The Olympic Television Studies Seminar

On September 28th, 2012 the Television Studies Commission of the International Federation of Television Archives, FIAT/IFTA, organised a one-day seminar at the British Film Institute in London. It was the second international television studies seminar organized by the TSC, after the first one took place in Paris at l’Institut National de l’ Audiovisuel in 2010. The seminar brought together television studies scholars and television archivists from around the world. In the year of the London Olympics, the morning session discussed the theme ‘Sport and the Olympics’.

Report by Dana Mustata, University of Groningen

Mette Charis Buchman presenting DR

Dr. Eggo Müller from Utrecht University opened the event with a keynote speech on the Mediatization of Sport. He discussed sport in relation to a process of mediatization, zooming in on the diverse logics of sport and media and how the two intertwine. Arguing that sports and its mediatisation are in fact two sides of the some coin, Eggo Müller pointed out that the sports spectator’s has an intrinsic longing for mediatisation that is attained through processes of identification, representation and contemplation. Mette Charis Buchman from Danmarks Radio Archives continued the series of talks on sport and television with a visual journey through Danish archival footage on the Olympics, accompanied by brief history of Danmarks Radio Archives.

The afternoon sessions presented academic papers based on research done in several FIAT/IFTA member archives. In the panel Media and Politics, Ken Griffin from the University of Ulster drew upon research carried out at Ireland’s National Television and Radio Broadcaster RTÉ to discuss RTÉ ‘s early cross-border cooperation with the Northern Irish broadcaster UTV. Concepción Cascajosa from Carlos III University of Madrid illustrated footage from the Spanish broadcaster RTVE and discussed images of the masses as a representation of change in the aftermath of Franco’s death. Berber Hagedoorn from Utrecht University exemplified how Dutch broadcast archival footage is used in today’s multi platform television to visualize the history of World War II for young audiences in the Netherlands.

The last panel of the day, British Perspectives, provided insights into different aspects of the history of British television. Elinor Groom from Nottingham University presented the findings of her research at the BFI Archives on the early history of ITV’s regional franchise Southern Television. Lisa Kerrigan from the British Film Institute (BFI) introduced lost footage of British television drama, which was recently rediscovered at the Library of Congress. Nathan Budzinski discussed the British television documentary tradition, zooming in specifically on the work of John Grierson. At the end of the day, Dana Mustata from the University of Groningen presented the open access journal VIEW. She spoke about the collaborative practices between academics and archivists on the journal and the ways in which the journal promotes innovative ways of writing television histories in a multi-media environment, allowing the integration of archival sources within academic articles.

The seminar enabled a bridge of dialogue between television scholars and television archives and encouraged fruitful exchanges between them. Several members of the European Television History Network and EUscreen were present at the event. The seminar was organized under the umbrella of the FIAT/IFTA World Conference, which also hosted a joint EUscreen and Europeana panel. In the panel, Johan Oomen from the Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision, David Smith from Europeana, Marco Rendina from Cinecittà Luce and Dana Mustata spoke about the accomplishments of EUscreen, offered a sneak preview into EUscreenXL and the future of online audiovisual archives and emphasized the value for television research of online audiovisual databases.

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Registration open for FIAT/IFTA Television Studies Seminar

Registration is now open for the second international Television Studies Seminar, hosted by the BFI (British Film Institute) at its South Bank premises in London on September 28th, 2012. Attending the event is free, but registration is required at: The seminar will present academic papers based on research conducted in FIAT/IFTA member archives and illustrated by extracts provided by those archives.

BFI Southbank by pixelthing


11.00-12.15 Sport & the Olympics (Chair: Steve Bryant, BFI)

  • Keynote address: The Mediatisation of Sport – Eggo Muller, University of Utrecht
  • The History of the DR Visual Archive Exemplified by Olympic Events from 1952-2012 -Mette Charis Buchman & Henrik Frost, DR Archive and Research

12:15-13.30 Lunch

13.30-15.00 Media Events and Politics (Chair: Dana Mustata, University of Groningen)

  • Reaching Across the Divide: Early Cross-Border Collaboration Between RTE and Ulster Television – Ken Griffin, University of Ulster
  • Images of the Masses in the Spanish Transition to Democracy: Representation of Change on Television – Manuel Palacio and Concepcion Cascajosa, Carlos III University of Madrid
  • The Eichmann Trial: Memory of the Past as Global Media Event – Judith Keilbach, Utrecht University
  • Visualising History and Memory for a Young Target Audience in Dutch Multi-Platform TV – Berber Hagedoorn, Utrecht University

15.00-15.30 Tea

15.30-16.45 British Perspectives (Chair: Andy O’Dwyer, BBC)

  • Broadcasting from a Boat! Uncovering Southern Television, from Document to Moving Image – Elinor Groom, Nottingham University
  • A Special Relationship: Lost British Television Drama at the Library of Congress – Lisa Kerrigan, British Film Institute
  • John Grierson and the British Television Documentary – Nathan Budzinski

16.45-17.00 Presentation of EUscreen’s Journal of European Television History and Culture – Dana Mustata, University of Groningen

CFP: Are our archives Faster, Bigger, Stronger than ever?

For the upcoming conference of  FIAT/IFTA (the worldwide organisation that brings broadcasters and television archives together) , the organisation asks itself the question: are our archives Faster, Bigger, Stronger than ever?

FIAT/IFTA examines the archive management of massive events worldwide that thrill and impact on so many people worldwide. How are we “Tagging and Archiving world events” be they international sporting events, all consuming catastrophes or political upheavals? After the Olympics – what do we do with all that content? How was it managed during the Olympics? What are the challenges of digitization and management of large audiovisual collections and new content?

In the year and on the exact location of this year’s Olympic Games, TV archivists will gather from all corners from the world from September 28 – October 2nd.  FIAT/IFTA just issued its call for papers and invites:

  • PRESENTATIONS, either in the form of a panel discussion on the indicated theme or a paper in a specified topic.
  • WORKSHOPS of approxinately 1 hour duration; must involve a strong element of interaction with the audience.
  • POSTER SESSIONS that provide a space where members and conference participants can present their work, activities and projects.

Head over to the FIAT/IFTA website or go straight to the call for papers for more information about how, why and what to submit:

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