5th International Language in the Media Conference

> PRELIMINARY PROGRAMME (updated 18 Sept) download HERE
> Accommodation and travel information BELOW
> Friday pre-conference workshops (details below&click 'register here')


5th International Language in the Media Conference

2013 THEME: Redefining journalism: Participation, practice, change

28-30 September 2013

Queen Mary, University of London

Pre-session workshops: Friday 27 September

Plenary speakers

Allan Bell (Auckland University of Technology, NZ)

Martin Conboy (University of Sheffield, UK)

Helen Kelly-Holmes (University of Limerick, Ireland)

Daniel Perrin (Zurich University of Applied Sciences, Switzerland)


This is the fifth in a biennial series of international conferences organized around the role of the media in relation to the representation, construction and production of language.*

The primary theme of the 2013 conference will be on journalism - in its many historical and contemporary manifestations - and its redefinition in the face of social media and established practice, taking its cue from the confluence of historic Fleet Street and new media and digital innovation in London.

Topics pertaining to participation, authorship, history, editorial selection, social memory, community engagement, place, and technology as it informs practice and change will underscore the theme, alongside new and traditional work on media representation, social meaning, multimodality, visual communication, genres of text and talk, and mobilities. Sociolinguistic, sociocultural, and text- or talk-related media analysis frameworks in relation to corpus linguistics, film studies, linguistic ethnography and anthropology, social semiotics, discourse analysis, and pragmatics are welcome.

Alongside this focus, the 2013 conference, as it has done from its inception in 2005, will continue to prioritize papers which address the range of sociolinguistic topics in relation to the media broadly defined: language standardization and style; literacy policy and practice; language acquisition; multilingualism and cross-/inter-cultural communication; communication in professional contexts; representations of speech, thought, and writing; language and class, dis/ability, race/ethnicity, gender/sexuality and age; political discourse, commerce and global capitalism; language and education.

Also on the agenda: A plenary panel of active journalists and linguists talking about what has changed in journalism and what remains the same, with an eye to inspiring future research/ers and providing new directions for investigation of language in the media.


The first two international Language in the Media conferences were held at the University of Leeds (in 2005: Language in the Media: Representations, Identities, Ideologies; in 2007: Language Ideologies and Media Discourse: Texts, Practices, Policies). The 2009 conference was at the University of Washington in Seattle (Language in the [New] Media: Technologies and Ideology). The 2011 conference was in Limerick, Ireland (Language(?) in the Media(?): Rethinking the Field).

Fri 27 September -- PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOPS (details below)

- 10a-3.30p - WORKSHOP 1:  Making Media in Your Language  

- 3.30-5p - WORKSHOP 2:  News Values and News Discourse  

- 5-6p - WORKSHOP 3:  Understanding Specialty Journalism/Social Media

Sat - Mon 28-30 September -- CONFERENCE SCHEDULE in brief

Saturday 28 Sept

QMUL - Laws Building

Sunday 29 Sept

QMUL - ArtsTwo

Monday 30 Sept

QMUL - The Octagon  (Queens' Building)

0845 - Registration and coffee/pastries

0945 - Welcome

1000-1055 - Plenary1:

Allan Bell, Auckland U of Technology

"The interpretive arc and the redefinition of journalism"

11-1230 - // sessions

1230-1325 - Lunch

1330-1530 - // sessions

1530-1600 - Coffee/tea

1600-1730 - // sessions

From 1800 - Reception at The Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street

0900 - Coffee/pastries

0930-1025 - Plenary2:

Helen Kelly-Holmes, University of Limerick

"‘U + 2 = 100,000': Participation, change and practice in minority language media"

1030-1230 - // sessions

1230-1325 - Lunch

1330-1425 - Plenary3:

Daniel Perrin, Zurich U of Applied Sciences

"Drivers of change: Investigating routine and emergence in journalism"

1430-1600 - // sessions

1600-1630 - Coffee/tea

1630-1800 - // sessions

From 1800 - Reception at QMUL

0900-0955 - Plenary4:

Martin Conboy, University of Sheffield

"‘Why we are here': Role perceptions of journalism in the UK in The British Journalism Review 1989-2012"

1000-1100 - Plenary poster session;  networking and coffee/tea

1100-1230 - Plenary roundtables and practitioner Q&A

1230-1330 - Lunch

Conference concludes



- 10a-3.30p - WORKSHOP 1:  Making Media in Your Language  

- 3.30-5p - WORKSHOP 2:  News Values and News Discourse  

- 5-6p - WORKSHOP 3:  Understanding Specialty Journalism/Social Media

- 6.30p onwards: A chance for other conference attendees arriving in London as well as the day's workshop participants to meet informally at a nearby pub. Details closer to the date.

           ** WORKSHOP LOCATIONS: Workshops 2 & 3 are at the same place (137A Grays Inn Rd [upstairs at Peregrine's Pianos], London WC1X 8TU), a two-minute walk away from Workshop 1 (London Welsh Centre, 157-163 Gray's Inn Road, London WC1X 8UE).

           ** It is possible to attend all three workshops; we will allow sufficient time for the short walk between the two locales. Please note: There is no step-free access.

Workshop1: Making Media in Your Language ~~ Convenor: Philippa Law (The Guardian and QMUL)

The aim of this workshop is to bring together producers, presenters, journalists and academics who work in different languages and across different media platforms (radio, TV, print and web) to discuss experiences of multilingual media production. Although the issues can be very similar, there is currently little dialogue between the indigenous (e.g. Welsh, BSL) and non-indigenous (e.g. Gujarati, French) media in the UK. Participants are encouraged to come with examples of problems or successes to discuss. Speakers include Beth Angell, TV producer, Rondo Media; Alpa Pandya, Presenter, BBC Asian Network; Pascal Grierson, CEO, French Radio London. Workshop organizer Philippa Law, whose PhD research investigates audience participation in minority-language media, brings her professional expertise as a media producer, currently as community coordinator for The Guardian.

