Centre for Media Research

Celebrating our Televisual Heritage – UTV Opens its Archive to University of Ulster Researchers

Celebrating our Televisual Heritage – UTV Opens its Archive to University of Ulster Researchers

The University of Ulster’s Centre for Media Research and UTV invite you along to a celebration of two recent research projects undertaken…

Media, Culture and Post-Conflict Society

The Centre for Media Research and Edge Hill University are hosting two symposia to discuss the fraught issues of representation, culture and identity in Northern Ireland.

The region is rapidly losing the status of being a post-conflict society, as well as its reputation for offering a model of conflict resolution. Recently the Community Relations Council’s Peace Monitoring Report (2014) has pointed to deepening sectarian division and growing mistrust, the evidence for which is palpable.

In recent times there have been street protests fuelled by working class unionist alienation and sporadic violence from dissident republicans. The promised peace dividend has failed to materialise and in its place is austerity imposed from above, which poses the danger of already antagonist communities being forced to compete for limited and diminishing resources. Such straitened times are proving fertile ground, not only for sectarianism, but racism also, with Northern Ireland’s growing immigrant communities suffering a dramatic rise in the incidence of hate crimes. Meanwhile the issues of abortion and same-sex marriage have revealed the depth of dispute that exists between conservative and liberal constituencies in the region. It seems that just as old antagonisms die-hard, new battle-lines are emerging in the ‘new’ Northern Ireland.

These conflicts are arguably exacerbated by a largely ineffective political system centred on an assembly that has little power and which is constructed to recognise yet not mediate nor resolve sectarianism. Instead it has institutionalized division and difference while deliberately marginalizing moderating voices of opposition. This has become central to the construction of a fractured, factionalized civil society dominated by political agendas that, within the construct of the Peace Process, has produced an intellectual stagnation. Those critical of the divisive outplaying of the 1998 agreement, in many sectors of political and intellectual life, have become seen as “Cassandra” figures.

It is within this context that we invite contributions to the symposia that consider questions of representation, culture and identity. These concepts were central to the conflict in Northern Ireland’s past, and they were integral to the peace process and remain at the centre of political discourse in the region today.

How are representation, culture and identity constituted and contested in contemporary Northern Ireland? And how might we most usefully think about and configure them today and for the future?

The first symposium will be scheduled in September and will take place at the University of Ulster’s Belfast campus. The second is scheduled for January next year and will take place at Edge Hill.

At this stage we are looking for expressions of interest and invite contributions (not exclusively) in the areas of:

  • Broadcast media and film
  • Cultural Studies
  • Dramatic Arts and arts administration
  • Government, governance, regulation and policy-making
  • Journalism, citizen media and activist media
  • Literature and art
  • Local government and administration
  • Peace and conflict studies
  • Political communication

If you would like to contribute contact Stephen Baker at sj.baker@ulster.ac.uk


Workshop for final year students

Honeycomb is offering a series of free ‘Take Flight’ workshops to help you to set yourself apart from the crowd and improve your interview skills and employability chances. Places will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis to all final year students, so sign up now to secure your place.

Alastair Creamer, workshop facilitator can be seen on stage at Tedx Oslo

The workshop for UUC will take place on the day of the vivas between 12noon and 3pm at Flowerfield. The workshop has been scheduled so that those doing their vivas can take part – if you need to duck out for twenty minutes that’s OK, you can still sign up.

Fliers for this event can be downloaded here - Take Flight workshop flier

Honeycomb Creative Buzz Award.

The ‘Honeycomb Creative Buzz Award’ is a prestigious competition to find the digital creators of tomorrow.  The top twenty graduates from the Class-of-2014 will be selected to receive the Honeycomb Buzz Award. Your course is one of the main courses which is being targeted for talent.

The twenty award winners will win a week-long immersion at  CultureTech, taking place in Derry/Londonderry from September 15th – 21st 2014.  Importantly  you will also secure a place on the bespoke Honeycomb Bootcamp@CultureTech, a four-day intensive mentoring and networking experience taking place at the heart of CultureTech.

Bootcamp@CultureTech will culminate in a pitching competition judged by industry experts to select a single prizewinner to attend CultureTech Brooklyn USA from November 12th to 14th fully funded by Honeycomb.

To qualify for the Creative Buzz Award, all you need to do is submit a digital piece of work eg digital photography portfolio, online game, movie or clip up to 15 minutes, website, animation, music, digital design for evaluation.

For full details and to apply, please go to https://www.thehoneycomb.net/creative-buzz-award

You can print off a flier here - BUZZ AWARDS POSTER V3

I can say this with absolute certainty. I was there.

