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…

MeCCSA letter on Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-09-50-01The Government is currently consulting about two key issues relating to the implementation of the framework for independent self-regulation of the press that was agreed by Parliament after the first stage of the Leveson Inquiry. The consultation questions whether Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 should be commenced and if Part 2 of the Leveson Inquiry should go ahead. Whatever your views on press regulation, as teachers and researchers in the field we encourage you to make sure your concerns are heard. The Consultation ends on 10th January 2017.

MeCCSA is currently drafting a submission, which will be available on this website. Members have written extensively about Leveson, and Three-D Issue 20 and Issue 24 both contained a number of articles that might be of interest by way of background context.

MeCCSA will also be submitting a letter, addressed to Karen Bradley, along with our response to the DCMS consultation. We would like as many signatories as possible – please consider adding yours.

Three-D Issue 26

MeCCSA-ThreeD-26-Thumb-ShadThree-D, issue 26 (PDF, 4 Mb) – Latest

In this issue:
Future of HE and academic freedoms (Einar Thorsen)

Future of Higher Education
2 More audit and less academic freedom? (David Hesmondhalgh)
4 From Green to Gold: reclaiming our universities (Natalie Fenton)
6 Threat from unrestrained competition (Janet Jones)
6 The Story of the TEF (Abigail Gardner)
7 In defence of Media Studies (Lucy Bennett & Jenny Kidd)
8 Dealing with the gendered pay gap (Rachel Cohen & Jo Littler)

Prevent & surveillance
9 Prevent, civil liberty and the assault on learning (Milly Williamson)
10 The case for evidence-based worrying (Barry Richards)
11 Surveillance and the Investigatory Powers Bill (Arne Hintz)
12 Fight the rise of the right (Bethany Usher)

EU Referendum
13 Brexit and the academy (Daniel Jackson)

Media Reform
15 Chilcot Report, whatever! (Gholam Khiabany)
17 A Future for Public Service TV? (Des Freedman)
18 Diversity, minorities, pluralism and the future of PSB (Anamik Saha)

MeCCSA Annual Conferences
20 MeCCSA 2016: ‘Communities’ (Àgnes Gulyàs)
23 MeCCSA 2017: University of Leeds (Anna Zoellner)

Reports and initiatives
25 Chair’s report (Natalie Fenton)
26 Turkish academics and media studies (Three-D note; MeCCSA letter)
27 Funding MeCCSA subjects (John Downey)
28 Response submitted by MeCCSA to the Stern Review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF)
31 Response submitted by MeCCSA to the Better use of data in government public consultation
33 Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonialism Network (Rinella Cere)
34 Practice Network (Rachel Younger; Joanna Callaghan)
35 Postgraduate Network (Simon Dawes)

MeCCSA letter to Turkish Minister in support of academic freedom

The below letter has today been sent by Natalie Fenton to the Turkish Minister of Education from MeCCSA in support of colleagues facing struggles over academic freedom, losing their jobs and in some cases facing imprisonment. Please consider sending your own letters of support.

The letter is also available as a PDF download.


Response submitted by MeCCSA to the Better use of data in government public consultation

Better use of data in governmentSubmitted 22nd April 2016

This response to the Better use of data in government public consultation is on behalf of MeCCSA (the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association) which is the subject association for academics and students in these fields in UK Higher Education.

You can read the full response below or download a PDF version.


Response submitted by MeCCSA to the Stern Review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Research Excellence Framework review: terms of referenceSubmitted 21st March 2016

This response is on behalf of MeCCSA (the Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association) which is the subject association for academics and students in these fields in UK Higher Education. It draws on extensive independent research into the changing higher education environment and how it has impacted on the field of media, communications and cultural studies, and on discussion at the Association’s Executive and after consultation with members.  The research study, cited in some answers, employed both quantitative and qualitative methods to capture the personal experiences of senior academics working in the fields of media, communications and cultural studies in higher education.

You can read the full response below or download a PDF version.

You can view the original call for evidence and the final Stern review online. (more…)

MeCCSA response to HE Green Paper

Following discussion at the MeCCSA AGM of the Higher Education Green Paper, Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice,  Peter Golding sent an official response to Alison Haines of the Higher Education Directorate on behalf of MeCCSA.

Download MeCCSA response (PDF, 0.18Mb)


MeCCSA statement on Home Office guidance from Prevent

Prevent Duty Guidance: for higher education institutions in England and WalesHome 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.

Statement of Research Ethics Guidelines

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].

MeCCSA supports Media Reform initiative

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.

Website contacts

Comments and suggestions to Einar Thorsen
© MeCCSA 2002-2014