Media Now: Emotion, Affect and Mythologies

mch-final-poster_march15th_highres-page-001We are delighted to welcome:

Prof Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University)

Dr Darren Kelsey (Media, Culture and Heritage, Newcastle University)

Chair: Dr Florian Zollmann (Newcastle University)

Prof Karin Wahl-Jorgensen (School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies, Cardiff University) – ‘Anger as a Political Emotion in Media Discourses: Trump, Brexit and Beyond’

Wednesday, March 15, 3pm – 5pm in Armstrong Building 2.90

This presentation looks at the role of anger as a political emotion, in the context of recent political events. Anger has historically been viewed as a “dangerous” emotion in public life, associated with uncontrollable aggression and violence. Yet social movement scholars have discerned a mobilising potential in anger: Through sharing the experience of being angry about particular forms of injustice, citizens and activists are collectively empowered to take action.

The presentation explores how news media represent anger in a variety of different contexts, including routine protest coverage, the EU Referendum campaign, and the US Presidential election campaign of Donald Trump. The presentation suggests that anger is frequently constructed as an explanatory framework for understanding grievances, but also as a rhetorical and strategic tool for mobilising support amongst disenfranchised groups. Anger stems from collective and publicly articulated grievances, usually against larger injustices that no individual can address on their own. Ultimately, anger is always-already political, for better or worse.

Dr Darren Kelsey (Media, Culture and Heritage, Newcastle University) – ‘“You’re not laughing now, are you?” Farage, Brexit and the Hero’s Journey: a case study of affective mythology’

This paper is concerned with affective mythology and right wing populism in media coverage of Nigel Farage. It considers how archetypal traits of mythological Heroism appeared in the Mail Online through Farage’s image as a man of the people who distinguished himself from the political establishment. Through Campbell’s (1949) monomyth we see a distinct trait of this archetypal convention: The Hero’s Journey. Farage was constructed as a man on a mission, fighting against the odds, overcoming trials and tribulations to “take back control” from the EU. Hero mythology functioned to suppress ideological and historical complexities that contradicted Farage’s populist image. This analysis then extends to consider the affective-discursive loops operating through reader comments on the Mail Online website. This enables us to look more closely at responses to news stories and the contributions of readers that reflect the affective qualities of the monomyth. Through this attention to a powerful albeit familiar archetype, the ideological tensions of British national identity and EU politics are analysed in light of the referendum.


The seminar is free and is open to all interested in attending. No need to book

17 areas of development for public relations in 2017

wadds1Ahead of his latest lecture to PR students on Friday, February 10, our Visiting Professor Stephen Waddington explores some of the developments that students can expect to see in public relations in 2017. Each issue is the start of bigger conversation about the future of practice.

 

 

  1. The robots are coming

We’re starting to feel the impact of machines in at least three areas of public relations: content production; content distribution and publication; and workflow. Artificial intelligence is a growing issue in public relations.

  1. Algorithms and bubbles

Algorithms are commonplace for searching and organising how information is displayed. But be careful as they create bubbles that insulate us from contrary opinion. We need to work hard to break out of algorithmic bubbles.

  1. Over reliance on data

If you’re working on a campaign for 2017 use tools to establish a hypothesis and then put them down and go into the real world to talk, and more importantly listen to your publics.

  1. Rethink content formats

Most press releases aren’t written for the press. Instead they’ll be posted on a corporate website and carved up into a multitude of formats for customer emails and tweets. If press releases are your primary means of communication it’s time for a rethink.

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  1. Internet shifts to video formats

2016 has seen innovation in virtual reality. Live video could be equally disruptive. It’s a powerful form of first person storytelling. Both Facebook and Periscope have invested in tools for video producers.

  1. Paying to play with influencers

Each new form of media from Snapchat to YouTube, and Instagram to Twitter, has given rise to a new breed of influencers. They provide a means of building trust with specific communities through third party storytelling.

