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The Journalism of diaspora: ethics, production and audiences

Two-day conference

Date: Friday 10th & Saturday 11th September 2010

Venue: University of Lincoln, Brayford Pool, Lincoln. Lincolnshire. LN6 7TS. UK.

Deadline for abstract is February 28, 2010.

Keynote speakers – Prof. Lord Patel of Bradford (OBE), Barnie Choudhury (BBC and
University of Lincoln) and Professor Chris Atton, Edinburgh Napier University.

Conference Overview

As renewed interests on the subject of diaspora and diasporic formations continue to gather
momentum amongst scholars, practitioners and the wider public a veritable volume of
research and publications over the past two decades has emerged that has given increased
visibility to this subject and is helping to shore-up its position as a valid and viable subject of
investigation both within and outside of academia. In particular, attention in recent years has
turned to exploring issues around the media of diaspora as an important element for
understanding the processes of diasporic formations and the numerous ways by which
diaspora communities are interacting across national, global, and transnational spaces.

In spite of these developing interests and activities on the subject of the media of diaspora,
very little has been done, to date, to engage with the prospect of an emerging practice that
could be viably described as ‘diaspora journalism’, and to begin to articulate the
distinguishing form and substance of this type of journalism.

The journalism of diaspora can be said to be at the intersection of mainstream journalism and
alternative media. However, while there is an abundant body of literature on the latter, the
literature on the former is virtually non-existent. The media of diaspora empowers and acts as
a voice for the marginalised in the public sphere. While new technologies have made
production easier, most of them remain self-funded with limited advertising revenue. Despite
these challenges, a range of media continue to be created for and by the diasporic groups to
satisfy the distinctive tastes of their audiences. The diasporic audiences use their media to
learn how the system works in their host country and to enhance public knowledge about
domestic and global issues.

This conference aims to conceptualise the notion of a journalism of diaspora and invites
papers from academics, practitioners/ producers, and other interested parties to explore and
debate the prospects of a journalism of diaspora along the following lines of enquiry: Is there,
and should there be such a thing as diaspora journalism? What are the forms and
distinguishing features of diaspora journalism? Examination of case studies of
existing/emerging practices; Issues around the ethics, production and audiences of diaspora
journalism - What goes on inside the multitude of media outlets serving diaspora
communities? What are the objectives and motives that drive those who work-in, set-up, or
produce media that serve diaspora communities? Are there discernible thematic patterns
emerging from the content of diaspora media? What are the challenges that workers and
proprietors of diaspora media encounter in their line of activity and how have they sought to
tackle these challenges? How do the issues and subject matters of diaspora journalism
intersect with the culture and polity of their host country and the homeland?

Submission requirements: Conference proposal in English, should include Author, Full
contact information (including name/institution affiliation/address/country of
residence/telephone/email). The abstract (300 words) should provide summary of the paper,
theoretical paradigm, method and findings. All submitted proposals will be peer reviewed by
the conference committee by the 31 March 2010. Eligible participants will be notified by 12
April, 2010.

Participants should submit electronic copy of abstract to the conference website. For further
enquiries, please contact Dr Ola Ogunyemi ( and Deborah Wilson
( You may contact Ola on (44) 1522 886362.

The conference is organised by the Lincoln School of Journalism’s Media of Diaspora
Research Group (MDRG) in association with the Centre for Media Studies at the National
University of Ireland, Maynooth.

Conference fee - £270 including registration, conference pack, accommodation (two nights in
en-suite University student halls), breakfast/lunch, coffee/tea. The fee also includes
dinner/wine reception on Friday September 9. However, if you prefer ‘non-residential’, the
conference fee is £185. Rate in local hotels starts from £55 a night. A list of hotels in Lincoln
will be communicated to those whose papers have been accepted.

We welcome you to the historic city of Lincoln.

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