MeCCSA Conference 2010

MeCCSA is the Media, Communication & Cultural Studies Association and held its annual conference at LSE in London earlier this month. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend, but some of the papers have been published on the conference website, available for all to download. The website also contains the request to ‘contact the authors if you want to cite these papers’. All links are to the PDF version of the paper in question.

Here are two papers with a legal theme that caught my eye:

In ‘What’s wrong with media monopolies?’, Prof. Steven Barnett of the University of Westminster unpacks the idea that media concentration is ‘wrong’, including a good history of media regulation in the US and UK. Assessing the current trend for media enterprises to call for the removal or modification of ownership restrictions, and also various schemes proposed by Government and Opposition, he considers the idea of focusing on content regulation rather than structural regulation, and focuses on the promotion of ‘watchdog journalism’.

Lawrie Hallett (Westminster) and Deborah Wilson (Lincoln) presented a very thorough paper on the regulation of community radio in the UK. This is something quite close to my own heart, although I haven’t written in the area of radio regulation yet (I’d like to). Hallett and Wilson’s paper includes a discussion of the relevant statutory provisions, a consideration of the possible divisions within the sector and occasional tensions between the BBC and community stations and a lot of information on sub-statutory processes (especially Ofcom licensing).

And finally, quick impressions of some other papers. Dhiraj Murthy’s paper on Twitter is right up to date, with a discussion of the various uses of the service that raise broader questions, and also a very handy bibliography for this developing area. There are also a number of studies of individual jurisdictions outside of the UK. Shashwat Goswami considers the development of policy in relation to health communication in India, Opoku Ernest of the Ghana National Media Commission assesses both constitutional provisions and journalists’ ethical codes, including a presentation of the work of the Commission itself.

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