13:17, Monday 16th January: One more thing

For posterity, the wonderful Jen Carlberg has supplied this report on the closing keynote of the MeCCSA conference 2017. Until next year.

Professor Barbie Zelizer, the Raymond Williams Professor of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School, jovially thanked listeners for attending her keynote, ‘Resetting journalism in the Aftermath of Brexit and Trump’, although it represented MeCCSA’s ‘graveyard shift’.  Zelizer’s incisive remarks concerning the profound moments of crisis facing UK and US journalism, however, were far from somnolent.  Coverage of Brexit and Trump reveal not only that journalists of both nations have failed to serve the public, but also an urgent need to find critical and ‘evolving answers to what journalism is [really] for’.


Zelizer drew upon ‘history’ in her analysis, especially journalistic practices of the 1940s/1950s.   Risk-avoidance, uncritical acceptance of dogma, degradation of facts, normalisation of outrage, and the pursuit of value-free coverage pervaded Cold War journalism, and these same practices characterise the coverage of both Trump and Brexit. This is a parallel, Zelizer warns, that does not bode well.  In constructing false equivalences, qualifying its observations, and engaging in the unhelpful habits of euphemism, timidity, and deference, journalism again shrinks ‘to the smallest possible version of itself’.


Rather than cowering behind rhetoric of the ‘Anglo-American imaginary’, one long connecting US and UK journalistic practices, Zelizer charges contemporary journalists must ‘double down’ and listen actively in order to recover what was missed. After all, Zelizer warns, ‘neither Trump nor Brexit is an anomaly’, and the public’s current distaste for elite industries includes journalism.

15:40, The end of MeCCSA 2017

The time has come to say goodbye to MeCCSA 2017. It has been a huge success and everyone at the university would like to thank people who attended from far and wide.

So it is goodbye from the live blogging team here at the University of Leeds. Thank you for getting so involved on Twitter and we wish you all a safe journey home, wherever that may be! I will leave you with one of my favourite quotes from this conference, and it comes from only 10 minutes ago.

Make Journalism Great Again!

14:40, The final Keynote begins with thanks

Dr Katy Parry has begun the final instalment of  MeCCSA 2017 by thanking everyone involved. Thanks go to the student helpers, Sarah-Joy Ford, who has been integral in the organisation of this event, and of course to everyone who has joined us from all over the country and indeed the world, just to be here! Everyone here has a lot to thank you for too, Katy! 

14:30, The final keynote: ‘Resetting Journalism in the Aftermath of Brexit and Trump’

The final keynote of MeCCSA 2017 is about to begin. Barbie Zelizer’s ‘Resetting Journalism in the Aftermath of Brexit and Trump’ will conclude this year’s conference. It will be live streamed for anyone who couldn’t make it here today, link below.