Oral History and the Media

9 Jul 2021 to 10 Jul 2021

Oral History and the Media

Oral History Society (UK) Annual Conference 2021

Friday 9th and Saturday 10th July 2021

Oral history and the media have an important but complex relationship. The media has long been a significant producer of, and outlet for, oral history.  Originating in the pioneering oral history TV and radio productions in the 1960s and 1970s, there has been significant growing use of oral history in TV and radio documentaries and storytelling since the 1980s, with oral histories now forming an important and popular dimension of history and factual programming and broadcasting.  

Elsewhere, the advent of new media and social media has fuelled the growth of digital storytelling, interactive documentaries, as well as serialised audio podcasts which draw heavily on oral history testimony.  

Oral history has also been put to work to explore the histories and experiences of the media itself, with oral history projects charting the development of media companies and organisation. This has coincided with an upsurge of interest in memory and nostalgia related to the experiences of media, such as memories of cinema, books and music.

The extensive and often complex uses and approaches of oral history with, by, and for, the media prompts us to consider vital questions about ethics, participation, consumption, expertise, audiences, and formats in oral history practice.  

This conference considers the relationship between oral history and the media, both historically and today, by exploring similarities, differences, opportunities and challenges between media practices and oral history practices, from interviewing to editing, audiences to ethics