Law courses and the Faculty of Media & Communication

bu-logoAs the new faculty structure takes shape across BU, the discipline of Law will be integrated into the Faculty of Media & Communication, shifting its home from what used to be the Business School.

In a recent discussion to explain the process to Law students, Stephen Jukes, Dean of the Faculty of Media & Communication students said: “There are no plans to change any of the existing courses or jeopardise your study. Far from it, and to ensure that no boats are rocked, it has been agreed that students graduating this year will remain part of the Business School”.

Stephen continued to say: “The intention is to add to the richness of both Law and Media, drawing on Law’s international reputation for work in the areas of Human Rights and Intellectual Property. Human Rights fits extremely well with traditional Media subjects such as Journalism or Politics. Intellectual Property is absolutely crucial for anyone wanting to work in Media, managing for example sports rights, or working in the increasingly complex social media environment. At the same time, we very much want to boost Law’s national and international profile and invest in the discipline. We would love to bring Law and Media students together in joint projects where the various strands can come together – one idea is to set up a “moot court” and all suggestions are very welcome.”

As the discipline of Law embeds into the new Faculty, there may be development of new courses such as combined degree linking, for example, linking Law with Politics and History. But those plans are for the future and as Stephen puts it “please be reassured that no-one is going to mess with the degree course you are currently on!”.

Please read these helpful FAQs which may help to answer some of your questions, or contact:

Chloe Schendel-Wilson – SUBU President,

Ellie Mayo-Ward – SUBU Vice President for Education,

Sue Warnock – Law Framework Leader,

Sally Weston – Head of Law,

The Fresher Writing Prize 2015

fresher-writing-logoCreative writers are invited to enter the Fresher Writing Prize 2015 – The annual competition for new writers.

There are categories for fiction, poetry, scriptwriting and creative non-fiction, and fabulous prizes to be won – including a one-to-one with a literary agent, a personalised consultation from a renowned self-publishing expert – plus the opportunity to be published in the Fresher Writing 2015 anthology.

The shortlisted writers will be special guests at the Fresher Writing Awards, held in Bournemouth at the end of May. It costs just £5 per entry. Closing date 8 March 2015. Find out more and enter here>>

Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Award Winners – Faculty of Media & Comunication

ChinduSreedharanCongratulations to Dr Chindu Sreedharan from The Media School on winning the Academic Staff – Unsung Hero Award at the Vice-Chancellor Staff Awards 2014.

Dr Chindu Sreedharan was nominated for the inspirational and innovative extra-curricular activities he has organised for students, using his creativity to provide an outstanding learning experience.

“One of Chindu’s most notable projects was ‘Project India’ where he had undergraduate and postgraduate journalism students from BU working together on the Indian Elections with institutions in India.  The students loved it and what a great experience for them.”

Dr Ann Luce, Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Communication, Media School

“Chindu’s enthusiasm and passion for what he’s doing are really infectious.”

Dr Einar Thorsen, Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Communication, Media School

“Chindu really encapsulates BU’s vision and values … That’s why we nominated him!”

Dr Ann Luce, Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Communication, Media School

Find further information on the 2014 Vice-Chancellor’s Staff Awards.

BU’s Stephen Jukes talks about James Foley execution on BBC Radio Solent

When asked by BBC Radio Solent presenter Louisa Hannan about his thoughts upon hearing of the apparent execution of James Foley, BU’s Stephen Jukes replied: “Shocking, horrific, terrible… but sadly no longer a surprise.”

James Foley was a freelance journalist who became a captive of the IS organisation in Iraq. A video of his execution was uploaded to YouTube on 19 August 2014, which made international headlines.

A former foreign correspondent and media executive with Reuters, Jukes was interviewed about the execution and the dangers facing journalists in war zones.

Juke, who is now Dean of BU’s Media School, reflected on the change in journalism since 9/11, stating that journalism was safer prior to the attacks.

He said: “There was a time, a sort of golden age, when the journalist was neutral; a detached observer and probably almost untouchable. The word ‘press’ was also in a sense a sort of badge of security.”

In the past thirteen years though, journalists have become targets, he added. Journalists working with large organisations receive better protection, with specific training for hostile environments, including how to avoid kidnapping and being shot, as well as emotional support for any trauma they may face.

