Report on workshop for diaspora journalists

Posted on December 8th, 2016 by Ola Ogunyemi

‘Simplistic and divisive’: Journalists’ perspectives on Brexit in the press

The representation of Brexit by the mainstream press was divisive, exclusive, simplistic, negative, sensationalist, and xenophobic. These adjectives sum up the feelings of the participants at a workshop hosted by the Media of Diaspora Research Group (MDRG) at the School of English and Journalism, University of Lincoln on 30 November, 2016.

The Head of School, Prof Jason Whittaker, welcomed the twelve participants comprising of academics from interdisciplinary backgrounds, non-academics and journalists from the mainstream, European and diasporic media.

Dr Ola Ogunyemi, the convener of MDRG, said post-Brexit debates have mainly focused on the political, economic and social effects with little attention devoted to its effects on journalists and journalistic practice. Hence, this workshop bridges the hiatus by bringing scholars and journalists together to reflect and share opinions about the impacts of Brexit on themselves and their profession.

The workshop began with paper presentations. Dr Ola Ogunyemi presented an analysis of the framing of Brexit in some national newspapers; Prof Mike Baynham spoke about ‘the rise of racist/xenophobic and homophobic hate crime post BREXIT and Trump’ and also read two poems he wrote ‘for the times’; and Nick Smyth spoke about ‘‘News Media: The post Brexit ‘Storm’ of xenophobia, anti-immigration and racism’’

The paper presentations were followed by a focus group session which enabled participants to deliberate and exchange ideas about the drivers of Brexit, its presentation in the press and its impact on their professional values and physical wellbeing. Some mainstream journalists argued that racism was not the driver of Brexit, but it was a backlash against the establishment and that ‘people want to leave on the basis of the information they got and on the gut feeling that EU is a mess, people are scared of globalisation and of losing their jobs’.

However, some diaspora journalists queried why the battle ground had to be immigration. As a result, they ‘found the post-election environment alarming and frightening’ and added that ‘Brexit is making millions of people who are resident in the UK feel less safe and at home’.

Nonetheless, they agreed that Brexit did not make them rethink their identity as journalists. But it made them reflect on the boundaries between information and advocacy roles of the press. Although they were aware that most newspapers are partisan, it was shocking the way this was played out in the run up to Brexit.

Brexit also made them reflect on professional ethics as some journalists were eager to engage in political activism while others were not because it may compromise their coverage. In such situations, some argued that the ethical thing to do is to be fair and accurate and to do what is in the best interest of readers and the community.

The participants discussed the objective reporting of Brexit and agreed that ‘it is impossible to be truly objective’. They said the true test of it is to see how many stories over the period presented both sides of the argument. Regarding access to information, some diaspora journalists were concerned that they struggle to get information from the center of political power or to interface with the government.

The discussion on the effects of Brexit on physical wellbeing was led Prof Roderick Orner and reveals that post-Brexit environment has affected some of the participants both emotionally and physically. Some of them described how they felt sick when the result was announced, how they have been robbed of their European identity and how they no longer feel welcome in the UK.

The workshop ended with an exhortation to journalists and media to ‘reinforce the ethical standards, to inform comprehensively, to be thoughtful, to be conscientious, not to distort news, and to do a thorough research’.

By Dr Ola Ogunyemi

Convener, MDRG

08 December, 2016.





Workshop: The effects of post-Brexit on diaspora journalists

Posted on September 22nd, 2016 by Ola Ogunyemi

There has been a surge of interest in the costs of Brexit since Britain voted to leave the EU on 23 June, 2016. Some have raised concerns about its effects on Britain’s political influence in Europe, on the economy, jobs and free movement. While others have raised concerns about its effects on the personal wellbeing of diaspora journalists in the UK. For example, a survey by The Guardian (UK) newspaper found that ‘European embassies in Britain have logged dozens of incidents of suspected hate crime and abuse against their citizens since the vote to leave the EU’. However, we have little understanding of its effects on both EU and non-EU diaspora journalists in performing their professional roles.

