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Online panel on community radio in the UK and Ireland

The poster advertising the event

I got to co-moderate a panel on community radio in the UK and Ireland this week, with my colleague Salvatore Scifo from Bournemouth University. The panel was organised by Prof

Sustainable community media

The second of two issues of the Journal of Alternative and Community Media which I guest-edited with Salvatore Scifo is now online. Proud to have collaborated on stewarding this to

Submission to Seanad consultation on Travellers and equality

Last week I made a submission to the Seanad consultation on Travellers, based on my mother’s work in this area.

“Drink until you’re Irish”: tradition and cultural appropriation at the University of Illinois

I spoke today at the Crisis, Migration, and Performance symposium taking place at NUIG. It was a great opportunity to engage with scholars coming to these issues from a different

Online panel on community radio in the UK and Ireland

The poster advertising the event

I got to co-moderate a panel on community radio in the UK and Ireland this week, with my colleague Salvatore Scifo from Bournemouth University. The panel was organised by Prof Vinod Pavarala, UNESCO Chair in Community Media at the University of Hyderabad, as part of their Global Dialogues series. The video is now available for on-demand viewing.

Sustainable community media

The second of two issues of the Journal of Alternative and Community Media which I guest-edited with Salvatore Scifo is now online. Proud to have collaborated on stewarding this to completion, and of all the amazing contributions we were honoured to include. (Sorry also for the many we couldn’t include, despite being afforded the luxury of two issues.)

Our first issue was 4(4), while the second is 5(1), the first issue of the journal at its new home with Intellect. You may be interested in the editorials we wrote for the first and second of these issues:

COVID-19 student conditions survey

As we prepare for distance learning at NUI Galway – we will be deploying our online resources starting tomorrow – I wanted to share a survey I have prepared for Blackboard.

What I wanted to do with this survey was get a baseline understanding, at the start of this process, of the conditions that students find themselves in, and the barriers they may face in engaging with learning at this time. This will serve at least two purposes:

  • Assist me in understanding the needs of my students in relation to instruction, and the limitations they face (which will be important when it comes to assessment and grading).
  • Provide data at a module and institutional level for evaluating this process. There are valid concerns among many academics that this (necessary) response to emergency conditions might be leveraged to claim as a ‘new normal’ practices that are introduced at this time. Gathering data about student conditions will ensure that these aspects are properly accounted for when considering what to learn from this period.

I am sharing the survey I developed here, as it may be useful to other instructors who find themselves in similar situations to myself. It is currently formatted for Blackboard, so those using that platform should be able to import it into their modules. If I have time later, I will create a platform-neutral version so that others can also make use of it.

Submission to Seanad consultation on Travellers and equality

Last week I made a submission to the Seanad consultation on Travellers, based on my mother’s work in this area.

CFP: Towards Resilient Community Media

Towards resilient community media

A conference at NUI Galway (Ireland), 13-15th June, 2019

The community media sector has been the focus of an increasing amount of scholarly attention as it has grown in size, from social movement theorists, to political economists, to those focused on governance and organisational communication.

Maintaining community media organizations poses a complex challenge, requiring ongoing attention to funding, to governance structures, to changing political and economic conditions, and to the task of building and consolidating relationships with communities. The challenge is exacerbated by the operation of community media within a capitalist system that is antithetical to the values of collaboration, non-commercialism, and inclusion that are at the core of work in this area. As Atton and Hamilton (2008: 26) note in their analysis of the political economy of alternative journalism, the “general political-economic dilemma for any critical project is that it needs resources with which to work, but those crucial resources are present only in the very society that it seeks to change or dissolve.”

This conference will provide an opportunity to reflect on questions of resilience and endurance as they arise in community media, and to explore the various interdependent factors that can impact the ongoing stability and health of community media projects. In addition to welcoming research grounded in particular case studies, we look forward to papers that will, in a holistic fashion, explore the role and operation of the sector in the context of broader socio-political concerns.

Contributions are invited from academics (including emerging and early-career scholars) exploring these issues, as well as from those working within the community and alternative media sectors.

Areas of focus might include (but are not limited to):

  • Analysis of the political economic contexts within which community media operate, including regulatory, financial, and staffing challenges.
  • Exploration of issues of governance and internal organisation
  • Analysis of sectoral cooperation and collaboration.
  • Questions of ethos, including issues of localism, defining community, ideology, and purpose.
  • Maintaining and refreshing relationships with communities.
  • Grappling with the ongoing tension between pragmatism and idealism.
  • Case studies of community or alternative media projects, including historical case studies, that provide insights into one or more issues of relevance to the conference theme.

In the first instance, proposals should be sent to andrew.obaoill@nuigalway.ie, and should include:

  • Author name and affiliation(s)
  • Paper title
  • 200-word abstract

The conference will open the evening of Thursday 13th, with academic sessions throughout the day on Friday 14th. Saturday 15th will include a field trip to the site of the Marconi transatlantic wireless telegraphy station in Connemara, supported by funding from the Broadcast Authority of Ireland, along with a visit to the studios of Connemara Community Radio.

Proposals are requested by 30 April, 2019. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

It is anticipated that selected papers from the conference will be published as a themed issue of a relevant academic journal.

This conference is made possible with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and of the NUI Galway College of Arts, Social Sciences, and Celtic Studies.