[NetBehaviour] Fwd: Prevent and University implementation of Home Office policy

dave miller dave.miller.uk at gmail.com
Thu Dec 3 13:57:44 CET 2015


an interesting conversation...

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Julian Petley <Julian.Petley at brunel.ac.uk>
Date: 3 December 2015 at 12:53
Subject: Re: Prevent and University implementation of Home Office policy
To: MECCSA at jiscmail.ac.uk


Dear all,

Following on from Alexis' worrying e-mail, I'd like to draw your attention
to this equally worrying story in the Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/young-people-who-question-government-policy-or-the-media-may-be-extremists-officials-tell-parents-a6756086.html

Among other things this states that ‘Parents and carers have also been
advised by the safeguarding children board in the London Borough of Camden
that “showing a mistrust of mainstream media reports and a belief in
conspiracy theories” could be a sign that children are being groomed by
extremists’.  As Bella Sankey of Liberty quite rightly observes in the
article: 'Children should be encouraged to take an interest in politics and
think critically about what they see in the media, not deemed suspect for
so doing. The piece also quotes from an open letter about Prevent which
some of us signed recently:

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/letters/prevent-will-have-a-chilling-effect-on-open-debate-free-speech-and-political-dissent-10381491.html

This kind of initiative stems from two sources. The first is child
protection, but child protection of a very particular kind (i.e. that which
wanted the vetting of writers who visited schools, or parents who took
other people's children to school in their cars). The second source,
obviously, is the kind of thinking which has given rise to Prevent.  The
result is something which has deeply worrying implications for anyone who
teaches about the British media - and particularly if they take a critical
line on how the media represent Muslims, how the media represent government
policy on the Middle East, terrorism and radicalisation, and the
relationship between the media and government (which, in the specific case
of the Murdoch media and the government looks, suspiciously like a form of
conspiracy, at least in my view).

If anyone has any examples of this kind of thing happening in their area,
I'd be very interested in hearing about it. And if this is happening across
the country (which I suspect it is) is this not something about which
MeCCSA should be taking a stand?

Best, Julian.


Julian Petley
Professor of Screen Media
T +44 (0) 1895 265479
Connect with me on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook

Brunel University London
College of Business, Arts and Social Sciences,
Department of Social Sciences, Media and Communications.
Gaskell Building, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UB8 3PH, United
Kingdom
T +44 (0) 1895 274000 | F +44 (0) 1895 232806
www.brunel.ac.uk

Connect with the university on Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook

-----Original Message-----
From: Media, Communications and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA)
[mailto:MECCSA at JISCMAIL.AC.UK] On Behalf Of Alexis Weedon
Sent: 03 December 2015 08:33
To: MECCSA at JISCMAIL.AC.UK
Subject: Prevent and University implementation of Home Office policy

Dear MeCCSA

I am writing to ask if MeCCSA list members could share their University's
policy or actions on the implementation of the Home Office guidance on
PREVENT.

At the University of Bedfordshire we have a new policy (circulated 1 Dec)
on eternal speakers/visitors which is the subject of my concern. It
requires all guests to be centrally approved and may 'grant permission for
the activity to proceed but declare it 'public', thus permitting a police
presence' or 'refuse permission for the activity to take place if it
appears that it could give rise to, or incite those attending to commit, a
criminal act' (or as a concerned colleague rephrased it 'those attending'
being innocent).

Journalism is part of my school and the ability to interview external
speakers and invite in speakers from all sides of a debate is essential to
learning ethical and responsible reporting. I wonder a) whether colleagues
in MeCCSA have university policies which are comparable, b) what is current
practice in Universities and c) whether the subject association has - or
could formulate - a view.

It may be a point worth of discussion at the upcoming conference.

I would be grateful to hear your views and understand your policies so I
can reflect on the practice as it effects (or perhaps doesn't) the school
here.

Alexis

----
Professor Alexis Weedon
UNESCO chair in New Media Forms of the Book Head of Department Journalism
and Communications Co-editor Convergence: The International Journal of
Research Into New Media Technologies University of Bedfordshire Luton
Campus, Park Square Luton LU1 3JU
-----
Convergence submissions online http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/convergence
-----

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MeCCSA mailing list
--------------------------------------------------------
To manage your subscription or unsubscribe from the MECCSA list, please
visit:
https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?SUBED1=MECCSA&A=1
-------------------------------------------------------
MeCCSA is the subject association for the field of media, communication and
cultural studies in UK Higher Education.

This mailing list is a free service and is not restricted to members. It is
an unmoderated list and content reflect the views of those who post to the
list and not of MeCCSA as an organisation.

MeCCSA recommends that the list be used only for posting of information
(for example about events, publications, conferences, lectures) of interest
to members or to promote discussion of current issues of wide general
interest in the field. Posts to the MeCCSA mailing list are public, indexed
by Google, and can be accessed from the JISCMail website (
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/meccsa.html).

Any messages posted to the list are subject to the JISCMail acceptable use
policy, which states that users should avoid “engaging in unreasonable
behaviour, or disrupting the general flow of discussion on a list.”

For further information, please visit: http://www.meccsa.org.uk/
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