dear colleagues, I append my report about the policy network for the Meccsa AGM below. Still time to tweak it if anyone wants to get back to me about it.
see some of you there
MECCSA AGM, JANUARY 2009
REPORT FROM THE POLICY NETWORK
Máire Messenger Davies
The Policy Network was formally set up/authorised by the Meccsa Executive in March 2008. It had already informally constituted itself after a meeting at the Cardiff conference in January 2008, which had included a number of lively and well-attended sessions on Media Policy. The founder members are listed on the Policy group website at http://www.meccsa.org.uk/policy-network/ and there are now 75 members of the network, from universities and media organizations throughout the UK, as well as some members from abroad. The network website also has links with related organizations such as the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, the Voice of the Listener and Viewer and Save Kids TV.
As the site states, the purpose of the network is to provide the opportunity for dialogue on issues concerning the media’s relationship with ‘civil society’ and the discussions of media scholars around this relationship. The email list has been the most widely used means for having this dialogue, although our web archive does include some more formal articles; in addition to extended exchanges about the Ofcom PSB review, there have been exchanges on the future of journalism; arts council policy in New Zealand; children’s television; local television; radio; colleagues’ own books and articles – including useful reminders of articles and letters currently appearing in online publications, such as The Guardian and The Times, which others could then respond to.
Public service broadcasting review and citizenship: members’ responses
The most pressing concern for most members this year has been Ofcom’s Public Service Broadcasting Review. Some members sent responses which can be seen on Ofcom’s own website at http://www.ofcom.org.uk/consult/condocs/psb2_phase2/responses/.
Ivor Gaber, of the University of Bedfordshire, co-ordinated the response of the Voice of the Listener and Viewer, and a number of Policy network members contributed to his drafts. Sylvia Harvey of the University of Lincoln also sent an individual response to Ofcom, which incorporated many of the concerns of fellow Meccsa members. She also responded to the Ofcom consultation on citizenship. Policy network members have attended and contributed to a number of events including VLV seminars on Ofcom's PSB and citizenship consultations, and on the future of children’s broadcasting; they also attended VLV Q&A sessions with the Secretary of State, Andy Burnham; and various conferences and seminars within their own institutions in which the relationship of the citizen with broadcasting and its regulators and policy makers was central. There were two major events at LSE on these topics in the Autumn. Key issues in the responses to the Ofcom PSB consultation were the issue of top slicing the BBC licence fee; concerns about radio and local television; and regional broadcasting.
Members will have noted in the published RAE reports from Panel O and sub-panel 66 (http://www.rae.ac.uk/pubs/2009/ov/) a concern that policy research in our field, while producing a number of valuable publications, could be improved and extended. The panel also noted a comparative neglect of ‘traditional’ media, including the press and broadcasting. This is not true of the work of many members of the Policy network – and we hope these efforts will continue and expand in 2009.
The website Policy page
Many thanks are due to Salvatore Scifo for his help in setting up the Policy Network website, and in helping to keep the membership list up to date.
It is hoped to hold a Policy event in 2009. The Policy Network meeting is at 2 pm on Friday 16th January– all welcome – and this proposed event is something to be discussed at this meeting.
Maire Messenger Davies
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Professor Máire Messenger Davies
Director, Centre for Media Research
Director, Media Studies Research Institute, http://www.arts.ulster.ac.uk/research/media_studies/index.htm
School of Media, Film & Journalism
University of Ulster at Coleraine
Coleraine BT52 1SA
Telephone: + 44(0)28 70324069
Fax: +44(0)28 70324964
email: [log in to unmask]
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