Tom Hopkinson Centre for Media History
The Tom Hopkinson Centre for Media History brings together scholars, research students, journalists, photojournalists, documentary-makers, archivists, media activists and practitioners into an international, interdisciplinary network focusing on the evolution of media forms, practices, institutions and audiences within broader processes of societal change.
The Centre’s name honours Sir Tom Hopkinson (1905-1990), a distinguished British journalist and founding director of the Centre for Journalism Studies at Cardiff University. Hopkinson’s professional achievements included his role as editor of Picture Post from 1940 to 1950, and later editorship of South Africa's Drum magazine. He was a steadfast advocate of socially responsible news reporting, with a lifelong passion for photojournalism.
“Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it” is a familiar saying, reminding us that a study of the past better equips us for engaging with the future. For media historians, the rationale for their craft is often expressed as a commitment to interdisciplinarity, where a diverse range of conceptual and methodological frameworks may be brought to bear in order to align scholarly research with historical issues and problems in real-world contexts.
We strive to encourage innovation, forging collaborative links across otherwise disparate modes of enquiry. Our members share their expertise in distinctive approaches to exploring media history which, when taken together, span the breadth of factual and entertainment media domains. Members employ methods from the humanities and social sciences - such as interviews, document analysis, archival work, ethnographies and so forth - in order to examine primary sources, which may include eyewitness accounts, diaries, letters, speeches, notebooks, videos, films, photographs or sound recordings. Members are self-reflexive about their chosen strategies when gathering source material and interpreting evidence, especially where questions related to media “effects” or causation are being addressed.
The Centre currently brings together six archives, and is open to exploring further possibilities:
Cudlipp Collection: Letters and documents concerning Hugh Cudlipp's early journalistic career in Cardiff and his rise to editorial prominence in Fleet Street.
The Richard Stott Daily Mirror Papers: The archive contains information in relation to the Daily Mirror, personal letters, photographs, and unpublished work.
Osman Collection: A significant collection of twentieth-century photojournalism.
The Victor Davis Journalism Archive: The archive records, on a substantial number of cassette tapes, Victor’s interviews with major film and television celebrities from Britain and America between 1967 and 1994. His spiral bound notebook catalogues an alphabetical listing of interviews with dates and places.
First Edition: An archive of children's news programming.
The Great Journalists Archive: The archive hosts a selection of interviews conducted by Master’s students, where each student selected an outstanding journalist from their own country to interview about her/his own professional journalism work.