Making education research public: The possibilities and challenges of traditional and new media

Universities around the world now actively encourage academics to engage in public scholarship. Educational researchers are expected to focus on much more than scholarly articles and books. They publish in traditional and new media - newspapers, television, radio, blogs and social media. This can, at times, be a difficult terrain for academics to navigate. There is also widespread concern and corridor conversation about the pitfalls and possibilities of public scholarship.

Education researchers not only engage in mediatised scholarship, but also work to understand what these changes mean, both for understandings of mediatisation, policy enactment and resistances, and also what are the implications our research methods. Within this mediatised landscape, we see that the national-global are now imbricated, via conventional and social media, with new genres, rules of political engagement and ambiguous consequences for educational research, policy and practice.

This symposium focuses on the intersection of education research and traditional and social media platforms. It probes the effects of these engagements. The symposium offers new conceptualisations of the junctures and disjunctures of local, national and transnational mediascapes in education research, working across both traditional media and social media platforms. Traditional national media, while still significant, is now embedded in practices and discourses that transcend geographic and spatial boundaries. Global media logics challenge the profitability and operations of media corporations, as the production of news and information is paradoxically both democratised and fragmented. How are academics, now expected by policy and their institutions, to take their work to wider publics? How can educational researchers operate in this new and rapidly changing environment?