A Scottish media expert is to give an insight into the present and future media needs of the Highlands and Islands.
Professor Neil Blain, Head of Film, Media & Journalism at the University of Stirling, will deliver a public lecture entitled ‘Local? Where’s that? Media access, resource and representation in the Highlands and Islands’, in which he will examine how local identity can be sustained in the light of new internet developments and a changing media landscape.
He said: “Small nations face a disproportionate challenge sustaining their media provision. Television, radio, newspapers and cinema offer different cases, but the economic health of these traditional media in Scotland, while variable, now often causes concern, sometimes gloom.
“More recent developments based round telephony and the internet bring opportunity for local enterprise but mixed effects in sustaining local identity and representation. The media play a central role in culture, democracy, investment and employment. Is this a Scottish issue, or a lot more local than that?”
Professor Blain has given evidence to recent parliamentary inquiries into the Scottish press at Westminster and Holyrood, and was a member of the working group which reported to the Scottish Government early in 2011 on funding for a new Scottish digital network. He co-edited The Media in Scotland (with David Hutchison) for Edinburgh University Press in 2008, and has worked as a broadcasting research consultant. He also writes about international media sport, and about the politics of royal and monarchic coverage in the media, on which he frequently contributes to international debate. He is co-editor of The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics.
Professor Blain will be speaking on Wednesday 20 April 2011 at 5.30pm in the Auditorium of the University of Stirling’s Highland Campus, based within the Centre for Health Science at Raigmore Hospital, Inverness. He will also deliver his talk on Thursday 21 April 2011 at 6.30pm at the Western Isles Hospital, Stornoway.