However, Jukes highlighted the lack of support and protection for freelance and local journalists in war zones. In areas too dangerous for foreign correspondents, news organisations increasingly rely on local journalists. A large number of journalists killed in Syria have been Syrians.

He said: “In a sense you’ve got this hierarchy of the foreign correspondent with all the protection and support, you’ve got the freelancer who may well be a Westerner, who goes in, has limited support, probably with some form of insurance and then you have the locals, who have nothing.”

Jukes believes it’s up to the news organisations and charities to provide support and protection to freelance and local journalists.

Since the start of the Syrian conflict alone, some claim that more than a hundred journalists have been killed. Terror organisations have used the murders of these journalists, recording their killings in order to spread their message.

Jukes provided a defence for the difficult decision of some news outlets in deciding to show the recording of Foley’s murder. He said: “If you don’t show the video the kidnappers will say ‘well, we’ll kill him’. If you do show the video, there’s no more publicity element left for the kidnappers, so they’ll kill him. Effectively, whatever you do, you’ll be wrong.”

However, he also added that he personally did not think that news outlets should give the terror organisations the publicity by showing the video, as it was readily available online. Jukes cited terror organisations’ use of social media as key in their campaign of violence

“What’s happened is those organisations, those terror organisations, whether they be ISIS or Al-Qaeda in a previous guise, they are really using social media. They’re doing what we do every day in getting their message out. They’re using the new tools of social media.”

However, Jukes does not think that the latest show of violence will deter journalists or those hoping to take up the career. He said: “I don’t think journalists or want-to-be-journalists are going to stop doing it. That’s what we do and we need to tell stories and that’s what we want to do.

“We want to hold a light up to truth and uncover what’s going on and get behind the scenes… The problem is it’s becoming increasingly dangerous.

Listen to the interview in full (starts 35 minutes into the programme, which is available for 30 days)

By Harriet Gilbraith

Harriet is a student at Budmouth College in Weymouth, who is working at Bournemouth University in the Press and PR Department. She joined BU on a Sir Samuel Mico Scholarship, which provides 10 students from the college with work experience for four weeks over the summer.

Changing the World with Media Literacy: the UNESCO Forum and Declaration

LSE’s Sonia Livingstone and Bournemouth University’s Julian McDougall share some of the challenges and outcomes of the recent UNESCO Media and Information Literacy forum and question how we advocate for truly critical media literacy education in the current political environment. 

Researchers, educators and a broad range of stakeholders met in Paris at the first UNESCO Media and Information Literacy (MIL) forum on this week (May 27-28) to agree on and adopt a declaration with ambitious and far reaching aims – to create a ‘future proof’ strategy for MIL, towards a more civically responsible networked media landscape in twenty years’ time.

A new report on UK media and information education, authored by the Centre for Excellence in Media Practice in consultation with LSE, along with reports from 28 European Union partners, formed a key strand of the forum as Divina Frau-Meigs and Sonia Livingstone disseminated the outcomes of theCOST / Translit project.

Consensus, fragmentation, and a paradoxical approach in the UK

The conference, over two days, set out its very ambitious vision for an ‘augmented MIL’ to inform education, corporate media policy, public sphere and civic society initiatives and the protection of young people in social media spaces. Alton Grizzle, of UNESCO, observed the dilemmas – a hitherto overly fragmented field, with limited adoption of quickly outdated policies; the challenge of moving beyond protectionism to a converged approach between the internet, education and libraries and the importance of keeping literacy (“reading to lead”) at the heart of the project.

As has often been the case over decades of such discussion, there was broad consensus over intentions but fragmentation over the viability of implementation. In the UK, we have a paradox. We still lead the way in the media education curriculum, with established courses from secondary to higher education, but we argue that the UK is now trailing our European neighbours in policy mandate, political support, teacher training and funding for the broader project of providing media and information literacy as an entitlement for all citizens. Media education in the UK is currently vulnerable as policy makers favour an instrumental approach to coding that moves away from critical (and arguably political) dimensions of media literacy. In other countries, there is sometimes stronger political support but generally weaker curricular development.

Agreeing on recommendations and finding solutions

At the forum, there was no doubting the passion and force of argument. The Declaration, soon to be released, and on which Julian worked on late into the evening with a team led by Divina Frau-Meigs, calls for ten recommendations, including:

To foster MIL to address issues of access, privacy, safety and security and the ethical use of information, media and technology, informed by human rights standards, and to recognize the role of MIL in relation to cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and the protection of citizens in countries with fragile social capital and weaker democratic political culture.

