Meeting the Screenwriting Skills Gap: Evolving Innovation in the British Film Industry Through Mental Health & Disability Equality

In February 2022, MDC’s Professor Jason Lee was awarded a £120,000 British Academy Innovation Fellowship. As Principal Investigator, Jason is working with the film director Terry Bamber, to identify and address a major problem in the film industry’s recruitment and training practices. Jason is the author of The Psychology of Screenwriting, and a number of other notable media texts.

MDC Newsletter Winter 2021

Please take a look at the latest Media Discourse Centre Newsletter covering events and activities at the end of 2021.

On 7 December, Dr Jennifer Garcia Carrizo, of Complutense, Madrid, and the Open University of Barcelona, visited the MDC as part of our shared project on the Feminist General Strike in Spain. Our collaboration began in 2015, when Dr Carrizo was working on City Branding, using Leicester as an example of the phenomenon.

On 15 December, John Coster, of MDC and the Documentary Media Centre, hosted the latest in a series of online events – ‘Turn Up the Volume’, a Youth Focused Newsroom.

Organised by Dr Ruth Sanz Sabido of CCCU, the PSA Media Politics Group conference was held on 7 December. Prof Stuart Price’s paper addressed the shifting referential assumptions that – after the fall of Kabul – were grafted onto the concept ‘international community’.

Conference papers included material on social media use, the politics of the pandemic, journalism, dissent and political communication, tech companies, community cohesion, inequality, and forms of solidarity.

Professor Jason Lee’s programme of academic activity and writing continues with a number of new contracted titles and book chapters, including: Madness in Film and Media – Wellbeing and the Transrational (Springer, due out 2022); Child Sexual Abuse in Film and Media (Amsterdam University Press, due out 2023); The Women of Woody Allen [ed. Martin Hall] (Amsterdam University Press, due out 2022); and a work on PTSD and Film (Palgrave Pivot).

This month, Pervez Khan, director of the MA Investigative Journalism, ran an inaugural series of workshops for the Investigative Journalism students at Tirana University, Albania.

Please follow the Media Discourse Centre on twitter @DiscourseCentre

Media Discourse Centre, Documentary Media Centre, & LSPR Jakarta 

 Tuesday 9th November 2021, 1pm Clephan Building lecture theatre 3.01 

Presentations on PR, Journalism and Politics 

1.00pm – LSPR CEO Prita Kemal Gani, MBA, MCIPR, APR.  

The need for Public Relations in Business’.  

Taking an international perspective, this talk examines the use of PR in business transactions. 

 1.25pm – Professor Stuart Price 

 The Capitol Riot and the Concept of ‘Insurrection’ 

This paper interrogates the discursive framework within which the Capitol incursion of 6 January 2021 was presented. The predominant narrativisation of the event by ‘mainstream’ liberal US/UK media – as an ‘insurrection’, an assault on ‘the seat of democracy’, and even as a form of ‘domestic terrorism’ – reinforced the notion that the democratic order and its supposed adherence to Truth, was somehow fragile and in need of reconstruction.  

1.45pm – Dr Giuliana Tiripelli 

Researching Peace on Twitter: methodologies and discoveries 

Dr Tiripelli will introduce new research about peace discourses focussing on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. This new research shows how interactive discourse analysis can be practiced online, by taking Twitter as an example. Findings will reveal that apparently “new” discourses justifying a rejection of peace are reinforced by the polarising dynamics of the web. 

2.05 pm – Dr Ben Harbisher 

Nudge: Behavioural Science, Normative Discourse, and the Art of Consent 

This paper examines the use of Behavioural Science (or Nudge theory as it is conventionally known) as a strategy used by the British Government to justify the first national lockdown in the UK, and mitigate the spread of infections at the peak of the 2020 pandemic. As a disciplinary technique, nudges helped establish a series of political narratives that were used to dominate popular discourse throughout the crisis.  

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Newsletter – October 2021

On 23-24 September 2021 Cardiff University will host the Future of Journalism Conference: Overcoming Obstacles in Journalism.

Dr Giuliana Tiripelli and Dr Gurvinder Aujla-Sidhu presented the results of their work on decolonising the curriculum of journalism through peace journalism practice at DMU, for the Future of Journalism conference (23 September). This paper illustrated the approach developed in the modules of the new journalism programme led by Gurvinder.

Professor Stuart Price gave a paper entitled ‘Insurrection! The Capitol Riot, 6 January 2021: journalistic hyperbole, the ‘post-truth’ myth, and the democracy/state conflation’, at the Future of Journalism Conference, 22 September 2021.

Abstract extract: this illustrated paper interrogates the discursive framework within which the Capitol incursion of 6 January 2021 was presented. It argues that the predominant narrativisation of the event by ‘mainstream’ liberal US/UK media – as an ‘insurrection’, an assault on ‘the seat of democracy’, and even as a form of ‘domestic terrorism’ – reinforced the notion that the democratic order and its supposed adherence to Truth, was somehow fragile and in need of reconstruction. The liberal goal was therefore the discursive/material recovery of democratic norms, after their supposed degradation under the regimen of Trump.  

