Researching Media Production in the Global South

This conference explores the particularities involved in researching media production in non-Western sites of production

This conference explores the particularities involved in researching media production in non-Western sites of production. The recent increase of media production studies not least in the wake of digital production is bringing with it a more diverse range of research, yet much of this field remains dominated by Western scholarship focusing on media industries in North America and Europe. The empirical data, methodological conventions and theoretical concepts that shape the field are predominantly informed by the practices, processes, and conditions in Western media. The online conference thus pulls together theoretically informed empirical studies that initiate and extend conversations about the particularities involved in studying non-Western sites of media production that stretch from well-established media outlets to newer forms emerging with the proliferation of digital technologies. 

Collectively, the studies further a dialogue between different research cultures and push the boundaries of production research beyond dominant concepts and practices. The selected papers explore the specificities of cultural, political, and industrial contexts of media production in the Global South across different media, genres, professional and organisational contexts. They advance the field both theoretically and methodologically by exploring the validity and adaptability of Western concepts and methodologies as well as developing alternative approaches. The panels include studies that highlight the influences of local contexts and how they shape production practices in ways that point not only to differences but to new and alternative ways of thinking about media production. These ‘localised’ approaches with a focus on sites in the Global South (and their rapidly changing production ecologies) contribute to de-Westernised or decolonised conceptions of media production by shifting media production debates and theory from Euro-American global capitalist media systems to non-Western contexts. They also point to global asymmetries of economic and political power which spawn a range of ‘peripheral’ media production practices that lie outside the traditional legacy or mainstream spaces.

The thematic areas of focus across panels and round tables include how local (political, economic and cultural) contexts shape/constrain media production practices; the appropriation of new digital technologies (including AI and associated technologies); the role of platforms in shaping/influencing production practices; the impact of shifting industrial contexts (including increasing decentralisation or de-centred approaches) and changing media ecologies on media production; methodological approaches; context/site-specific challenges and emerging solutions for media production research; the particularities of labour markets and working conditions; cross-cultural and collaborative media production; the impact of foreign media investment on local production practices; and the impact of resource constrains on journalism and other production.

Registration is now open for both accepted authors and non-presenting participants! Follow this link to register your attendance.

The conference is jointly organised by the Media Industries and Cultural Production Research Group and the Global Communication Research Group at the University of Leeds in partnership with the IAMCR Media Production Analysis Working Group, and Glasgow University Media Group.

For questions, please see the conference website or contact the conference convenors Anna Zoellner, Chris Paterson and Hayes Mabweazara at mediaproduction.globalsouth@leeds.ac.uk.

A programme for the event will be available soon.

The Media Production Analysis Working Group of the IAMCR provides a venue for researchers of media production in various genres and across different media with a focus on multiple technologies, organisational contexts and genres to grasp the internal and external dynamics of media production processes. IAMCR is a worldwide professional organisation in the field of media and communication research. It’s members promote global inclusiveness and excellence within the best traditions of critical scholarship in the field.

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