Therefore, this workshop aims to explore the direct and indirect effects of Brexit on diaspora journalists regarding three thematic areas, that is, professional identity (including the peculiarity of being a diaspora journalist), professional practice (access, ethics, objectivity, etc) and personal wellbeing (physical, psychological and emotional). The workshop brings together diaspora journalists, scholars and policymakers to deliberate on these themes and other related themes. The outcome will be a practice guide and a research agenda.

The University of Lincoln is well suited to host this workshop because it is located near Boston, regarded as the Brexit capital of the UK with three quarters of the people voting to leave the UK. And the School of English and Journalism is home to the Media of Diaspora Research Group (MDRG ) which researches on the intersection between journalism and diaspora.

Organisers: Dr Ola Ogunyemi, convener of MDRG; Prof Jason Whittaker, Head of School of English and Journalism.

Date: 30th Nov., 2016.

Venue: University of Lincoln in MC1020.

Time: 13.00hrs – 17.00hrs. Nibbles from 13hrs to 14hrs. Workshop from 14hrs to 17hrs.

Guest speakers:

Prof Mike Baynham, University of Leeds (confirmed)

Neil Smyth, Assistant Director, Academic Engagement, University Library (confirmed)

Amy Farrell, Research Officer, University of Lincoln (confirmed)

Karl McCartney JP, MP for Lincoln (TBC)


To register your interest to attend, please email

Book Launch and Guest address

Posted on August 25th, 2016 by Ola Ogunyemi




Africa’s Media Image in the 21st Century

Date & Time: Tuesday 13th September, 19:00 – 20:30

Venue: Khalili Lecture Theatre, Lower Ground Floor, SOAS, London, WC1H 0XG

This is the first book in over twenty years to examine the international media’s coverage of sub-Saharan Africa.  Moving discussion beyond traditional critiques of ‘Africa Rising’ vs ‘darkest Africa’ stereotypes, the contributors explore the news outlets, international power dynamics, and technologies that shape and reshape the contemporary image of Africa and Africans in journalism and global culture.

Case studies consider questions such as: how have new media changed whose views are represented? Do Chinese or diaspora media offer alternative perspectives for viewing the continent? How do foreign correspondents interact with their audiences in a social media age? What is the contemporary role of charity groups and PR firms in shaping news content?

To launch this book, we are joined by editors Suzanne Franks, Mel Bunce and Chris Paterson, and contributors Abdullahi Tasiu AbubakarHeba Aly and Olatunji Ogunyemi as they explore topics as diverse as the media strategies of Boko Haram, the market for humanitarian news and the image of the continent presented in African diasporic press in the UK.

Reserve your seat on Eventbrite

Copies of the book will be on sale: Africa’s Media Image in the 21st Century: From the “Heart of Darkness” to “Africa Rising” (2016) Edited by Mel Bunce, Suzanne Franks, and Chris Paterson. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-96231-6



Call for Book Chapters – Media, Diaspora and Conflict

Posted on February 3rd, 2016 by Ola Ogunyemi

Call for Book Chapters

Media, Diaspora and Conflict

Publisher: Proposed to Palgrave Macmillan

The migrant crisis in Europe and in other parts of the world due to conflict is a challenge not only to the political establishment in terms of policy response, but also to the diasporic media in terms of their professional ideology. While the diasporic media plays connective and orientation roles for the diaspora groups in peace time, we have little understanding of the perception of their role in conflict situation and how reporting it challenges their professional ideology of objectivity, autonomy, public service, immediacy and ethics. Hence, this edited book aims to capture these and other issues, including but not limited to, how diasporic communities or agencies use it as a platform for articulating conflict resolution initiatives.

Please send a short abstract detailing the chapter title, theory, method(s) and case study. Please provide a paragraph of ‘bionote’ and contact details with your abstract.

Last date for receiving abstracts (300 words): 4 April, 2016.

