IAMHIST Challenge Event: BBC Scotland and the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum

BBC Scotland and the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum: One-Day Symposium

In association with the International Association of Media and History (IAMHIST) and the University of Glasgow, UK

Hosted via Zoom, University of Glasgow, on Monday 11 October 2021, 9.30am – 4.30pm (BST)

18th September 2021 marks the 7th anniversary of the day the Scottish electorate went to the polls to answer the question, ‘should Scotland be an independent country?’ Although the answer was in favour of remaining in the union, with 55% of the electorate voting No, the 2014 Scottish independence referendum changed the political landscape in Scotland. Indeed, the question is currently dominating cultural and political discourse in the UK in the wake of Brexit, with a possible Indyref2 hovering on the horizon. At the heart of this discourse sits BBC Scotland, the public service broadcaster which not only told the story of the 2014 referendum campaign – providing the lion’s share of television and radio coverage of the campaign – but was also a major part of the story. BBC Scotland occupied a contentious position during the campaign, with its news coverage of the event accused of institutional pro-union bias by pro-independence supporters. This resulted in mass protests outside BBC Scotland headquarters in Glasgow in the months leading up to the vote and there is still an ongoing division between the broadcaster and some parts of the Scottish electorate seven years later.

This one-day symposium will focus on BBC Scotland’s position in Indyref, looking at the role the broadcaster played in creating a narrative about the campaign, it’s potential for shaping cultural memory of the event, and what this might mean for its position if another referendum happens. Programme makers and academics will come together to discuss how the campaign was covered, how that material has been archived, re-used, and might be used, and what lessons might be learnt for the future. Panellists include Ian Small (BBC Scotland Head of Policy), Vicky Plaine (BBC Scotland Head of Archive), Sarah Bromage (Scottish Political Archive), Joanne Taylor (freelance archive producer), Coree Brown Swan (Centre on Constitutional Change), Marina Dekavalla (University of Sussex), Alice Doyle (University of Stirling), Maike Dinger University of Stirling) and Daniel O’Malley (University of Glasgow)

By bringing together media practitioners and scholars to focus on BBC Scotland’s role in the broadcasting and archiving of the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, this event interconnects with IAMHIST’s goal of creating a dialogue between industry and academy, and between established scholars and ECRs, to look at history through the lens of audio/visual media, and to consider the cultural impact of a major moment in broadcasting history.


9:30: Welcome

10:00: Panel one: BBC programme makers presentations & Q&A

Panellists: Ian Small (Head of Public Policy & Corporate Affairs, BBC Scotland), Vicky Plaine (Head of Archive, BBC Scotland). Chair: Jamie Medhurst, (University of Aberystwyth)

11:00: Break

11:15: Panel two: academic presentations & Q&A

Panellists: Coree Brown Swan (Centre on Constitutional Change, University of Edinburgh) & Marina Dekavalla (University of Sussex). Chair: Ian Goode (University of Glasgow)

12:00: Break

12:15: Panel three: archive presentations & Q&A

Panellists: Sarah Bromage (Scottish Political Archive), Joanna Taylor (archive producer on Yes/No: Inside Indyref). Chair: Mhairi Brennan (University of Glasgow)

13:00: Lunch

14:00: PhD presentations: Alice Doyle (University of Stirling), Maike Dinger (University of Stirling), Daniel O’Malley (University of Glasgow)

15:00: Break

15:30: Round Table – Notes for the Future. Chair: Marcus Ryder, MBE.

16:15: Closing notes

Event Registration

Please sign up to register for this free event here: https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZNMAHu_FT_uXXl2lmBJl1A 

If you have any queries regarding the event, please contact the event organiser, Mhairi Brennan, at Mhairi.Brennan@glasgow.ac.uk

IAMHIST Master Class Summer 2021

Monday 27 September 2021, 3pm-7pm CET

Online meeting (Zoom)

Are you a graduate or doctoral student, post-doctoral researcher, or early career professional currently working on a project in which you engage issues concerning historical film, radio or television or issues in media history? Are you interested in presenting your project to a small group of experts and peers? Then this master class of the International Association for Media and History may be just what you are looking for. The master class deliberately has a broad scope, including any research in the field of media and history.

Participants are expected to give a short introduction to their project and to prepare some central questions for discussion. IAMHIST Council members will engage with your project and discuss sources and strategies for developing it further.

The master class is a small-scale event that aims to offer emerging scholars and media professionals an opportunity to engage with leaders in the field in a less formal setting than an academic conference. The master class includes a seminar on academic publishing. There is no charge for attendance.

To apply for this event, send a 300-word proposal of your project and a short biography to Professor Katharina Niemeyer (niemeyer.katharina@uqam.ca) and Professor Tobias Hochscherf (tobias.hochscherf@fh-kiel.de). Deadline for proposals is 10 September 2021.

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