Special post 3: Festivals and urban cultural policy: Some meditations on the literature

Okay, so apologies for another long break from posting – I’ve been in Sydney, interviewing the Sydney Festival’s Lindy Hume for Meanjin Quarterly and aso catching up with my colleagues at the University of Western Sydney and NewMatilda.com.

I’m going to make it up to you all today with a long post on the literature of urban cultural policy as it relates to festivals.  This will be the final post in my “special series” on academic festivals literature, which has been a lot of fun to read up on. It’s another fascinating area of the knowledge base, and while I could spend days delving into it, I am going to discuss the literature in general before examining a couple of specific papers. Continue reading


Hesmondhalgh and Baker on what it’s like to work on a UK reality/talent TV show

For a long time BBC and ITV ‘in-house’ departments monopolized the
entertainment genre on British television. But one of the great transformations
of European television since the 1980s has been the rise of independent
production companies and, in the talent show genre no less than
in others such as drama and documentary, indies have become increasingly
important.6 In parallel, a considerable commissioning apparatus has
developed in British television, one which often involves a tug-of-war

From a couple of my favourite researchers, the UK’s David Hesmondhalgh and Griffith Uni’s Sarah Baker, comes a study examining the theory around, and the conditions of, the creative industries labour market.

The shape and nature of work in the creative, cultural and media industries has become a topic of quite considerable interest  in recent times, driven in part by the kind of industry boosterism championed by the UK’s Department of Media, Culture and Sport, but also by a realisation, spurred by certain researchers like NYU’s Andrew Ross, that the “no-collar” workplace of the cultural and media sectors may just describe the shape of the broader workplace of the future.

This paper, “Creative Work and Emotional Labour in the Television Industry”, published in 2008 by Theory, Culture & Society [Vol. 25(7–8): 97–118], takes a hard look at the conditions of labour in the reality TV industry. Continue reading