Three-D Issue 30: Policy Network report

So far in 2018 the MeCCSA Policy Network has supported two events.

First, the Media Democracy Festival 2018: Faking It, Breaking It, Re-Making It – What’s wrong with our media and how to fix it took place at Birkbeck, University of London on 17 March 2018. The event was a national gathering open to the public, that brought together media democracy campaigners, researchers and citizens to take part in talks and discussions on issues from media racism to alternative models of media funding, ownership and control, to the running and independence of the BBC.

The aim of the event was to help build the movement for democratic and accountable media. The event invited those who ‘think media moguls and press barons have too much power and influence in our society, want to protect and democratise the BBC, would love to see media co-ops in every community or just work as an independent journalist, photographer or filmmaker’ to attend, with the ‘goal is to build a diverse and powerful movement for Media Democracy in the UK’. Speakers included: Owen Jones (The Guardian); Dawn Foster (The Guardian); Brian Cathcart (Hacked Off); Kerry-Anne Mendoza (The Canary).

Second, the Trailblazing Women On and Off Screen: Equal Access in the Film and Television Industries conference was hosted by the Department of Creative Professions and Digital Arts, at the University of Greenwich,18-19 June 2018.

The conference blended theory and practice to explore the themes of trailblazing women with a unique blend of talks, master classes and screenings focussed on inspiring women working within the academy and the film and television industries. The lack of women on and off screen, across a range of roles has been a hot topic in recent years and particularly in 2018, with #MeToo and #TimesUp resonating with women across continents and beyond the screen industries. This conference sought to continue that conversation, by bringing together scholars, practitioners, industry figures, politicians and students, to explore the role of women on and off screen, with a particular focus on equal access.

Speakers included those from academia: Liz Tucker, Miranda Banks, Heather Savigny, Linda Ruth Williams and Helen Wood; from politics: Tracy Brabin MP, Margot James MP; and from a range of other sectors: Paralympic gold medallist Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, film critic Anna Smith, and Ngozi Ugochukwu from the Black Members’ Committee – BECTU.

Also this year, we set up a MeCCSA Policy Twitter account (@meccsapolicy), so please follow it if you use the platform. We are also exploring other opportunities for greater online interaction. If you have any ideas regarding this, then please get in touch. Also, at the Policy Network we are willing to hear from members regarding any ideas on how we might partner with you, especially if you have a relevant event at the planning stage, or some other project that you are working on. In both cases, please get in touch so that we can discuss further: pt.ramsey@ulster.ac.uk.

Posted by Einar Thorsen