Professor Jason Lee’s paper, ‘Facebook, Paedophile Hunters, and Surveillance – Mediated Transnational Abuse’, has been published in The Journal of New Media and Culture,Vol. 12 Issue 1, Special Issue: Facebook Studies, Summer 2021.

Abstract: Facebook and paedophile hunter groups in the UK, US, and India are examined. QAnon is studied and how Facebook has aided their strength. The notion of the hunt is explored in the UK and India where hoaxes are common. Financial incentives and dataveillance are analyzed. Theological paradigms are extrapolated in terms of cultural theory and capital with the recognition surveillance leads to pre-determination and the eradication of the human.

Dr Ben Harbisher’s chapter ‘Nudge: Behavioural Science, Normative Discourse, and the Art of Consent’ appears in Governing Human Lives and Health in Pandemic Times (Routledge, 2022).

Media Discourse Centre’s Four Book Launch

You are most welcome to attend the Media Discourse Centre’s Four Book Launch on June 30th at 2pm (London time):

Zoom Meeting: 

Meeting ID: 894 6526 5620.

The four authors are long-standing MDC members and research associates, and we are very pleased to see the publication of their new books. Each author will talk for 10/15 minutes, and there will be an opportunity to ask questions. Thanks to moral support from the Meccsa Social Movements Network and the Documentary Media Centre, Leicester.


1. Gurvinder Aujla-Sidhu – BBC Asian Network: the cultural production of diversity

2. Max Hanska – Communication against Domination: ideas of justice from the printing press to algorithmic media

3. Tanya Lokot – Beyond the Protest Square: digital media and augmented dissent

4. Fernanda Amaral – Voices from the Favelas: media activism and counter-narratives from below

No registration is needed but the event is limited to the first 100 who will access it.

Best wishes,

Stuart Price and Giuliana Tiripelli, MDC – Chairs of the event.

Talk: Professor Klaus Bruhn Jensen

Professor Klaus Bruhn Jensen: “What communication is, ought to be, and could be”

As part of the PostGraduate Research Student Conference, we would like to invite all interested parties to a talk given by Professor Klaus Bruhn Jensen.

Date23 June 2020 from 10.45am to 11.15am (NOTE: TEAMS LINK IS TO WHOLE EVENT – our talk starts at 10.45am)

TalkWhat communication is, ought to be, and could be – communication and justice in digital media

Speaker: Professor Klaus Bruhn Jensen (Professor in the Department of Media, Cognition, and Communication, University of Copenhagen, Denmark)

Introduced by: Dr Giuliana Tiripelli MDC, and Professor Stuart Price, MDC.


Speaker bio:

Klaus Bruhn Jensen is Professor in the Department of Communication, University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His research and teaching emphasize communication theory, empirical research methodologies, and the history of media and communication. Current projects focus on internet use in different regions of the world and on normative theories of communication. Recent publications includethe International Encyclopedia of Communication Theory and Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2016, 4 vols and online), A Handbook of Media and Communication Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Methodologies (Routledge, 3rd edition, 2021), A Theory of Communication of Justice (Routledge, 2021), and Media Convergence: The Three Degrees of Network, Mass, and Interpersonal Communication (Routledge, 2nd edition, forthcoming 2022). He is a recipient of the Royal Danish Order of Dannebrog, an elected member of Academia Europaea, Life Member for Service of the Association of Internet Researchers, and a Fellow of the International Communicology Institute. 

International Women’s Day event

Media Discourse Centre: International Women’s Day event, Monday 8th March, 14:00–16:00

Transnational Feminist Activism – plus discussion with Q&A.

Contributions from: Media Discourse Centre and the Meccsa Social Movements Network


  • Dr Ruth Sanz Sabido (CCCU Canterbury): From Private to Public  and Political: Breastfeeding, Sorority and Feminism

Ruth will describe her online ethnography of a women’s support group. 

  • Professor Stuart Price (De Montfort University): the Huelga General Feminista, Spain, 2017-20.

Stuart will give an account of a two-year study of the Spanish Feminist General Strike. 

  • M. Giovanna Miralles Terán de Wilkin (CCCU): What’s in it for us?

A critical reflection on Maya women studies.

Giovanna will reveal how Maya women are organising within post-civil war Guatemala. 

  •  Dr Rinella Cere – ‘8 Marzo’ and the ‘Subaltern that cannot Speak’

Rinella will discuss the Italian ‘8 Marzo’ movement, of which she was part,  and contextualises her experience with reference to the theories of Gayatri Spivak. 