Workshop 2 - News Values and News Discourse ~~Convenors: Colleen Cotter (QMUL), Monika Bednarek (The University of Sydney), Helen Caple (University of New South Wales)

With their backgrounds in news and academia (in the US, Australia, and the UK), Cotter, Bednarek and Caple bring complementary practioner/linguist perspectives to a discussion of news values - the qualities that make a news item ”newsworthy." From a practitioner perspective, we discuss what motivates the selection of news or the angle of a story? How does local culture and context come into play? What linguistic tools can aid our understanding? From a linguistic perspective, we explore how news values are constructed through and embedded in language and images. We ask participants to bring copies of local, regional, and/or national papers from where they live - or from the airport or train station they're traveling from - for workshopping and discussion.

Workshop 3 - Understanding Specialty Journalism/Social Media ~~ Convenors: from London print and online news organizations

This practitioner-focused workshop involves journalists (from London print media and an online business journal) talking about their workplace routines,  reporting and production goals, professional justifications, and the changes to story form and journalistic practice that technology and new media bring to bear. The focus on practice in newer domains (online) ties in with larger questions - linguistic and historical - about changes in journalism, coverage norms, news discourse, visual /multi-modal communication, ethics, and public responsibility. Participants are invited to raise these questions and others in conversation with the journalists.

Conference (and workshop) registration


Registration cost (Saturday-Monday):

Regular: £250

Students: £220

Pre-conference workshop costs (Friday only):

Workshop 1: £20

Workshops 2 and 3: £20


Since London is a large, cosmopolitan city, there are numerous hotel options for conference participants. Keep in mind that the location of the conference is the East End: The university is located on Mile End Road in East London. (See map links below.)

Hotels in the nearby neighborhoods of Whitechapel, Bethnal Green, Stepney Green, Limehouse, and Bow are within walking and bus/Tube distance; Canary Wharf (south), Stratford (east), and Tower Hill (west) are a short bus/Tube ride away. Bloomsbury and Covent Garden are slightly further west and northwest.

There are a number of tourist hubs near the University. For example:

           Tower Hill - 2 miles West of Mile End

       Canary Wharf - 2 miles South of Mile End

       Stratford - 2 miles East of Mile End

At each of these locations there are a wide variety of hotel choices, from budget hotels to luxury accommodation. Most budget hotel chains (e.g. Travelodge, Ibis Budget, Premier Inn) can be found at each of these locations. You will find a huge range in prices. You can expect a very low-cost budget hotel to cost no less than £50 per night, and any range of prices for mid-range or luxury accommodation. The Ibis chain has locations in Whitechapel, Stratford, London City, and Canary Wharf.

Queen Mary Residential Services and Support lists some local hotels on their website:


If you are looking for hostel accommodation, Queen Mary Residential Services and Support also keeps a list on their website:


Getting to QMUL

The conference is taking place at the main QMUL campus in Mile End - in the East End of London. The nearest Tube (London Underground) stations are Mile End on the Central, Hammersmith and City, and District lines and Stepney Green on the Hammersmith and City and District lines.

Travelling around London

It's a good idea to buy an Oyster card to pay for your journeys, as it's the best value. If you're just here for a few days, you can get a visitor Oyster card (order it in advance). [http://visitorshop.tfl.gov.uk/] But if you're planning to come back to London again, buy a regular Oyster card [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/14825.aspx] (from most stations in London) and top it up and reuse it every time you come. It's still possible to buy single paper tickets (e.g., a day Travelcard) if you prefer. Mile End is in Zone 2. Most central London journeys are in Zones 1 and 2. Heathrow is in Zone 6. Travel is priced accordingly.

If you're visiting other parts of London while you're here, the easiest way to plan your journey is to use the journey planner [http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/] on the Transport for London (TfL) website.

The Tube is usually the quickest way to get around London, but they don't run all night. If you're planning to stay out late, make sure you work out in advance how to get home. There's a large network of night buses - the TfL journey planner [http://journeyplanner.tfl.gov.uk/] will show the options.

There are two kinds of taxi in London: black cabs and minicabs [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/gettingaround/taxiprivatehire/]. Black cabs (London's traditional black taxis) have an orange light on top when they are available and can be hailed on the street - or you can book one in advance. [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/taxisandminicabs/taxis/1136.aspx]

Minicabs (which can be any kind of car) must be booked in advance, e.g. by phone, or by walking into a taxi booking office. You can find phone numbers for local taxi companies in the Yellow Pages [http://www.yell.com/]- or use the Cabwise app. [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cabwise]

NEVER GET INTO AN UNBOOKED MINICAB. A licensed minicab driver will never approach you on the street. The free Cabwise app [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cabwise] can help you find a licensed taxi any time of the day or night.

Useful maps to download

QMUL Mile End campus map [http://www.qmul.ac.uk/about/howtofindus/mileend/]

Map of the Mile End area [http://goo.gl/maps/C0lkr]

Tube map [http://www.tfl.gov.uk/gettingaround/14091.aspx]

Abstract submission (now closed)

Please submit abstracts for papers via http://linguistlist.org/easyabs/LangMedia2013 no later than 30 April 2013. Abstracts should include a description of your talk (250-350 words). Notification of acceptance, following review by the conference committee, will be after 15 May. Registration is now open: http://eshop.qmul.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=2&deptid=34...

Contact us

Please direct any queries to Colleen Cotter at c.m.cotter (at) qmul.ac.uk or LiM5 (at) qmul.ac.uk

Linguistics Department

School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Queen Mary, University of London

Mile End Road

London E1 4NS