The History of Newspapers Subject of Conference at NUI Galway

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

A conference entitled 'New Directions for Press History in Ireland ' takes place from Friday, 31 October, to Saturday, 1 November, at NUI Galway. Academics, students and media practitioners will debate and consider research being undertaken into newspaper and periodical history in Ireland and abroad. The event is organised by the Newspaper and Periodical History Forum of Ireland, which was established this year by a number of scholars and academics. Central to the study of media history is the idea that newspapers are more than just a source on information for historians - they were important players in their own right. Among the contributors to the conference are Mark O'Brien, the author of an important new history of the Irish Times, as well as a history of the Irish Press; Maurice Walsh, former Irish Times and BBC journalist and the author of The News From Ireland: Foreign Correspondents and the Irish Revolution; and Professor John Horgan, Emeritus Professor of Journalism at DCU and former Irish Times journalist. According to Dr Simon Potter, Lecturer in History at the School of Humanities, NUI Galway: "From the Skibbereen Eagle keeping its eye on the Czar of Russia, to the Irish Times which is about to enter its 150th year, to the Belfast News Letter which was founded in 1737 and can claim to be the oldest continually published English language newspaper in the world - newspapers and periodicals have played a central role in our history over the past 200 years. Until recently the study of our newspaper culture and the journalists who worked within it was, with some honourable exceptions, more or less ignored". James Curran of Goldsmith College, University of London, one of the pioneer interpreters of media history, will also speak at the event, with a presentation called 'New Directions in Media History'. Michael de Nie of the University of West Georgia, USA, will discuss aspects of British reporting of the empire, especially with regard to Ireland and India. Dr Niamh O'Sullivan, the Professor of Visual Culture at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, will look at the illustrators of nineteenth century periodicals. The conference will also feature sessions set aside for young scholars to present short papers on their research. To register, or for further details, contact Simon Potter on 091 493 625 or by email at simon.potter@nuigalway.ie
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