Don's Diary

April 28, 2000


Discuss cover design of new monograph series to be launched at our annual conference in July. Cannot decide if Picasso-esque logo is cleverly ironic postmodern comment slyly capturing the retro-zeitgeist or simply evidence of imagination vacuum.


Fly to Belfast to interview group of seniors at Age Concern's offices on television's portrayal of older people as part of an externally funded project on TV and older age. In between tea, scones and coughing, the discussion goes well and I am touched by their generosity of spirit. Much laughing agreement with Billy's assertion that when Rhett Butler carried Scarlett O'Hara into the bedroom and slammed the door, we all knew what was going on without needing a diagram.


Quiet day at home working on new article. Irritated at vagaries of editorial decision-making. What precisely does peer review mean? Yesterday, one-line letter from new journal rejecting essay on which I had spent many hours of reflection and craft, today, letter from well-established, prestigious journal accepting different article in its entirety.


Could not log on to server from home yesterday so spend all morning reading and replying to email. Rifle through contents of workbag to identify stuff that I realise I have been hauling between home and work for past week. Early evening, research methods with MA students. Wish they showed even a tenth of the enthusiasm in class that they give to corridor chat at half-time.


Lunch at the Savoy at invitation of the Commission for Racial Equality to celebrate annual Race in the Media awards. Sit between Andy Griffee (BBC English Regions) and Dharmendra Kanani (CRE Scotland), which gives me opportunity to talk through staff training concerns viz: "but there are loads of black faces on telly now, what's their problem?" We agree that if Greg Dyke's (very) warm words in keynote about commitment to diversity in BBC are even half-way realised, then BBC could once again call itself the public service broadcaster, without provoking widespread sniggering.


Have a life.


Write address for National Council of Women (Midlands Region) annual conference on women and HE in the new millennium. Use anecdote and relevant material from own new book, supplemented by latest appalling statistics from the Higher Education Statistics Agency on senior appointments among women and minority ethnic academics. Hope to be saying different (and better) things by the time younger stepdaughter graduates in 2003. Wonder for how long someone can really hold their breath.

Karen Ross is director of the Centre for Communication Studies at Coventry School of Art and Design, University of Coventry.

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