Hosted by the Documentary Media Centre  

Facilitator: John Coster 

Platform: Zoom (part recorded + live stream)

Zoom Details
Meeting ID: 890 7868 2067 Passcode: 958014

PhD candidates: DMU Full Bursary Scholarships

The Media Discourse Centre at De Montfort University welcomes applications from prospective PhD candidates who wish to obtain DMU Full Bursary Scholarships. As a research collective dedicated to the critical analysis of the contemporary social order, with a particular emphasis on the global character of mediated communication, MDC’s work encompasses a wide range of research projects, including: protest cultures and social movements, narratives of collective identity (class, gender and ethnicity), progressive models of journalism, communal social media use, investigative journalism (in partnership with the Channel Four/De Montfort MA team), the politics of technology, critical studies of narrative and discourse, surveillance studies, and race and the postcolonial. 

The Centre would, therefore, encourage submissions from applicants interested in developing interdisciplinary research that is both theoretically sophisticated and methodologically innovative, in critical fields related to media representation and framing, mediated activism, and/or radical interventions in the (re)composition of public narratives. These forms of enquiry could include critiques of national, transnational, or regional cultures and communicative practices, international initiatives (like the UNSDGs), as well as studies of resistance to disciplinary, myopic or repressive discourses.

Candidates applying to the Media Discourse Centre ( should, in the first instance, submit a research proposal of 750 words (maximum) to Professor Stuart Price, at, marked ‘MDC/DMU Bursary’, and should be accompanied by a CV. The material should be received by noon on Monday, 24thFebruary. If notified of acceptance, the candidate will be encouraged to make a comprehensive application to, clearly marked with MDC and the suggested supervisory team, by the deadline of 9th March 2020. Full details and the application form can be accessed at  

The proposal should encompass the following elements:

o          title of project 

o          the primary goal of the research (hypothesis/problematic) in one paragraph

o          original contribution to knowledge 

o          theoretical perspective/position adopted within the project 

o          research methods suited to the successful completion of the thesis 

o          alignment with MDC and potential supervisors (

Best wishes

Stuart Price
Professor of Media and Political Discourse

Talk: An analysis of misrepresentation in best-selling British magazines.

Monday 17th February, 4pm, DMU Clephan 3.01

This research-based talk presents the shocking reality of misrepresentation in best-selling British magazines.

Eventbrite link:

There is a powerful relationship between gender and social inequality. Unequivocally, magazines play an important role in perpetuating stereotypes that fail to represent society. This misrepresentation impacts on females’ self-perception and helps to maintain socioeconomic disparities.

In Brazil, for example, the majority of the population is non-white, but magazines frequently display more white and blond females, reinforcing a colonised Eurocentric idealisation of beauty. The same ethnic disparity happens in the UK: there are more flamingos on the cover pages than black women. In addition, the glossy publications reinforce exclusively Eurocentric aesthetics and misogynistic behaviour, portraying conservative roles connected to motherhood and heteronormative marriages.

When the cover girls represent any sort of diversity, they are automatically forced to act as ambassadors of a cause: overweight women must talk about health; non-white models must defy racism. The misrepresentation affects minorities in the same way it discriminates diverse body formats (size, shape, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, etc) and, in general, only skinny white cisgender-able females are representatives of success and/or beauty.

Universities, magazines, and everyone in the media industry has the responsibility to join this debate and work to change the scenario. This event is a promotion of the Media Discourse Centre at De Montfort University Leicester in partnership with the University of Derby, sponsored by the Association of Journalism Education and the British Academy – Newton Fund.


Dr Ivana Ebel is a senior lecturer in Journalism at the University of Derby working with undergraduate, masters, and PhD students. She has broad international experience and holds a PhD in Communication and Media Sciences (Leipzig University – Germany); a Masters in Digital Media (Bremen University – Germany); a Bachelor in Communication Sciences – Journalism (Univali, Itajaí – Brazil), and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCertHe – University of Derby – UK). Ivana Ebel started lecturing in Brazil back in 2005. Since then, she has worked and lived in different countries, mixing academic activities with industry engagements. Her research is concentrated on media convergence, digital storytelling, visual rhetoric, mobile media consumption and fake news. She is multilingual and has more than two decades of industry experience in print media, web content, broadcasting, public relations, both in private and governmental positions, especially working as an international journalist.

Dr Gabrielle Bittelbrun is a media researcher and journalist, currently working for the Federation of Industries of Santa Catarina State, in southern Brazil. She is an experienced lecturer with a PhD in Literature (Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil), and spent a semester researching in partnership with the University of Minho, in Portugal. She also has a Masters in Journalism (Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis, Brazil); and a Bachelor in Communication Sciences – Journalism (University of the State of São Paulo – Unesp, Bauru, Brazil). She has been working in academic research since 2007, funded by well-known Brazilian agencies such as Fapesp and Capes. In addition, her research – partially represented in this presentation – received a mobility grant from the British Academy through the Newton Fund. Her work is focused on feminism, gender, race, and women’s magazines. Gabrielle Bittelbrun is the author of the recently published book Colours and contours: gender and race in Brazilian women’s magazines. She is a member of the research group Literatual at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, working mostly with topics related to feminist and post-colonial contemporary narratives.