Special Issue update

A first publication derived from our ECREA DMM workshop held in Bilbao in November 2017 has been published. Ola Ogunyemi guest-edited a special issue of the Intellect journal “Crossings: Journal of Migration & Culture” titled Mediating identity and conflict through diasporic media.

Synopsis: this special issue on ‘Global identity and conflict through diaspora media’ expands the literature on diaspora and media beyond the framework of fostering identity as communal practices and communitarian meanings to the framework of continuity of commitment, behaviour and identity crisis that emerge due to diasporas’ engagement with different genres in the media. The collection of original papers highlights some intra-media and extra-media factors in media’s mediation process while providing an opportunity to develop theories, research, and frameworks that might guide emerging theoretical frameworks to help think about and discuss the interplay between these phenomena. The issue consists of 7 original papers, an introduction and a book review.

Please access the articles via https://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journa…/view-issue,id=3542/

We hope you enjoy reading it.


Nordic Africa Institute Conference

Join our Panel on ‘Africans in diaspora and the Media’

at the Conference on ‘African Mobilities: Reshaping narratives and practices of circulation and exchange’

19 – 21 September, 2018 in Uppsala, Sweden.

Panel members:

Dr. Ola Ogunyemi

Dr. Phillip Mpofu

Prof. Nnamdi Ekeanyanwu

Prof. Abiodun Salawu, panel organiser.

Panel proposal

Africans do migrate across their continent and to other continents. Whether the migration is within the continent or outside the continent, African migrants are interested in happenings in their home countries. They are also interested in information within the migrant community in their host nation. To gratify these needs for information, they access media based in their homeland. The advent of the Internet has made this very possible as the African migrants can read newspapers published in their home countries online as well as also accessing broadcast media – radio and television – online. They do also visit blogsites covering events and personalities in their home countries. The diaspora Africans obtain information about their migrant communities through newspapers and magazines published by fellow migrants. Information is also made available through both online and terrestrial radio as well as through blogs. This panel seeks to interrogate how African migrants seek information about events in their home countries and within the migrant communities and how they make use of the information. It is also interested in how the migrants use the media to communicate and engage themselves and people in their homelands. The use of the diasporic media for identity formation as well as alternative channel within the host nation is also of interest.

For more information about the conference, please visit http://nai.uu.se/nad-2018/



I am posting this Call on behalf of the editors. Pls contact them directly if you are interested in contributing an article.


Publisher: Journal of Alternative and Community Media

Guest Editors:
Alicia Ferrández Ferrer, University of Alicante, Spain (aliciaff@hotmail.com) Jessica Retis,
California State University, USA (jessica.retis@gmail.com)

Ethnic Minority Media: Between Hegemony and Resistance

The emergence of minority media addressed to ethnic and migrant minorities can now be considered a
worldwide phenomenon. Like many other minorities, migrants’ voices have been “out of the
mainstream” (Gross, 2001) for a long time, but new technologies and media practices have given rise
to a plethora of specific media, both digital and traditional, addressed to this mobile public.
Migrant and ethnic minority media are here considered agents which have an important participation
in the public sphere, where social and political issues are articulated and negotiated (Habermas,
2001), and struggles over hegemonic meanings take place.

In opposition to the biased discourse on immigration present in the mainstream media, migrant and
ethnic minority media offer a different representation of migrant minorities, who become active in
the creation of the multiethnic public sphere (Husband, 2000). The potential of minority media as
platforms for the expression, discussion and exchange of generally marginalised collectives must be
recognized. Minority media can have an empowering effect for minorities. As Echevarría et al (2015:
99) state, “such media discourses bring about changes in the way in which the  public sphere is
understood and in the role that migrants play in it. They contribute to its enlargement, amplifying
the issues that can be debated, negotiated and struggled for, […] beyond the possibilities offered
by the mainstream media”.

However, a more thorough analysis of minority media compels us to be prudent. Their contents, modes
of production, working routines, and discourses on topics such as gender and identity must be
analysed in depth (Retis, 2008). Studies have shown that modes of production and working routines
in the media can limit their democratising potential, due to a lack of journalists and a routine
that limits their capacity to research and contrast reliable sources (Ferrández Ferrer, 2012;
Saitta, 2015). Funding can also limit their potential, especially in a time when an economic and
financial crisis has made them even more dependent on private funding. A tendency to publish soft
information and to avoid tough topics, together with self-censorship, have appeared in order to
satisfy private backers and to maintain advertising (Ferrández Ferrer, 2014).

When analysing minority media discourses, we must depart from uncritical celebrations of minority
media as being ‘alternative’. Georgiou has asked: “Do alternative and community media challenge
hegemonic discourses of ethnic and gender stratification?” (2012: 792). This encourages us to
analyse the discourses and images present in these media without assuming that entering the media
sphere entails an immediate counterhegemonic nature. Echevarría et al (2015) show that, although
migrant minority media include alternative discourses on topics such as citizenship rights and
political participation by immigrants, other issues, such as gender hegemonic representations
remain unchallenged.

A critical perspective on ethnic and migrant minority media would show the complexity of media
production in the transnational field and reject simplistic approaches that assume that the
production of minority media automatically means a challenge to hegemonic discourses and practices
(Retis, 2014). This complexity is consistent with the idea of the media as active agents in the
negotiations and struggles that take place in the public sphere; multiple, contradictory,
overlapping and changing interests are always part of such negotiations.

We invite articles with practical, theoretical, national or international perspectives that
critically examine how ethnic and minority media counteract or not hegemony, including, but not
limited to issues such as:

• Media consumption: how ethnic and migrant minorities use specific minority  media  to  counteract
hegemonic discourses.
• Production of ethnic and minority media: funding and economics, soft information, censorship  and
the reinforcement of hegemonic discourses.
• Journalists and media professionals: the role of migrant and ethnic journalists in challenging
hegemonic discourses and structures in the host countries
•    Content and discourse analysis:
– Hegemonic discourses on migration, ethnic minorities, refugees, etc. and how they are challenged
by ethnic and minority media.
– Hegemonic and alternative discourses about gender, identity and citizenship, in the ethnic  and
minority media.
– Politics of representation of minorities within ethnic and migrant minorities (indigenous
groups, LGBTQ, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, etc.)
• Journalistic field: elements that might limit the democratising potential of ethnic and minority
• Public space: ethnic and migrant minority media as  spaces  for construction  of multiethnic
public spaces.

Abstracts due: 15 November 2017
Notification of acceptance: 1 December 2017
Publication: final quarter of 2018

Submission Guidelines:

Authors should send abstracts by 15 November to both Guest Editors, including:
•    Article title and abstract of 500 words (including justification, methodology, and main
•    Authors’ affiliation and contact information
•     Short biography (100 words)

Full articles (6,000 to 8,000 words including notes and references) will be required to meet
authors’ guidelines published on the Journal of Alternative and Community Media website at
We encourage you to circulate this email among your networks.

www.joacm.org facebook.com/joacm.org twitter.com/JournalofACM

Report on workshop for diaspora journalists

‘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

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 https://mediaofdiaspora.blogs.lincoln.ac.uk/ ) 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 oogunyemi@lincoln.ac.uk