… and

To encourage media and ICT companies to integrate MIL priorities in their strategic planning and governance with incentives, to include criteria in CEO pay such as collection of specific indicators, dialogue with stakeholders (customers, employees, academics, the financial community, young citizens and civil society) and to work within clear and transparent accountability frameworks.

It calls on educators, researchers, corporations, librarians and civil society to advocate media and information literacy as a response to the problems of civic engagement, as well as an instrumental means of fuelling the ‘digital economy’. Whether these objectives are themselves in tension was the subject of much debate. Among those who work with private sector corporate funders, or undergraduates who go on to work with multinational film producers or teachers who seek foster youth civic engagement, critical literacy and voice in the public sphere, these are real dilemmas in a discursive-political minefield.

And then, how to achieve these aims – which go as far as to nurture a culture of peace and respect across the globe – is, as always, less clear. The clearest fault lines are between delivery as a stand-alone mandatory school subject (favoured by Matteo Zacchetti from the EC) or a cross-curricular or informal / lifelong context implemented through multi-faceted dialogue (favoured by UNESCO). Whether the campaign for global media literacy is explicitly counter-hegemonic or more neutrally egalitarian was also contested. The perennial problem of talking on behalf of but not directly with young citizens pervaded.

However, there is global consensus among experts that media and communication technologies are more complex every day and that it is increasingly vital that young people can navigate this complexity to participate fully and fairly as digital citizens now and the future.  As we stated at the forum, in agreement with Divina Frau-Meigs, coding is not enough. Decoding today’s media – to recognise misleading and exploitative content, to appreciate what is available and to grasp the emerging opportunities – doesn’t come naturally. It needs to be facilitated, in mainstream, mandatory education. It must also be aided byuser-centred design else the task of decoding illegible interfaces will elude even the most media literate users.

The challenge is this: In contexts where a neoconservative hegemony undermines critical thinking, media literacy is marginalized and education is increasingly commodified by and for corporations, how can we lobby for MIL? Should one be more or less explicit about the political, counter-hegemonic objectives that are underwritten in the UNESCO declaration or instead stress the instrumental elements of MIL that serve the information economy discourse? Discussion at the forum positioned the reference to left and right as unhelpful and outmoded, but in the week of the European election results, might we be in grave danger of allowing a creeping anti-egalitarianism to masquerade as democratic ‘neutrality’ or to foster more of what Paolo Celot (leader of the European Association for Viewers’ Interests and involved in the Emedus project) referred to as ‘the globalization of ignorance’?

This blog post was taken with permission from the LSE blog site and gives the views of the authors, and does not represent the position of the LSE Media Policy Project blog, nor of the London School of Economics.

BU students land dream opportunity to work at FIFA World Cup

Five BU students have been given the chance of a lifetime to work at the FIFA World Cup

Working with local PR company, The Milk Round Ltd, five BU students have been given the chance to help run an online information service at the FIFA World Cup. The service alerts television broadcasters, such as the BBC and ITV, to recommended match and story footage during the world’s biggest football tournament.

Footage is being filmed by 32 cameras at each of the 12 match venues and stories are being gathered by more than 40 specialist news crews that are traveling between the venues.

The Milk Round director, Steve Webb, is the senior producer on the project and he is working with a team of eight publishers – five of which are students from Bournemouth University. The Milk Round team is based at the FIFA International Broadcaster Centre in Rio de Janeiro.

“We’re thrilled to be playing such an important role in the TV production at one of the world’s largest sporting events,” Steve said. “Normally we would expect to recruit publishers – with experience on television production and multimedia publishing – in London, but it’s been really pleasing that we’ve found such exceptional candidates in Bournemouth.

“Working at the FIFA World Cup is a terrific opportunity for our publishers and their experiences in Brazil will definitely benefit them in their future careers.”

The selected students are Jasper Taylor, who graduates this year with a degree in multimedia journalism, Charley Packham, who will be starting her final year of the BA (Hons) Television Production in September, and Evie Baudains, Claire Buswell and Tobias Jenn, who are graduating this year with degrees in Television Production.

