The School’s brand new media studio was officially opened in late September by BAFTA award-winning film maker Roger Graef, pictured (right) alongside LSE Director Professor Craig Calhoun. The new development, situated in the Tower buildings, was supported by an Annual Fund grant.
The studio provides broadcast space in which academics can be interviewed by external media organisations, as well as providing facilities for in-house production of other video and audio production activity, such as the Gearty Grillings, in which the Institute of Public Affairs Director subjects fellow academics to five minute ‘grillings’ about their research and ideas.
“This innovative new facility is a huge asset to LSE and the project would not have been possible without the generous Annual Fund award received,” said Adrian Thomas, Director of Communications and Public Affairs. “We have already seen academics use the space to speak to media agencies across the world, such as Al Jazeera, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and France 24. Now LSE academics can reach and be reached by the global media with ease, and the potential to expand our broadcast output is very exciting.”
Professor Gearty was present at the opening, hosting a conversation with Roger Graef, pictured, once the film maker, who is also Visiting Fellow of the Mannheim Centre for Criminology at LSE, had cut the ribbon at the studio itself. Over an hour and a half, the audience in the Wolfson Theatre were treated to clips and discussion of some of Graef’s ground-breaking documentaries. This included Police, a 1982 fly-on-the-wall at Thames Valley Police station, which ultimately led to a change in the way UK police handled rape allegations.
“I thought the discussion was an engaging look at Roger’s incredible talent for film-making, but also the impact this kind of media can have – on society, on policy, on our academics and their research,” said Adrian. “As such, it was a highly pertinent way to open the media studio, which I am sure is going to be host to equally absorbing and informative debate over the years.”
2013/14 saw 76 projects supported by the Annual Fund. Following feedback that they would like their gift to reflect their own philanthropic interests, donors are now able to direct their gift to one of four themes: strategic initiatives, student support, teaching and research excellence, and student life.