  1. Representing the publics we serve

Public relations is a female-led industry yet there is a significant pay gap between in favour of men. Meanwhile 91 per cent of practitioners are white and 89 per cent identify as British. We need to better represent the publics that we serve.

  1. Social media monopolies

In the UK Google accounts for more than 85% of internet searches. Facebook has a strong and growing platform of services including Instagram and WhatsApp. Meanwhile Google+ has fallen by the wayside. LinkedIn, now owned by Microsoft, is pursuing an advocacy, content and learning strategy.

  1. Social media in the enterprise

The application of social media technologies internally within an organisation have shown early promise but adoption rates are low. Behaviour, culture and technology are all issues. Facebook’s Workplace offers a potential solution.

  1. Internet voice disintermediation

Amazon Echo and Google Home are internet connected devices which summon up services from the internet based on voice commands. They are set to bring about another wave of internet disintermediation.

  1. Corporate speak

Much corporate marketing remains focused on the organisation rather than the intended public. More enlightened organisations are using new media as a means of conversation.

12 Living your values: take back control and make America great again

Whatever your view of the EU Referendum or the US Election campaigns, they were both built on a solid message. Every campaign needs a clear purpose that can be summarised in a few words. Publics are looking for a point of view.

  1. Trump cycle replaces the news cycle

The Trump campaign during the US election turned the exploitation of the media into an art form. This wasn’t about news cycles, they’re long dead, but the Trump cycle. Opponents struggled to counter as Trump moved onto the next story.

  1. Integrated Measurement Framework

The Integrated Measurement Framework guides practitioners through a series of seven steps to create a measurement approach for a campaign. AMEC’s job for 2017 is to make its framework a standard in practice throughout the profession.

  15 Social capital: a community life force

Social capital isn’t something you’ll find on a profit and loss statement but it’ll be increasingly important for organisations seeking to build trust with their publics. Brands have an opportunity to help bring people together.

   16 Community of practice

A close working relationship between academia and practice is a hallmark of any professional discipline. In public relations this relationship is limited. We need to learn from the body of knowledge that academic colleagues are investigating and apply it to our day jobs.

   17 Are you any good?

How do you train in a profession where the skills you learn are likely to be outdated before you complete the qualification or training programme? Continuous professional development (CPD) integrated with your personal development is the only solution.

This post is based on a longer article and deck about public relations in 2017 that Stephen posted on his personal blog.

About Stephen Waddington

Stephen is a Visiting Professor in Practice at Newcastle University supporting the university and students through teaching and mentoring.

He is also is Partner and Chief Engagement Officer at Ketchum helping clients and colleagues to do the best job possible engaging with the public.

 

Museums, health and wellbeing: reflections on impacts and methods

 

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Friday, January 27, 3-5pm, Armstrong Building, 2.90

Museums, health and wellbeing: reflections on impacts and methods 

Presenters: Prof Andrew Newman, Dr Bruce Davenport (both Newcastle University), Dr Nuala Morse (The University of Manchester/UCL Culture) and Zoë Brown (Tyne and Wear Museums and Archives)

Chair: Bethany Rex (Newcastle University)

Nuala Morse*, Zoë Brown*, Linda Thomson (UCL Culture), Wendy Gallagher (Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester), Helen Chatterjee (UCL Division of Biosciences and UCL Culture): “Museum-focused activities in person-centred dementia care:  Research methodologies with hospital patients”

*presenting authors

The seminar is free and is open to all interested in attending. No need to book

This study investigates the efficacy of museum-focused activities in supporting dementia care, in acute medical wards and inpatient dementia services. There is currently increased interest in using non-pharmacological interventions to target behavioural symptoms of moderate and late stage dementia such as aggression, anxiety and wandering. Museum-focused activities are proposed as a means of providing relief from these symptoms and meaningful creative activities. The study developed a methodology to assess the effect of the activities ‘in the moment’ and their short-term effect. It has been recognised that interventions with small but meaningful short-term effect are important in supporting dementia care (Pinquart et al, 2006).