Speaking about their time in Brazil so far, Claire Buswell said, “The 2014 Brazil World Cup is a once in a lifetime eye opening experience, and to be here in the international broadcasting centre is one of the most exciting atmosphere´s I have had the pleasure to be a part of. Thank you BU for this opportunity.”

Evie Baudains, who has been a part-time pie seller at AFC Bournemouth for the last three years, is enjoying her Brazilian experience. The Cherries fan said: “Working at the biggest football event on earth is a bit different to my Saturday job at Dean Court. Being in Brazil gives all of us the perfect opportunity to put what we’ve learned at university into practice.”

BU students broadcast live EU Election coverage


Students from across BU’s Media School streamed live analysis and debate during the European Parliamentary Elections to try and encourage student engagement in politics.

Going live Weymouth House on Talbot campus after the polling stations closed, dozens of students were involved in the BUEU2014 project.

The students were a cross-course team from The Media School including students from politics, journalism, media and communications, and TV production courses. Led by a core group, they brought their unique skills together to collaborate on the project.

The broadcast was the most recent in a series of events around the European Parliamentary Elections including televised hustings and a five day trip to Brussels for a group of Media School students.

The trip was financially supported in part by BU’s Fusion fund and part directly from MEPs. The fact-finding mission gave thirty students the opportunity to learn more about the European Parliament, interview MEPs and produce video for the BUEU2014 event.

Doug Tham, a second year BA (Hons) Politics and Media student and president of the Student Politics Society, was one of the organisers of the Brussels trip.

He began fundraising and contacting MEPs over a year ago and hopes to continue to keep the student body engaged in politics in the run up to next year’s general elections.

He said: “I wanted to show students that with politics you need to start from the small ‘p’ and then go to the big ‘P’. And politics, it involves everyone every day in their daily lives but people just need to see that.”

BA (Hons) Television Production student, Ed Lawrence was another of the key instigators for the project. Describing the idea behind BUEU2014, he said:

“There are young voters that are wanting to get interested in politics but finding it difficult to be engaged by the parties so this is a kind of experiment – we’re trying to get a lot of young people involved in this event to get them into the European elections and see what content we can produce.”

Jason Collins, a BA (Hons) Communication and Media student was the studio anchor for the broadcast, reading out the breaking election news live as it happened.

As a previous non-voter Jason said of the project: “I’m not from a political background and prior to applying for the Brussels trip I had no knowledge in the area.

“It wasn’t until I got to Belgium, conversed with other students by debating and got to meet the MEPs that I realised the importance of politics and Europe in our day to day lives.”

“I found myself becoming increasingly passionate and after the trip I formed more of a voice in the area and felt compelled to help with the coverage of the European Parliament Elections.”

Although BUEU2014 is a student-led endeavour it has been supported and encouraged by BU teaching staff and academics throughout.

Dr David McQueen lectures in Politics and Media at BU and has actively encouraged the students to be proactive in politics.

He said he hopes that this type of collaborative working will continue in the School, adding: “The professional manner in which the students have worked together and the degree of engagement in EU political matters has been outstanding.”

Photo courtesy of Neil Goridge

Comedian Phill Jupitus shares tips & advice with BU media students


Comedian Phill Jupitus was at Bournemouth University to share his experiences of the media industry and give advice to students.

Phill – a comedian, presenter, actor and poet – is well known for his work on TV panel shows like Never Mind the Buzzcocks and QI and as a breakfast DJ on BBC 6 Music.  where he worked with Jo Tyler, who is now a Lecturer in Radio Production at BU.

Phill spoke during an interactive event, where students from across BU’s Media School asked questions via email and social media, as well as in person – covering everything from his career ambitions and achievements to how technology is changing the industry.

Phill said: “The fact that you can get yourself out there and have control over what you put out there is positive.

“Anyone can get stuff out there now, people can make shows and build their careers off posting You Tube clips.

“I think podcasting is amazing. It’s a fantastic way – especially if you want to go into radio – of playing around with ideas and learning how to put things together.

He added, however, that: “the negative is that it’s a time of immense confusion…It’s an ever-changing world and I don’t envy you for having to deal with that.”

His advice for students wanting to go into the industry included remaining passionate about their area of interest, making good connections with commissioners and developing a thick skin.

