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Media History: Everyday remembering and the history of local news
Wed 20 April 2016, 16:00 – 18:00 BST
Dr. Emily Keightley (Loughborough University) - Photography, Music and Vernacular Memory
While the role of media in everyday experience has been a key concern for media studies, it is common to consider only one communications medium at a time, or to discuss the media in general, resulting in either narrow or excessively broad treatments of the ways in which media are intertwined in the practices and processes of lived experience. In this talk two technologies - photography and recorded music - will be examined together in order to explore their distinctive and complementary features in vernacular remembering. The concept of the mnemonic imagination will be applied to examples from our ethnographic fieldwork, addressing three distinct phases of the distillation of experience which together constitute the process of everyday remembering: the localising and integration of cultural resources into remembering practices; the use of photography and recorded music in the process of congealing experience into recognisable and communicable units and patterns and putting these to work in the story of a life; and the final distillation of lived experience in which value and significance is invested in relatively stable ensembles of experience which communicate the meaning of a life to self and others.
Dr. Rachel Matthews (Coventry University) - Networks of profit: the business model for the early provincial press and the emergence of local journalism
Established interpretations of the nascent provincial newspaper in the 18th century have categorised them as “cut and paste” products produced by printers who sought to profit from the emerging market for news. In this conception these products are neither original or professional (see for instance, Cranfield, 1962; Aspinall, 1973).
My research suggests that in fact these early titles were part of complex business networks which were co-dependent on robust distribution systems; for this reason early regional newspapers existed alongside complimentary interests including patent medicines and book selling. As such those who established successful titles had substantial business acumen in addition to the entrepreneurial vision to branch out into newspapers.
This suggests that a re-assessment of these titles is necessary in order to recognise their considerable impact as business ventures; this enabled those who produced them to become men of both social and financial standing and paved the way for the professionalisation of their production into a form of journalism specific to the local newspaper.
Aspinall, A (1973) Politics and the Press 1780-1850. Harvester Press. Brighton.
Cranfield, GA (1962) The Development of the Provincial Newspaper 1700-1760. Clarendon Press, Oxford.
About the speakers:
Dr. Emily Keightley is Senior Lecturer in Communication and Media Studies in the Centre for Research in Communication and Culture at Loughborough University. Emily’s main research interest is memory, time and its mediation in everyday life.
Dr. Rachel Matthews has a PhD in Journalism Studies from Cardiff University and has been lecturing for 10 years following a successful career in regional newspapers. Her research is developing an historical approach to the political economy of the provincial press. In particular she interrogates the relationship between local journalism and the community by using history to chart the way in which the ‘good of the community’ has become embodied as a justificatory ideology for these titles, defined by a discourse of public service. This comes at a highly significant time for this industry at it faces a radical restructuring in wake of digital innovation which has seen its very output redefined.
Date and Time
P424, 4th Floor Parkside Building
Birmingham City University
5 Cardigan Street