Academics to research media coverage of July 2005 London bombings
A Swansea University academic is to investigate how the way the July 2005 London bombings were reported and then commemorated a year on has influenced the way in which they are remembered by the public.
Dr Nuria Lorenzo-Dus, a senior lecturer in Applied Linguistics, is working with colleagues at Warwick and Leicester Universities on a three-year £140,000 project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
The project is led by Warwick University’s Dr Andrew Hoskins, who was one of the founding members of Swansea University’s Department of Media and Communication Studies.
Dr Lorenzo-Dus said: “Our project will investigate how television news shapes memory, particularly in the relationship between the televisual representation and commemoration of conflict and catastrophe, and the individual and personal memories of mediated events.
“This includes exploring the impact of images and video recorded by the ever more abundant and advanced mobile phone cameras – so-called ‘citizen journalists’ – and how they become embedded in what we see as part of our daily diet of TV news.”
The project comprises two, interconnected strands. The first strand will be undertaken by Dr Lorenzo-Dus in collaboration with Dr Hoskins.
In-depth analysis of the news reporting of the July 2005 London bombings will be compared with coverage of the commemorative events one year later.
“We will be undertaking a full content analysis on the news coverage broadcast by BBC, ITV, Channel 4, and Sky to identify exactly what was reported,” said Dr Lorenzo-Dus.
“We will then carry out further qualitative research to identify the stance that the news editors and journalists adopted in terms of what they chose to report, what they left out, and how they put their reports together.
“This will entail an integrated discourse analysis of the various modes of communication – verbal, non-verbal, visual, and aural – that were used in the news coverage of the events and of their commemoration.
“Television’s images play an important part in how we remember events. Even now, there are certain images that people closely associate with the bombings, and we’re interested in understanding exactly what influence television’s use of certain ‘visual templates’ may have had on our individual and collective memories of such events.”
The second strand of the research project will be undertaken by Professor Steve Brown at Leicester University.
Professor Brown will be researching from a psychological perspective to what extent – and how – audiences’ memories of the 2005 London bombings were influenced by their television news coverage and their subsequent commemoration.
For further information about Swansea University’s School of Arts visit http://www.swan.ac.uk/arts/.