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Contrary to claims, conventions and culture: An apologia for the Glasgow University Media Group

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This article looks at the cultural politics of journalism, broadcast news and media research. Since the appearance of its first book, Bad News (1976), the Glasgow University Media Group (GUMG) has made a sustained contribution to our understanding of media culture and especially to notions of objectivity and impartiality. Despite this, for the last 30 years the group has been the object of a diffuse and often gratuitous campaign of ridicule and misrepresentation. The authors of this misrepresentation first caricature the group, labelling it a band of Marxist conspiracy theorists, then blame the group for alienating journalists and retarding the cause of media research. This article presents evidence of this misrepresentation and then offers an apologia for the GUMG, in the now archaic sense that to apologize is to defend. It specifically seeks to explode some of the enduring myths that have gathered around the GUMG and its work. This article argues that the GUMG still offers us useful and relevant ways of approaching media culture ways which have, in fact, brought scholars and journalists closer together.
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Keywords: Glasgow University Media Group; Marxist; conspiracy theory; ideology; media studies

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The University of Liverpool, UK.

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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  • The International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics is committed to analyzing the politics of communication(s) and cultural processes. It addresses cultural politics in their local, international and global dimensions, recognizing equally the importance of issues defined by their specific cultural geography and those that traverse cultures and nations.
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