MeCCSA annual conference,
Bournemouth University 8 – 10 January, 2014
As thoughts turn to the Derry conference in January some of us have started the reassuringly long process of organising MeCCSA 2014. Here at Bournemouth University’s Media School, discussions have begun about hotels, volunteers, administration, key notes and that most awkward of conference problems: room bookings!
Bournemouth, as many of you will know, is a very pleasant seaside resort on the south coast of England; two hours by train from London and served by some delightful seafront hotels. The main university campus, where all of the conference events will take place, is a little to the north of the town centre, about 10 minutes by bus or a bracing 25 minute walk.
The main conference building is Kimmeridge House, a brand new set of lecture theatres and other venues with some state of the art sound and video projection facilities.
I do think now is a good time for Bournemouth to host the MeCCSA conference. The Media School is known for its emphasis on practice, for our degrees with the word ‘production’ in their names, for our industry contacts and our ‘professional’ approach to media education. But in the last ten years there has been a distinct shift towards a more thoughtful, critical and research-based approach. We still have good technical equipment, including the first HD television studio in a British university, but we also now have over 100 PhD students and some successful and active research centres including those specialising in journalism, narrative, media history, political communication and consumer cultures.
The conference we are planning will, we hope, address issues around the fusion of practice and theory while also inviting presentations on the widest range of themes covered by the association.
We are confident that MeCCSA 2014 will be an opportunity to reflect on theory as well as practice, to hear producers as well as scholars of the media. There will be plenty for delegates interested in journalism, in television and radio, in communications and policy and also those two chronological poles of our subject area, the historical past and the immediate present; from the birth of electronic media to online developments which may not yet have taken place.