Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 75688
Location: Room 1.24, Bute Building
An analysis of the relationship between members of the ‘Looked After’ community and the UK TV and film media.
The ‘Looked After’ community is disproportionately over represented inside prison, the Armed forces, amongst the homelessness, within prostitution, drug dependency agencies and support institutions. It is consequently the most marginalised and under represented amongst the wider community and lacks any collective form in those areas of political, theological or artistic (aspirational) arenas. The personal experiences of those individuals that make up this diasphora (scattering) are reflected with regularity in narratives on broadcast television that manage to both distort and disengage those whose stories are told as well as unduly influencing audiences who tend to accept such stories verbatim.
I spent my childhood in children’s homes. After my B.A. media studies I entered the National Film School. A children’s rights campaigner I was on the board of the Children’s Legal Centre where I developed the National Association Young People In Care. I presented verbal and written evidence towards what became the 1989 Children’s Act. My adulthood was also spent working as a media professional both within the community sector and in broadcast television (BBC/ITV/CH4/HBO/TG4). I have taught/mentored film production and screenwriting within junior school/HE/FE (Universities) and community video settings including (significantly) producing filmed media work in tandem with fostered, bail hostel youth and ex and in care aka ‘looked after’ youngsters.
The Research Project/Aims
1. A chronology of ‘Looked After’ storylines/characters from drama & documentary within film and television. Catalogue into types/storylines/genres.
2. Interview writers and Producers as to reasons why characters have ‘care’ backgrounds and what the assumed outcome for these characters is (Questionnaire and interviews).
3. Case Studies of seminal pieces of drama – discourse analysis.
Have an influence on Institutional practises and biases via:
- A far greater awareness regarding representation of ‘Looked After’ community.
- Address the under representation of with 'care' backgrounds who currently or aspire to work in the media.
- Influence on commissioning policies (as well as recruitment) so that editorial decisions by media professions may better reflect the real concerns/interests and aspirations of those individuals that make up the most marginal in our community.
Keywords: Childhood and youth, representations of children in the media, television studies, film studies, film production.
Autumn 2009/10: History of Mass Communications. Module Coordinator Prof Justin Lewis
Spring 2010: Media, Power and Society Dr. Kerry Moore
Autumn 2009/Spring 2010/Autumn 2010/11: Media, Power & Audiences.
Previously taught modules include: Media, Power and Audiences. Reporting Risk (Bath Spa University).
Contributions: InMediaRes; a collaborative online scholarship.
Articles: The new ‘indie auteur’ and the UK model, Child Centric?
Childhood Group, Cardiff University
Families Need Fathers
Writers Guild Britian/America
Supervisor: Dr. Paul Bowman