A slide show of Sue Morris, Greg McLaughlin and Stephen Baker’s exhibition at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, which ran from 4th March -23rd March 2014.

Regulating The Press – IMPRESS, an Independent Monitor For The Press?

Regulation of the press is an ongoing discussion in government, legal, academic and journalistic circles.

Press regulation will be the topic of discussion at a meeting organised by the Centre for Media Research and the School for Media Film and Journalism at the University of Ulster. The guest speaker will be Jonathan Heawood, Director of the IMPRESS Project.

The meeting will be on 8 May, 2014, 5.15pm for coffee, with discussion starting 5.30pm in The Boardroom, Room 82D23, at the University of Ulster campus, York Street, Belfast.

You are warmly invited to attend.

IMPRESS, in its own words, is “Developing plans for press regulation which is independent of politicians and press owners, affordable for small publishers and websites, and accountable to the public.”

Jonathan Heawood has been touring the UK, speaking to local publishers and interested university departments involved in journalism training, to explain IMPRESS and to seek support for it. He will be joined at the Belfast meeting by John Horgan, the press Ombudsman for the Republic of Ireland, who gave evidence to the Leveson Inquiry about how press regulation works in Ireland. Many UK publications also publish in RoI.

We very much hope you will be able to join us at this meeting and contribute to the discussion.

IMPRESS is keen to have as many local and regional voices involved in this project as possible.

Please contact Milne Rowntree to confirm that you are interested in coming to this event.

Refreshments will be served, so we need to confirm final numbers a week in advance, but, if you could let us know of your potential interest now, it will very much help our planning.

Professor Máire Messenger Davies PhD, FRSA, MBPsS


Centre for Media Research

University of Ulster


Working Class Politics in Northern Ireland

Queen’s University is hosting a panel discussion and open debate on ‘Working Class Politics in Northern Ireland’ on 12th March, 6pm inPeter Frogatt Centre, Room 02/018. The panel includes Stephen Baker from the Centre for Media Research, as well as Dr. Tony Novosel, (University of Pittsburgh), author of Northern Ireland’s lost opportunity: The Failed Promise of Political Loyalism; Tommy McKearney (Independent Workers Union), author of The Provisional IRA: From Insurrection to Parliament; Prof. Graham Walker (Queens University Belfast), author of A History of the Ulster Unionist Party: Protest, Pragmatism and Pessimism.

There will be plenty of time for discussion and questions from the floor. The event is free and open to the public and anyone interested in attending is asked to  email Prof. John Barry at j.barry@qub.ac.uk to confirm attendance?

Postgraduate research opportunities at Centre for Media Research

The Centre for Media Research welcomes applications to pursue doctoral research in the following areas: film, television, photography, journalism, media production and interactive media arts. Members of staff have research expertise and can act as supervisors for work in many aspects of these broad areas. Staff have particular expertise in Irish film, television and popular culture; media and conflict/post-conflict; British film, television and popular culture; experimental film; photography and the mass media; cultural and political theory; gender and cultural representation; class and culture; animation; digital media, arts and games and media archives.

To apply go on-line here.

The Centre for Media research is located within the School of Media, Film and Journalism at the University of Ulster on the Coleraine campus.

I can say this with absolute certainty. I was there.


Snapshot 1 (24-02-2014 16-40)The controversial events of Bloody Sunday in Derry 1972, the miners’ strike of 1984 and the Hillsborough football stadium disaster 1989 are explored in an multimedia installation entitled, I can say this with absolute certainty. I was there.

The piece is the work of local artist, Sue Morris and the Centre for Media Research’s, Greg McLaughlin and Stephen Baker, and it explores the domestic consumption of eyewitness testimony and official propaganda. It situates this consumption in the everyday setting of the kitchen and alludes to the public/private oppositions and contradictions that the stated events provoked for those both directly involved and those who received information about the events in highly mediated contexts. The exhibition runs from 4 March – 23 March at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, with an opening Reception: 7pm, Thursday 6 March. 

Supported by The National Lottery through the Arts Councilof Northern Ireland

Bad news for refugees and asylum seekers

Journalists Alex Kane, Tim Brannigan, and Andrea Dymus will join Professor Greg Philo at the University of Ulster, Belfast, to talk about the media representation of refugees and asylum seekers.

The event, which takes place on Thursday 12 December in room 82C02-4, is part of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Festival and has been organise in partnership by the Northern Ireland Council for Ethnic Minorities and the Centre for Media Research.

All welcome.