Public Release: 

Leicester celebrates 50th anniversary of UK's first mass communication research center

The University of Leicester will also be hosting the international IAMCR conference in July which will be attended by more than 1,000 delegates

University of Leicester

Images of Professor James Halloran including holding a ceremonial sword and scabbard are available here:

2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the University of Leicester's Centre for Mass Communication Research - the first Centre of its kind studying mass communication and birthplace of the UK's first media and communications Master's degree.

Coinciding with the anniversary, the University of Leicester will be hosting the 2016 conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) in July - an event which has not been held in Leicester since 1976.

The Centre for Mass Communication Research at Leicester was established in 1966 by James Halloran and attracted a diverse group of academics from various disciplines, leading to a multidisciplinary research approach.

This ethos still exists in the University of Leicester's Department of Media and Communication today and has been described as the 'original hotbed' of mass communication research by leading media theorist James Curran.

In 1978, the Social Science Research Council (predecessor of the ESRC) invited Halloran to design and deliver the UK's first Master's degree in media and communications, a degree which is still popular and relevant 35 years on.

James Halloran was IAMCR President from 1972-1990 and the Department continues to have strong links with the Association. Professor Halloran died in 2007.

Professor Peter Lunt from the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Leicester and Chair of the local IAMCR organising committee said: "We are pleased to welcome members of IAMCR to Leicester for their 2016 annual conference and are proud to be celebrating the 50 year anniversary of the Centre for Mass Communication Research.

"Jim Halloran, the founder of the Centre played a significant role in the development of IAMCR during his time as President and strong links between the Association and the Department of Media and Communication at Leicester continue today. The conference will be an opportunity to reflect on the role of media and communication in memory and commemoration as well as the history and future of media research."

The IAMCR conference was last held in Leicester in 1976 and attracted visitors from over 40 countries.

The conference theme for 2016 is Memory, Commemoration and Communication: Looking Back, Looking Forward.

The event this year is expected to host 1,200 participants from over 70 countries and will be hosted on campus at the University of Leicester from 27 - 31 July 2016 with plenary sessions also held at De Montfort Hall.

Registration for the conference is now live at:

Holland Alexander Managing Director, Louise Holland, commented: "We're working closely with IAMCR and University of Leicester to create a welcoming, innovative and memorable event for participants at this year's conference. Following last year's successful event in Montreal we're keen to take the conference to the next level through digital developments and ensure that this year's conference in Leicester is a truly immersive experience."

Whilst participants are in Leicester for the IAMCR conference there will also be an opportunity for them to explore the city and county through social activities specially organised by Leicester Shire Promotions.

Full information on the social activities for this year's conference can be found via the Leicester Shire Promotions website at

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