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Assessing Ethnic Media’s Impact on British Asian Communities in the Midlands using the Anita Anand Archive.

Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership

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Prof Justin Smith , Ms S Khan No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Cinema and Television History Institute’s Anita Anand Archive (1995-2004), located at De Montfort University’s Special Collections, presents a rare opportunity to analyse factual programming that addresses the challenges and aspirations of British Asian communities in the nineties and noughties. 

Drawing on this unique archive of early ethnic current affairs TV programming we invite a PhD researcher to work with both DMU and Sampad, a South Asian arts and heritage organisation based in the West Midlands, to engage different generations of British Asians in the Midlands 4 Cities region with this broadcasting legacy. In return the prospective student is offered training and an internship with a high-profile regional partner to develop dedicated community projects and public events and gather audience research for their study. 

Broadcast news and current affairs archives are invaluable resources that document important periods of transformation in culture and society. However, whilst the reception of ethnic media has received some attention in recent years (eg Dudrah 2002 & 2005), it is largely understudied.

This project is unique and allows a student to focus on the current affairs programming of a dedicated Asian broadcaster in the UK media ecology in a period of political transition in the late 1990s. Anita Anand (now at the BBC) was Zee TV Europe’s Head of News and Current affairs between 1995 and 2004. The PhD’s archival focus will be augmented by interviews with Anand and her contemporaries to assess the role of Anand’s political journalism and examine the impact Asian-specific news had in the run-up to the 1997 General Election in confronting the major political parties to address the concerns of the British South Asian electorate. Anand fronted the current affairs talk show The Big Debate and presented the Raj Britannia series – 31 documentaries chronicling the political aspirations of the Asian community in the most marginal constituencies in 1997. This project assesses the legacy of that groundbreaking intervention.

The study will culminate in a in a conference pairing Anita Anand with Anita Bhalla OBE, a former BBC broadcaster and founder of BBC Asian Network in the West Midlands.

Funding Notes

The successful candidate will require a familiarity with television history, preferably with an interest in broadcast journalism, ethnicity and audience studies. You will normally possess a first degree (2:1 or above) as well as an MA or equivalent. Some knowledge of Hindi or Urdu will also be an advantage. Multimedia skills will also be beneficial.

Further details of the project here:

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