Welcome to MeCCSA
Welcome to MeCCSA, the subject association that represents all who teach or research in Higher Education in media, communications and cultural studies, whether in arts, humanities or social sciences departments. This includes practice-based work as well as more ‘academic’ disciplines.
More about MeCCSA…
Home Office guidance from Prevent on prevention of terrorism addresses many issues, including universities’ policy in relation to invitation of speakers onto their campuses.
The Home Office Guidance sets out the difficult task of balancing protection of open debate and freedom of expression with universities’ and student unions’ proper charitable and social responsibilities. It says that “Higher education institutions and student unions can be challenged on whether they have given due consideration to the public benefit and associated risks notably when they, or one of their affiliated societies, invite controversial or extremist speakers to address students.” Prevent also note that “The Education (2) Act 1986 also requires higher and further education institutions to maintain and update a code of practice on the freedom of speech, setting out procedures and conduct for organising and attending meetings.”
MeCCSA is concerned at the varied implementation and interpretation of these proposals. Our view is that the ability to question provocative or contentious speakers is a necessary part of the culture of vigorous debate that should be essential at any university. In our fields this is intensified because many members are engaged, among other things, in teaching about news and journalism, and the ability to invite in speakers from all sides of a debate, and to subject them to critical interview or questioning, is essential to student learning about ethical and responsible reporting. It is also vital that understanding of the sources and journalistic construction of a very wide range of views and opinions forms part of the student pedagogic experience, as well as being a necessary tool for the intelligent and informed citizen of a democracy.
Most universities are aware of the dilemma this poses, and have drawn up policy positions (or a Code as prescribed above) to make clear their institutional approach to such matters. We seek to ensure such Codes are well drafted and consistent between institutions, and we are actively involved in working toward such ends.
This issue will be discussed at the AGM during the Annual conference in January 2016.
Three-D, issue 25 (PDF, 3.3 Mb) – Latest
In this issue:
1 Time to save the BBC: make your voice heard (Einar Thorsen)
BBC Green Paper
2 BBC Charter Review: how to respond (Tom O’Malley)
3 Actions not words (Sylvia Harvey)
4 BBC Charter Review (Jonathan Hardy)
5 Mitigating the damage of a vengeful govt. (Steven Barnett)
5 The case for a Licence Fee Body (Colin Browne)
6 A shrunken BBC? (Pat Holland)
7 Corporate sabotage and the future of the BBC (Tom Mills)
8 Battle for BBC and struggle for public space (Graham Murdock)
11 On with the dance: the BBC and entertainment (Máire Messenger Davies)
12 Charter Review and BBC children’s content (Jeanette Steemers)
13 Beeb-bashing by the Right: is it justified? (Ivor Gaber)
15 BBC’s international coverage (James Rodgers)
16 Keeping the ‘British’ in the BBC (Neil Blain)
18 BBC and its European partners in defence of PSM (Michael Klontzas)
19 Not just an attack on the BBC (Des Freedman)
MeCCSA Annual Conferences
20 MeCCSA 2016: ‘Communities’ (Àgnes Gulyàs)
Reports and initiatives
21 Chair’s report (Natalie Fenton)
22 MeCCSA letter on BBC Charter Review
25 MeCCSA response to DCMS consultation
35 Practice Network (Joanna Callaghan, Cahal McLaughlin, Greg Bevan)
37 Women’s Media Studies Network (Feona Atwood, Kaitlynn Mendes, Francien Broekhuizen)
38 Social Movements Network (Rosalind Brunt, Anna Feigenbaum)
40 Climate Change Network (Nathan Farrell)
41 Postgraduate Network (Poppy Wilde, Francien Broekhuizen)
The Government is currently consulting about its Green Paper on the BBC Charter Review. This Charter Review signals the most serious challenge to the purposes and funding of the BBC in a generation. Whatever your views on the future funding, scope and purpose of the BBC, as teachers and researchers in the field we encourage you to make sure your concerns are heard. The Consultation ends on 8th October 2015.
We will be submitting a letter, addressed to John Whittingdale, along with the MeCCSA response to the consultation. We would like as many signatories as possible – please consider adding yours.
The letter was published in the Independent on Saturday 1st August 2015, with the original signatories.
This report presents evidence and provides analysis of the consequences of changes to government policy and funding structures in higher education in the UK, in the fields of semedia, communications and cultural studies. The removal of the block teaching grant for subjects in arts, humanities and social sciences, along with the implementation of undergraduate student fees of up to £9,000 in 2012/13, and the announcement that recruitment caps on student numbers will be lifted from 2015/16 have had significant consequences for the way higher education is conceptualized, organized and delivered across the UK. Despite changes to the funding system, the fields of media, communication and cultural studies remain popular with students: on the whole, student numbers remain high in these subject areas and the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF) revealed excellence of research in the majority of institutions.
By Pete Fraser (Chair, Media Education Association)
The changes to the curriculum at GCSE and A level have largely gone under the radar for teachers in higher education. Indeed teachers in schools and colleges are often surprised to discover what’s been happening! For all of us, the future of Media and Film Studies is potentially at stake, so it is important that everyone is made aware of both what is happening and what we might be able to do about it. In this article, I shall outline the context for these changes and describe the precarious position in which Film and Media Studies find themselves.
In view of the wide diversity of disciplinary orientation, methodological approach, and conceptual foundation of research in our field, MeCCSA does not publish a detailed code of research practice. Instead MeCCSA has published a statement that outlines a broad set of principles and links to a range of research practice guidelines from various associations, which we believe may be of value in the conduct of members’ research.
You can read more about the background to this initiative in Peter Golding’s article in Three-D Issue 15 [PDF], and also in Martin Barker’s article in Three-D Issue 10 [PDF].
At the recent AGM at the University of Bedfordshire, 12th January 2012, the following resolution was passed:
This AGM supports the initiative of the Coordinating Committee for Media Reform in its submission to Leveson, and further public forums, as a proper and fruitful stimulus to well-informed debate.
Brochure: Media programmes at university
Studying Media, Film and Communication at University: choosing the right course for you (PDF, 268k) updated!
Here is the latest version of the MeCCSA leaflet for schools and colleges aimed at prospective university students of media, film, and communication studies. All institutional members will be receiving copies of the leaflet, and you are of course free to download further copies for your own use. We hope that you will find it helpful. You can also find more detailed information here, in the FAQs.
MeCCSA on JISCmail
MeCCSA and its Networks operate discussion and information lists through the JISCmail system. Click the following links for information or to join:
The MeCCSA Radio Studies Network encourages interested colleagues to subscribe to the Radio Studies list, a forum for teachers, researchers and broadcasters active since 1998.
Comments and suggestions to Einar Thorsen
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