complex intersectional realities of criminal justice responses to survivors and perpetrators. Such media can be an important platform for survivors to speak out – as writers, actors, and directors – and can facilitate critical conversation for the wider public.

The Media Sigils are a group of PhD students and Early Career Researchers in the field of violence against women with a special interest in the transformative power of media representation. This panel will explore the different ways that media can create space for survivors of violence and will elucidate how media narratives demonstrate alternative possibilities for our connected media futures and play an influential role in relationships.

17:00-18:00 Session 9D: PANEL: Media, Creative and Data Industries in an Ecological Crisis
Location: W003
Media, Creative and Data Industries in an Ecological Crisis

ABSTRACT. This panel seeks to explore the politics of media, creative and data industries in a context of ecological crisis. Taking a broad understanding of media that includes traditional media, the creative industries and digital infrastructure, we are interested in exploring the ways in which material and symbolic dimensions of media production and consumption are implicit in sustaining and deepening environmental damage, and also, how different forms of media practice and activism (from everyday individual acts to worker and organisational responses to direct action) can address environmental violence in and through the media.

By simultaneously exploring the production processes of the media, creative, and data industries and forms of ecologically-oriented mobilisation that emerge in relation to them, we are able to consider these industries as institutions with power, materialities, and narratives preserved through media communications. To what degree are sustainability narratives mirrored in these industries? And how are these industries influencing the lives and livelihoods of the communities they coexist with in a context of ecological crisis?

In its approach, this panel combines the fields of social movement studies, communications, creative industries, digital technology and political ecology to scout out the role of media as the source and representation of public imagination in a context of ecological crisis.


Creating and Resisting the Data Centre Industry - Photini Vrikki

The exponential growth of ubiquitous technologies in the last decade, from laptops and tablets to smartphones and from the internet of things (IoT) to smart cities, have transformed geographical space into transnational infrastructure. More specifically, the infrastructural development of data centres, which accommodates both data transmission and machine communications, has revealed distinct changes in (1) the exploitation of materials, (2) the accumulation of power, and (3) the public’s imagination. This paper explores the data centre industry as both digital infrastructure and political institutions. In doing so it will explore how media narratives influence public imagination around data centres by often discounting the electricity and water consumption of data centres, which is claimed to generate, along with the rest of the ICT sector, up to 2% of the global CO2 emissions, or by ignoring the social marginalisations and global inequalities they may be creating. Taking these observations as a background, this paper aims to identify how data centres are represented in the popular imagination, considering media discussions around sustainability, AI, algorithms, digital platforms, datafication, etc.

Climate change: the media patterns that encourage behaviour change - Anastasia Denisova

In social cognitive theory, people learn behaviours that empower them to act and achieve results. Media coverage offers various frames for the global story of the climate change – from apocalyptic to neutral, solutions-oriented to consumer-based. This study analyses the psychological theory applied to media narratives and identifies the patterns that are more likely to induce a positive action. It outlines the frames and storytelling devices that give the sense of self-efficacy to the audience, reduce news avoidance, and increase the sense of agency.

An ecological lens? Argentina’s creative industries in the face of the ecological crisis - Paula Serafini

If you ask creative industry workers in Argentina about the biggest challenges they face, most likely the ecological crisis won’t be a top priority. Inflation, devaluation, and other economic issues faced in the country are bound to come up first. At the same time, there is part of the creative sector -the non-profit, the autonomous, and to some extent, the state-funded- that is attuned to the fast-growing environmental consciousness in the country; a result of the extreme effects of extractivism which have become more visible in recent years. But how connected are these two sides of the creative sector? This paper will report on empirical, participatory research with representatives from the design, music, and film sectors in Buenos Aires to respond to the question: is there space for creative industry workers in Argentina to become actors in movements for socioenvironmental justice?

17:00-18:00 Session 9E: PANEL: Rebellious Research Roundtable: How do we Articulate the Knowledge and/or Value of the Research in our Practice
Location: W010A
Rebellious Research Roundtable: how do we articulate the knowledge and/or value of the research in our practice

ABSTRACT. A MeCCSA Practice Network Roundtable Proposal

Rebellious Research Roundtable: how do we articulate the knowledge and/or value of the research in our practice

Practice as research has yielded a selection of extraordinary, innovative work over the past few decades, but it has also shaken academia, questioning the traditional way of ‘doing research’ but also communicating the knowledge. Many rebellious issues and approaches define practice as research, among others, the contested role of literary contexts and the legitimacy of experimental practice, both linking to our target audiences and projected impact. This roundtable proposes a discussion (and a showcase of some creative practice examples) among practice as research experts to consider some fundamental questions about communication strategies for PaR.

Proposed topics for discussion: 1. Is the knowledge produced by creative practice research different in some way from other knowledge? 2. What is the place of subjective experience in the production of knowledge in creative practice research? 3. What is the relation between research and practice? 4. Communicating research knowledge within and outside academia – are we speaking the same language? 5. Who are our audiences? 6. Value of research vs value of practice – are they in opposition? 7. The role of written and spoken words in talking about practice? 8. Is knowledge and value of research self-evident in our practice? 9. What is the impact potential of our research practice? 10. Filmmaking as critical practice' (critique via creative practice)

Panellists - Professor Simon McKerrell (Glasgow Caledonian University) - Dr Ian McDonald (Newcastle University) - Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska (Manchester Metropolitan University)

Chair: Dr Agata Lulkowska (Staffordshire University)

Format: Roundtable discussion with three panellists and the audience. 180 mins.