Abstract confirmed: 28 April 2016. Deadline for draft full paper: 30 September, 2016.

Email to Dr Ola Ogunyemi


Programme for International Symposium in October 2015

Posted on August 19th, 2015 by Ola Ogunyemi

Journalism, Diaspora and Conflict Resolution


Date:               Friday 16 October, 2015

Venue:            MB1013, University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln.

Organiser:      Media of Diaspora Research Group (MDRG)


Time Activities and Sections Participants Title
9.00 – 9.30hrs Registration and tea/coffee
9.25hrs – 9.30hrs Welcome Speech Deborah Wilson- David, Acting HoD, School of English and Journalism
9.30 – 10.00hrs Introductory Talk and Keynote Paper Ola Ogunyemi Representation of Diasporic Groups Response to Conflict in their Homeland
10.00 – 10.20hrs Section 1: Diaspora Media and Conflict Resolution: An Organisational Perspectives Babak Elahi and Andrea Hickerson, Rochester Institute of Technology, USA. Journalist Memoirs and the Iranian Diaspora
10.20 -10.40hrs

Brian Chama,

Sheridan Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning. Toronto, Canada

NB: Not attending Symposium

Race and Conflict Resolution in News Coverage: A Case Study of The Voice Newspaper.

10.40 –


Joseph Wogu, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Nigeria Conflict Resolution Potential of Diasporic Media on Boko Haram Insurgency in the North Eastern Nigeria
11.00 – 11.20hrs

Shepherd Mpofu,

University of Johannesburg, South Africa

Zimbabwe’s Diasporic New Media and Conversations on Conflict
11.20 – 11.35 Tea/Coffee Break Tea/Coffee Break Tea/Coffee Break
11.35 – 11.55hrs

Adeyemi Obalanlege,

Crescent University, Abeokuta. Nigeria.

Diaspora Media and Conflict Resolution in the Digital Age: A Study of Sahara Reporters
11.55 – 12.15hrs Section 2: Diasporans and Conflict Resolution: An Audience Perspective Ayotunde Alao, Kwara State University, Nigeria. Social Media and Conflict Resolution amongst Ghanaians in Diaspora: Review of the ‘Ghana Must Go’ Conflict.
12.15 – 12.35hrs

Everette Ndlovu,

Salford University, UK

The Contestation of Discourse Dissemination in the Digital Era.

Angeliki Koukoutsaki-Monier, Haute-Alsace University, France

NB: Not attending Symposium

Empowered Diasporas? Debating the Greek Crisis Online
12.35 – 12.55hrs Section 3: Diaspora Agencies and conflict Resolution: The role and influence of diaspora agencies Asmaa Azizi, Communication science at Celsa – Paris IV Sorbonne, France When its Diasporas Speak. Media and Political Participation of Moroccan Immigrants
12.55hrs – 13.55hrs Lunch Break Lunch Break Lunch Break
13.55 – 14.30hrs A short introduction by Prof Jason Whittaker to launch the book ‘Journalism, Audiences and Diaspora’

Shepherd Mpofu (University of Johannesburg, S/A), Ola Ogunyemi (University of Lincoln), Sanem Sahin (University of Lincoln), Amira Halperin, Truman Institute, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


Panel interactive session with audience.
14.30 – 16.00hrs Roundtable Discussion with Practitioners Akua, Editor of British Blacklist; Mike Abiola, Editor of African Voice; All participants.

Focus of discussion: conflict hotspots and dispersion;

the role of diasporic media in conflict resolution; the role of diasporans in conflict resolution; the use of media by diasporans to contribute to conflict resolution; offline actions on conflict resolution by diasporans; the role/influence of diaspora agencies.

16.00 – 16.25hrs Plans for edited book on theme of symposium and venue for MDRG 2016 All Journalism, Diaspora and Conflict Resolution
16.30 End End End



Other Information

Location Map:


Accommodation: Pls ‘google’ Hotel in Lincoln City for a list. I found the cite below