Participants (n=<14) took part in weekly museum-focused activities for 6 weeks (Sept 2016-Jan 2017). Mixed methods were used comprising session observation, pre and post-session assessment of occupational therapist rated mood, social interaction and agitation (before session, 2 hours and 24 hours after session) and interviews with staff at the programme end. This work-in-progress presentation will describe the challenges of developing fit-for-purpose and gentle methodologies for researching the impact of museum-focused activities for people with dementia.

Andrew Newman: “The connectivity and social capital of people in later life with dementia: a qualitative analysis of data collected from Dementia and Imagination.”

This paper explores the connectivity and social capital (through which the value of relationships can be understood) of people in later life living with dementia. This is achieved through the analysis of qualitative data collected from a UK national research project entitled Dementia and Imagination which was funded by the ESRC and the AHRC. This involved people in later life with dementia, of various types and severity, undertaking visual arts enrichment activities at three sites in the UK.

The importance of social networks for the wellbeing of older people is well established in the literature for example, Gray (2009), Cornwall (2009), Grundy and Sloggett (2003), Pinquart and Sorensen (2000) and Litwin and Shiovitz, (2006) amongst others. However, despite associations between being embedded in social capital rich networks and reduced incidence of dementia being identified (Fratigioni et al. 2000), we know little about the lived experience of connectivity for those living with the condition.

There was a reported reduction in the size of networks and changes in the balance of the sorts of relationships they represented and the resources they provided access to in comparison to when respondents were cognitively or/and physically healthier. It was evident that some were lacking in opportunities for emotional relationships that they could contribute to as well as receive support from. This situation was more noticeable for those in care homes, with generally more advanced dementia (and sometimes frailty). The visual arts enrichment activity provided an opportunity to reconnect with others and to provide and receive emotional support.  As is noted by Ferlander (2007) emotional support has ‘positive impacts upon health, especially mental health, mainly via psychological mechanisms, such as personal control and stress reduction’ (p. 123).

Bruce Davenport: “Creative activities for people with dementia: expressions of personal identity and the practices of care in residential care settings.”

As part of the Dementia & Imagination project, programmes of 6, weekly creative workshops were delivered with people with dementia in 3 different settings in 3 parts of the UK: people living in care-homes (in the north-east of England), people in assessment centres and out-patient wards in hospitals (in the Midlands) and people living in private accommodation (in North Wales). This paper focuses on the workshops delivered in care-home and hospital settings.

The workshops in care homes involved people with dementia, the carers who worked in the care-homes and, more rarely, family members. In the hospital settings, the people with dementia were accompanied by nursing staff and, occasionally, by family members. The impact of the workshops were assessed using a variety of methods; this paper focuses on the data from qualitative interviews with participants and carers, artists’ diaries, open questions about participants’ experiences. The qualitative interviews were carried out before the workshops began, immediately after the end of the programme and 3 months later. The open questions were asked during a data gathering session immediately after the end of the programme.

The creative workshops focused on sensory stimulation and responding to each participants’ interests and expressive abilities. Nonetheless, the workshops evoked moments of reminiscence, social interaction and other expressions of personal identity. Models of quality care such as relationship-centred care, and person-centred care, recommend that carers develop an understanding of residents and patients in care and hospital settings. Whilst the value of reminiscence remains a topic for debate, the data from the interviews indicates that these moments fed into the carers’ understandings of the participants and their interactions with them. This implies a range of secondary pathways to impact from the workshops, through changes to carers and family members, rather than the direct impact of participation for the people with dementia.

The same models of care also advocate opportunities for residents to experience personal autonomy and experience being valued by others. The data indicate that the practices used by the artists were consonant with these models. The qualitative interview data indicates that the skills that the artists’ brought to the workshops were variously recognised, critiqued and resisted by the care and nursing staff.