17:00-18:00 Session 9F: PANEL: Scotland’s distinctive public sphere: a media policy roundtable
Location: W010B
Scotland’s distinctive public sphere: a media policy roundtable

ABSTRACT. This roundtable will explore Scotland’s distinctive media and public sphere, with a particular focus on questions of sustainability in respect of funding, trust and the changing regulatory landscape. It contextualises these questions in a turbulent political environment, in which the constitutional question continues to dominate, and the radical changes brought by digital technologies.

Devolution in 1999 significantly shifted Scotland’s political landscape, and 2014’s referendum illuminated the way in which Scotland’s public sphere has developed in parallel as an often uncomfortable hybrid of UK-rooted institutions and emerging Scottish players. Analysis of media structures in the devolved state have however often been subsumed under UK-wide research which can fail to fully illuminate Scotland’s distinct challenges and nature.

This roundtable draws on a recent stakeholder report produced by academics at Glasgow University. Speakers will share insights on a set of key themes including sustainable funding and support for Scotland’s media and how it works in other small countries, digital regulation and competition, holding power to account in Scotland, and the impacts of global digital media on engagement with local issues. It will then invite contributions from the panel speakers and audiences about the future trajectory of Scotland’s media in the next decade.

Participants will include:

Dr Paul Reilly, Senior Lecturer, Politics Dr Catherine Happer, Director of Glasgow University Media Group (GUMG), Sociology Professor Philip Schlesinger, Professor in Cultural Theory Dr Ana Ines Langer, Senior Lecturer, Politics Dr Dominic Hinde, Lecturer, Sociology

17:00-18:00 Session 9G: PANEL: The Future - and Limits - of "Diversity" in the Cultural Industries.
Location: W002
Panel: The Future - and Limits - of "Diversity" in the Cultural Industries

ABSTRACT. Chair: Professor Anamik Saha

“Diversity” is a much-sought-after good these days, and is seen as a key asset to the future success of media. In the cultural and media industries, tackling diversity (or rather the lack thereof) is high on the institutional agenda. At stake in these debates is the reckoning with the creative sector’s own institutional inequalities of production, representation and consumption that are deeply entangled with wider structures of class, “race”, gender, sexualities and disability (among others). However, the role and function of diversity programmes in the creative industries are subject of intense debates which have gained further momentum in light of the cultural sector’s contested responses to the unequal social effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and anti-racist and feminist justice movements like BlackLivesMatter or #metoo. Can diversity actually challenge institutional inequalities, or does it actively remake structural inequality? Under which conditions can diversity discourses unsettle standardized workings in the cultural industries and when do they simply reinscribe social hierarchies, dynamics of racial capitalism, precarious labour relations or hollow post-race/post-feminist ideologies? How can we harness diversity’s critical potential or how to move beyond the term altogether? What are diversity’s limits when it comes to rethinking a politics of cultural production in more sustainable and subversive ways? These are some of the guiding questions that this panel will tackle.

Against diversity: Race, media and reparative justice Anamik Saha, Professor of Race and Media, School of Media and Communication - University of Leeds In this paper, I build on existing critiques of 'diversity' in media and cultural industries that recognise it as a form of power/knowledge that reproduces rather than dismantles social hierarchies in media. The paper argues that the future of media relies upon a rejection of diversity policy, to be replaced with a more radical creative justice programme based around the idea of reparation. Firstly, it makes a distinction between 'reparations' as compensation, and 'reparation' as repair. It is this latter, broader notion of reparation that underpins the paper's notion of reparative justice. Secondly it focuses on the role of media in a reparative justice programme. It is argued that media play a key role in providing the platform for a range of different artistic, theoretical and political interventions that explore how legacies of empire shape the present and the experiences of ancestors of colonialism and slavery. Thirdly, the paper provides concrete examples of the types of radical policies that come with a reparative politics framing, including a case for affirmative action, that it is argued makes for a more effective way of enacting creative justice for racialized groups in media.



17:00-18:00 Session 9H: PANEL: Unravelling Local and Community Media
Location: W005
Unravelling local and community media.
PRESENTER: Rachel Matthews

ABSTRACT. This timely panel brings together a suite of papers which problematise approaches to research in the field of Local and Community Media. As space is increasingly carved out for the particular study of a local and community media, so research is increasingly taking a comparative turn, developing from the largely national focussed studies which have dominated the field today. However, such attempts have in turn thrown up issues, for instance in relation to terminology – how local and community media are named - and the limits of the field – so what are legitimate objects of study. This panel brings together four papers which each offer both a perspective on these questions and offer suggestions for bridging those differences.

Chair: Dr David Baines, Secretary of the Local and Community Media Network of MeCCSA.