Three-D Issue 16: Annual report of the Policy Network

Máire Messenger Davies
University of Ulster

There have been a number of events this year and our activities up to the end of September were reported more fully in the October issue of Three-D (see the website and email list MECCSA-POLICY@JISCMAIL.AC.UK).

19th March, 2010

Small group meeting with Jonathan Breckon, AHRC, and Simon Griffiths, British Academy to discuss possible future funding for policy research, including involvement of the BA.

April 16th, 2010

Public event at City University, guest speaker journalist Maggie Brown, on ‘the next [now the present] government’s likely policy agenda and what the role of academics should be.’ She correctly prophesied a Conservative, or hung Parliament, and since April there have been a large number of policy issues for members to concern themselves with, including the position of the BBC and the freezing of its license fee; the proposed takeover of the whole of BskyB by News International (still current) and other implications of the change of Government, including the future of public service media and the future of regulation – Ofcom in particular.

September 16th, 2010

Meeting by six Policy Network members, plus Ben Gibbons from the AHRC, as an observer, at Ofcom with research staff including head of research, James Thickett, Alison Preston and Jane Rumble, to discuss the future of Ofcom’s research (apparently secure for the time being) and ways for the academy and Ofcom to collaborate (resulting in event on December 14, see below).

November 1st, 2010

VLV Seminar at the National Liberal Club on children’s media, with guest speaker Joe Godwin, head of CBBC, jointly organised by Jeanette Steemers of the Policy Network (University of Westminster) and VLV. This was extremely well-attended and has given rise to future meetings of Network members with Godwin and his staff to discuss academic collaboration and funding in this area (next meeting with Adrian Mills, CBBC, in London on 17th Jan, 2011).

December 14th 2010

Ofcom/MeCCSA Policy research seminar to 1) present findings of its Digital Day research and 2) to discuss issues of PSB with academics, including presentations from academics about their research; namely James Bennett (London Met) on the independent production sector and its impact on PSB; Cathy Johnson (Nottingham) on broadcaster branding/new media strategies in the UK and US and Máire Messenger Davies (Ulster) with input from Jeanette Steemers (Westminster) on the Policy Network itself, and about research on PSB issues involving children and young people. Academic section of the event chaired by Sue Thornham, chair of MeCCSA.

Individual events

Other events organised by Policy Network researchers included:
March 17th, 2010: Goldsmiths Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy, in association with the NUJ ‘Democracy without journalists – the crisis in local news’.

September 8-11th: RIPE@2010 Conference, University of Westminster, ‘Public Service Media After the Recession’
December 14th: Polis group seminar, LSE

Educational policy

As members of public institutions, academics find themselves in the frontline of controversial policy decisions. For info on responses to cuts in HE, see MeCCSA website.

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