• Clear red water? Devolved education policy and the Welsh news media audience

      Roberts, Simon Gwyn; University of Chester (2012-03-19)
      The long-running debate about the information gap between the Welsh voting public and the processes of devolution tends to revolve around structural, cultural and economic deficiencies in the media. However, there is little empirical evidence for assertions about the effects of these alleged deficiencies on public opinion, which typically argue that an inadequate news media fails to properly inform Welsh residents about the evolution of, and rationale for, devolved policy. The earlier work of Thomas, Jewell and Cushion (2003) examined the public consumption of news about Welsh Assembly elections, finding that ‘very substantial’ proportions of the population consumed little or no news relating to devolved politics. But fewer attempts have been made to examine the ways in which audiences understand specific areas of devolved policy via the media. This article focuses on a key area of devolved decision-making, education, and attempts to quantify that alleged ‘disconnect’ through the use of focus groups in which the parents of children progressing through the foundation stage of a Welsh primary school (a key post-devolution policy difference) are questioned about their understanding of the main issues.
    • Hillsborough: Justice at last, but the city of Liverpool always knew the truth

      Hassall, Paul; University of Chester (Eurosport Uk, 2016-04-27)
      A response to the verdicts of the Hillsborough inquest
    • Rethinking banal nationalism: Banal Americanism, Europeanism, and the missing link between media representations and identities

      Slavtcheva-Petkova, Vera; University of Chester (USC Annenberg Press, 2014-01-31)
      This article questions some tacit assumptions underpinning Michael Billig’s banal nationalism concept but also confirms the ongoing relevance of aspects of his central argument. It demonstrates that the taken-for-granted link between banal flaggings of nationalism in the media and national identities is highly problematic. Drawing on a content analysis of seven TV news and current affairs programs and an audience study with 174 children in Bulgaria and the United Kingdom as well as Eurobarometer survey data on adults, this article explores two “derivatives” of banal nationalism: banal Europeanism and banal Americanism. It demonstrates that banal nationalism does not entirely work as Billig anticipated in contexts outside the respective country’s national borders, especially regarding examples of deixis in the media coverage or embedded identities.
    • Total war and its effects on the live music industry in Cheshire and North Wales

      Southall, Helen; University of Chester (University of Chester, 2014-10-03)
      Given the profound effect which World War II had on the economy of the UK as a whole, it would be surprising if specific areas of that economy – such as live music in the provinces – were not affected as well. How did ‘total war’ affect the live music industry on a local level? Evidence I have collected for a study of musicians active in and around Chester during the period suggests that the large number of military bases in the area, combined with the effects of other wartime factors such as conscription, rationing and the need to maintain both military and civilian morale, did indeed affect the size and nature of the market for live dance music locally. For instance, the large US Air Force base at Burtonwood was a source of work for local musicians, as well as an opportunity to mix with American musicians and music fans. As well as presenting information obtained through interviews with musicians and their relatives, I will also look briefly at what happened to the musicians and the bands after the war, when economic and social conditions changed again, at the same time as advances occurred in music-related technology.