Glasgow Media Group
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The Glasgow Media Group, also known as Glasgow University Media Group, is a leading group of media researchers based in Glasgow, Scotland, who pioneered the analysis of television news in a series of studies starting in 1976 with Bad News. They claimed that television news was biased in favour of powerful forces and actors in society and against less powerful groups such as the organised working class.
The Glasgow University Media Project was formed at The University of Glasgow in 1974. The group’s initial research examined UK television coverage of industrial relations in Britain. Video recording of news bulletins on BBC1, BBC2 and ITV began on New Year's Day 1975 and a preliminary report was published in June of that year. Unsurprisingly, the report generated some controversy within media circles. Routledge agreed to publish the complete study in two volumes in 1976 and 1978 under the title Bad News. Volume 1 was published on 9 September 1976 and produced a furore and a writ for libel over passages from the chapter entitled 'Inside the Television Newsroom'.
During the 1970s and 1980s further research publications were greeted by the British media with varying degrees of approbation and hostility. Most commentators agreed however, that Glasgow Media Group influence was certainly changing the climate in which British media operated and in May 1982 Really Bad News reached number 5 in the Glasgow Evening Times best sellers list.
In 1982 the group began a study, sponsored by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, which was initially intended to cover reporting of peace and disarmament. However in March, Argentine troops invaded the Falkland Islands and the study was expanded to cover this event. The results of this work were published in September 1985 under the title War and Peace News and as expected generated a wide range of opinion. Attacked by the editor of ITN, the book received praise from other writers and researchers and in October the BBC broadcast a program based on the book as part of their BBC2 Open Space series. The BBC censored certain aspects of the program however, in particular, minutes leaked from their own editorial meetings and the resulting publicity lead to the group being described in the Observer as ‘Academic hit men stalking television’s newscasters’.
From the early 80s until the present the Glasgow Media Group has continued to research and publish on a wide range of media-driven topics (see below). Their current research projects can be seen at .
Media analyst Adrian Quinn has written a full academic journal article in defence of the work of the group. He summarises his argument as follows:
- Since the appearance of its first book, Bad News (1976), the Glasgow University Media Group (GUMG) has made a sustained contribution to our understanding of media culture and especially to notions of objectivity and impartiality. Despite this, for the last 30 years the group has been the object of a diffuse and often gratuitous campaign of ridicule and misrepresentation. The authors of this misrepresentation first caricature the group, labelling it a band of Marxist conspiracy theorists, then blame the group for alienating journalists and retarding the cause of media research. This article presents evidence of this misrepresentation and then offers an apologia for the GUMG, in the now archaic sense that to apologize is to defend.
- Bad News, Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1976.
- More Bad News Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1980.
- Glasgow University Media Group Really Bad News, Writers and Readers, 1982.
- Greg Philo Seeing and Believing, Routledge, 1990
- John Eldridge (Ed.) Getting the Message: News, Truth and Power (Routledge, 1993)
- John Eldridge (Ed.) News Content, Language and Visuals: Glasgow University Media Reader (Communication and Society) (Paperback), Routledge, 1995.
- Greg Philo (Ed.) Industry, Economy, War and Politics: Glasgow University Media Reader: 2 (Communication and Society) (Paperback), Routledge, 1995.
- John Eldridge, J.Kitzinger and K.Williams) The Mass Media and Power in Modern Britain (Oxford University Press,1997)
- David Miller, Jenny Kitzinger, Peter Beharrel and Kevin Williams The Circuit of Mass Communication: Media Strategies, Representation and Audience Reception in the AIDS Crisis, Sage, 1998.
- Greg Philo Message Received (Paperback), Longman, 1999.
- Greg Philo and David Miller Market Killing: What the free market does and what social scientists can do about it (Paperback), Longman, 2000.
- Reporting Child Deaths by Glasgow Media Group (National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), 1 February 2001) Paperback
- Greg Philo and Mike Berry Bad News From Israel, Pluto, 2004.
- Greg Philo, Emma Briant and Pauline Donald; Bad News for Refugees, Pluto, 2013.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2008)|
- http://www.gla.ac.uk/centres/mediagroup/index.htm, accessed 19 September 2008
- Contrary to claims, conventions and culture: An apologia for the Glasgow University Media Group doi:10.1386/macp.3.1.5_1 International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics, Volume: 3 | Issue: 1 January 2007 Page(s): 5-24