The seminar is free and is open to all interested in attending. No need to book

 

Gender and News

Wednesday, January 18, 3-5pm, Armstrong 2.90

Gender and News

Presenters: Prof Karen Ross & Prof Deborah Chambers

Chair: Dr David Baines (all Newcastle University)

Karen Ross: “Women, men and news: the same old, same old”
Despite the presence of women on the local, national and global stage at all levels of decision-making, in numerous positions of executive authority, they continue to be marginalised in news media as sources and newsmakers. Despite entering media organisations in similar numbers to men, they do not rise as far or as fast and are often steered towards the less prestigious areas of journalism. This presentation discusses recent trends in the awkward relations between gender and journalism, identifies some of the good practices which have been implemented suggests some which are yet to be implemented.

Deborah Chambers: “Twentieth century women journalists and the ‘women’s pages’: soft news or a counterpublic sphere?”
Deborah presents a unique account of the key interventions of women writers across newspapers in post-war Britain. Approaching news as a site of inequality and difference, she traces the ways women spearheaded the introduction of new topics and styles in print to attract women readers and audiences. Despite being sidelined as trivial journalism, it was through the women’s pages and features that women introduced innovative news about women’s lives. Deborah argues that, against probability, this new feminised discourse emerged as a ‘counterpublic sphere’ that popularised feminism.
The seminar is free and is open to all interested in attending. No need to book.
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Brexit After Party II – Implications for teaching and research ’round-table’

We are delighted to announce the details of the next seminar in the MCH seminar series. This is part two of the Brexit After Party and will be held in Armstrong 2.90 from 1-2.30pm on Wednesday, December 14. Refreshments will be provided.

We have contributions from Rhiannon Mason and Darren Kelsey. These will be short presentations which will leave plenty of time for a discussion, to be chaired by Areti Galani.

All are welcome to attend

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Crisis in Slow motion: the stubborn habits of migration

seminar_30916As part of the MCH Seminar series, our next event is on Wednesday, November 30, 1pm – 3pm, G.22 Politics Building, Newcastle University. (Lunch available from 12.30pm in the Politics Staff Common Room.)

Hosted in cooperation with Politics, for this seminar we are delighted to welcome Dr Debbie Lisle (Queen’s University Belfast).

Crisis in Slow motion: the stubborn habits of migration

This paper contests the temporal ordering of crisis and emergency that framed EU migration during the summer of 2015 and continues to shape official responses to the supposed ‘weakening’ of Europe’s borders.

Focusing specifically on arrival and reception experiences on the Greek island of Kos, this paper thinks with and alongside the encounters that are occluded by dominant crisis-framings in government, policy, media and activist circles. It begins by exploring the mundane actions, daily habits and embodied rhythms of simply getting on in the midst of a crisis – the stubborn and often indifferent acts of living, persisting and moving despite the claim of emergency.

Of particular interest here are the everyday human / non-human relations that persist in repetitive acts of daily living (e.g. washing, eating, playing) as well as the complex relationships that people on the move have with objects (e.g. backpacks, smartphones). Focusing on these embodied and material relations is one way to visualize not only the rich, vibrant agencies that persist in and through moments of crisis, but also the non-spectacular moments of solidarity, care and circulation that contest dominant modes of abjection and rescue.

The seminar is free and is open to all interested in attending. No need to book.

#ExPRience: the Masterclass

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#ExPRience: the Masterclass
 After the success of The Summer Series, #ExPRience is back with a Masterclass for all undergrad and post-grad PR, Comms and Digital Marketing students.
 Join us to hear from speakers who graduated from PR & Communication courses in the last couple of years, about:
 
·         Finding jobs in the North East
·         The reality vs expectation of working in PR
·         What they wish they’d known while studying
·         And many other insights and tips for starting your career
 
Plus hear from one of the North East’s fastest growing digital agencies about what they look for when recruiting graduates!
Date:     Wednesday, 26th October
Time:    3-5pm
Place:    Room 2.98 – The Spence Watson Lecture Theatre, Armstrong Building, Newcastle University.
Come out of the lift on 2nd floor and room 2.98 is directly opposite 
Any questions – contact us by email (exPRience2016@gmail.com) or tweet us @exPRienceNE