“There’s an awful lot of luck involved but you do need to have a thick skin and immense determination,” he said.

“I think a lot of it is about developing relationships with the commissioners – just watch TV and have a look at what they want in terms of content.”

He added: “Keep on top of the industry – if you want to be in it, you have got to know it. You have to be a bit of a nerd about whatever it is you’re going into.

“The people that you work for can see how much you genuinely care about an idea.”

Jo Tyler, a Lecturer in Radio Production at BU, has worked with Phill on a number of projects, and used to produce his breakfast show on BBC 6 Music.

She said: “Having worked with Phill over some parts of his broad career, it is a pleasure to have him in person to speak directly to students about cross platform working and the future of a career in media.

“We used a more interactive Q & A format to allow students to lead the event. Phill has in many ways become a media mentor for BU, providing professional advice linked to producing, childrens’ TV, music, radio and poetry.”

BIRST – the online radio station run by BU’s MA Radio Production students – will feature a programme about the Q & A with an exclusive interview with Phill and recordings of his performance as a special guest at the Freeway Poets event at The Winchester Pub.

To find out more, visit the BIRST website.


BU Team wins national enterprise competition

A team from Bournemouth University has won a national competition that encourages student teams to promote a good cause.

The BU team – made up of students from across the different academic schools – won the Rise To Enterprise Challenge, with their campaign called Thanks To Mothers.

The campaign aimed to provide simple ways for people to express gratitude to their mothers, and they ran a social media campaign alongside events at the BU campus.

They also helped celebrate Mother’s Day by handing out flowers to mums in the local community.

The BU team was made up of Aleksandrs Pereverzevs and Mark Trubetskoy from the Media School, Jana Sirica from the School of Tourism, and Lauren England and Glebs Kiselovs from The Business School.

They worked together in a number of roles – including Marketing, Sponsorship, Sales and Research – and were required to source a mentor and raise sponsorship in order to ultimately raise awareness for their campaign.

The challenge enables students to gain hands on work experience in a business environment which not only helps within the community, but looks great on the CV.

More than 2,100 people said thanks to their mothers through the team’s website over the course of the campaign.

As well as the group winning the enterprise challenge overall, Glebs Kiselovs also won an individual award for his lead role in gaining sponsorship.

Find out more about the Thanks to Mothers campaign

Project India coverage of Indian elections


A project to report on and catalogue the Indian elections is underway at Bournemouth University.

Project India aims to give an alternate take on the 2014 Indian elections by focussing on voices not always picked up by mainstream media. Work is carried out by a team of students from Bournemouth University (BU), in collaboration with students and staff from other universities in India and the UK.

Stories are written and collated on the Project India website, and students are also encouraged to submit work to the project’s two media partners; and, both based in India.

The project also seeks to research the traditional and new Medias used by politicians and voters during the elections, to provide in-depth analysis of the part that media has played in the historic election race.

This research will also look at the way politicians present themselves through media and how Indian citizens relate and react to the election through media and social media. Particular attention will be given to how the election is being covered in the margins, and how previously unheard voices in the media will come out through the elections.

Dr Ana Adi, Head of International Development at Bournemouth University and one of the coordinators of the project, said, “We had a wonderful experience with the US 2012 elections where students from Bournemouth University worked together to create coverage of the elections. Using the good practice acquired during the project, and considering our growing interest and number of connections in India, we found it timely to consider a similar project that enabled us to have an alternative look into the Indian Parliamentary Elections.”

Dr Adi continued, “Project India is a great example of international cooperation that brings together education, practice and research. We are proud that the project involves undergraduate and postgraduate students from various degrees, as well as researchers and practicing journalists.”

As a part of the project, students are encouraged to research the latest developments in the election and create unique and interesting multimedia content – often providing an alternative viewpoint of how the elections are affecting the country and how Indian citizens are responding to these political developments.

Stories written so far include a look at how Tibetans living in Delhi are voting in the elections for the first time and how talking about gay rights is still a taboo during the 2014 election race.

The other universities partnering with BU for the project are the University of Madras, Chennai; Amity University, Uttar Pradesh; University of Mumbai, Mumbai; and the University of Bedfordshire.

The project has already received significant interest from the UK and abroad, and is due to be covered by BBC World Service in the coming weeks.

For more information can be found on the Project India website or through social media on Facebook and Twitter.