Below is a selection of some articles by me, mostly quite recent ones, which are available either from the online journal sites as indicated by the link or directly by free downloading from this site.
In addition, five short pieces written for the US magazine FLOW (on the drama series Spooks, on propaganda, on news about hostages, on documentaries about city trading and on the idea of criticism) with readers comments attached can be found at http://flowtv.org/author/john-
A. Film and Television Documentary
- Television Documentary and the Category of the Aesthetic (2003). From Screen 44.1 94-100. An exploration of the different ways in which ‘the aesthetic’ is a dimension of documentary productions, one which is given a varying emphasis in critical writing.
- Documentary Expression and the Physicality of the Referent (2007). Studies in Documentary Film (2007). Examines how writing, painting and photography relate their broader documentary ambitions to their distinctive modes of portrayal of the physical world.
- Documenting the Political: Some Issues. Studies in Documentary Film (2009). An examination of how ‘the political’ is articulated in documentary, with some contrasting examples.
- Documentary Studies: Dimensions of Transition and Continuity. From Thomas Austin and Wilma De Jong (eds) Rethinking Documentary: New Perspectives, NewPractices. OUP/McGraw Hill. 2008. 13-28. An overview of some key aspects in the development of documentary as an area of academic study and of the major issues of definition and approach which continue to characterise the research agenda.
- Presentation to Discovery Seminar, Munich 2008. A transcript from an opening talk and subsequent discussion at the Discovery Channel seminar for documentary producers and directors.
- 49 Up: Television, ‘Life-time’ and the mediated self. From M. Kackman et al. (eds.) Flow TV. Routledge. 2010. A look at some aspects of Michael Apted’s series of socio-biographical films (written before the latest in the series, 56 up, was shown in 2012).
- The Politics of Reality Television. From L. Baruh and Hoon Park (eds.) Reel Politics. Cambridge Scholar Press. 22-39, 2010. Examines the ways in which ‘reality television’ has been judged both as a welcome exploration of social space and social relations ignored by conventional documentary and as exploitation, a diversion from patterns of power and inequality
- Temporality and Documentary. From E. Keighley ed., Time, Media and Modernity. Palgrave, 2012. Takes examples from documentary film in order to examine the ways in which both historical time and durational time variously feature in formal and thematic design.
B. Media and Cultural Theory or Analysis
- Codes and Cultural Analysis. From Media, Culture and Society. 2.1. 73-86. This 1980 piece looks at how the idea of ‘code’ had been used in cultural studies, with particular reference to the work of Stuart Hall and the Birmingham Centre.
- Mass in Communication Research, from Journal of Communication 29 (Winter) 1979, 26-32. A short examination of the idea of ‘mass’ in communications research, responding in part to an earlier article by Raymond Williams arguing that use of the notion distorts the study of media processes.
- Media Studies and the ‘Knowledge Problem’. Screen 36.2. 1995. A look at the particular problems around ‘core knowledge’ affecting the development of courses in Media Studies. A more recent examination of similar issues in relation to media research rather than teaching is to be found in my look at the present, diverse, nature of the ‘field’, available at: http://mcs.sagepub.com/content/35/8/1011.extract.
- Television Studies and the Idea of Criticism. From Screen. 48.3. 363-369. 2007. An examination of how the notion of ‘criticism’, implying certain analytic approaches and forms of evaluation, has variously influenced academic writing on television.
- Mediated Politics, Promotional Culture and the Idea of Propaganda. Media Culture and Society 2007.A look at varying notions of ‘propaganda’ and the propagandistic in the context both of the history of the term and modern publicity and promotionalism.
- Public Knowledge and Popular Culture: Spaces and Tensions. Media, Culture and Society 2009. A review of the play-off between these two categories, given shifts in contemporary economy and culture.
- Assessing Television’s Political Dramas. From Sociology Compass 2011. Explores how British television drama has portrayed politicians and the political system, taking past examples as well as contemporary work.
- The Utility of Fiction in Politics. From Goring, Mitchell and Lothe (eds) Each Others Yarns. Essays on Narrative and Critical Method. Oslo Novus Press. 2012. A look at lying and deception as a core mode of political performance with a long history, raising questions about ‘where to draw the line’ on the spectrum of deceit and about the practicality of alternatives.
- The Uses of Media Research. From Hovden and Knapskog (eds). Hunting High and Low. Scandinavian Academic Press. 2012. Media research often seeks to be ‘useful’ but what kinds of different use can it have outside of the academy and what are the challenges and potential risks of trying to be useful?
- Confronting Value (A note on Richard Hoggart). 2012. A short examination of how questions of value were addressed by Richard Hoggart in his cultural analysis and how, in his writing, the economic and the political relate to the cultural.
- Putting the Mock in Democracy: Notes on Political Humour. From Media, Culture and Society, 2013. A book review picking up on some more general themes concerning humour about politicians and political processes.
- Criticism: notes on the circulation of cultural judgement. 2013. A review of some issues concerning the contemporary character of arts criticism in the context of shifts in the production and consumption of cultural work and the expanded range of web-based commentary, including that from ‘amateur’ critics and reviewers.
- Political Culture and Political Communication: Some Key Shifts. This was written as an afterword to a recent edited collection (details in text header) but it stands on its own as an attempt to identify some of the principal factors affecting current change in political communication.