Group D – Communication – Presentation

Yesterday’s presentation put significant emphasis on how our individual majors intertwined over this semester. Although we all focused on different subjects (Film, History and Politics) throughout our Liberal Arts degree, we effectively combined our interdisciplinary knowledge to create a presentation about Brexit.

Although I never enjoyed history or politics, this project taught me to look at it through a cinematic approach. My ability to analyse visual material allowed me to conceptualise complex economic language used in mass media and thus contribute to a political subject constructively.

Please find the final version of the presentation with the bibliography here: Communication Group D 18-19 Presentation

Group D – Communication – Questions Prior Wednesday

Hi Angel,

We hope all is well.

All of us got together today to structure our presentation. The following questions came up which we would appreciate to discuss on Wednesday:

  • After your feedback last week, we have come up with a revised research question. As you suggested, we have united our research question into one and included your idea of the debate: How did the mass media’s presentation of the EU Referendum campaign debate influence the electorate?
  • How do you want us to reference graphs/images in the presentation? Is a bibliography at the end of the presentation valid?
  • What do you want to see in the conclusion? We included why we chose Brexit as our subject, how the research project links to the sub-theme of communication and our individual disciplines (Film, History and Politics) and what limitations our project faces.
  • What is the “Presentation Title” on the “Liberal Arts Individual Participation” document. When do we upload it? Prior or post to our presentation?

Please let us know what you think.

Thank you so much for all your patience and support.

All the best,

Communication Group D


Group D – Communication – Post Half-term

After the data collection over half-term, I put together an abstract of my presentation to present to Angel: Group D – Communication – Abstract.

I received the following criticism which I will address prior to next week:

  • Unite the research questions.
  • What does the research project suggest? What is changing in the world? Truth? Power?
  • Restructure the order of my argument and use the politician as a back up for my argument.
  • Employ transition sentences and overlap key words for a clear structure and an overall understanding.
  • I asked the politician whether she trusts what newspapers print in respect to political coverage. She writes “Yes. Most definitely.” This is an example of how influential the press is, even on politicians, and a reflection on how accurate they really are.
  • Explain why The Sun and The Guardian are an example of a left- and right-wing newspaper.
  • Why are The Sun and The Guardian comparable?
  • Find an editorial version of The Guardian for a valid comparison.

Group D – Communication – Questionnaire

During half-term, I interviewed the MP Labour politician. Please find attached the questionnaire: Group D – Communication – Questionnaire for Interview.

The answers have been very helpful in re-thinking and structuring the research question and hypothesis of the project which will be presented and discussed on the 25th March 2019.

Research Question: How did different mass media outlets communicate the EU Referendum campaign? To what extent did their strategy influence voters?

Hypothesis: This research indicates that the majority of the press was heavily skewed in favour of Brexit and this may have had some influence on the voters.

Group D – Communication – Fourth Meeting

Fourth Meeting:

With the approval of the Minimal Risk Registration Form the group came up with their individual research questions for the politician:

Nicola Screawn – Social Media

  • Which social media platform do you find the most effective in communicating your personal view to the general public? Why do you think this?
  • How often did you use twitter to put forward your views during the week after the EU referendum result?
  • Do you think there are risks that come with using twitter to gain information on events/Brexit?
  • When you use twitter, do you mostly encounter views that are similar to your own?

– Clicktivism

Josephine Steiskal – Newspapers

  • What newspapers have you been featured in since the EU referendum?
  • How have these newspapers differed in their coverage of you and your views?
  • Is there a difference in the type of language they use in the articles? What do you think the reasons are for these differences?
  • What is the process that newspaper outlets follow when featuring you in their newspapers? For example, do they interview you directly and ask for your approval?
  • Which two newspapers do you think contrast their coverage in relation to Brexit in general?

Molly McCullough – TV Broadcasts

  • What television shows have you been interviewed on and how have they differed?
  • Do you feel that you are portrayed differently on television rather than on social media and in newspapers?
  • Would you say that television is a more politically balanced platform as it is required to appeal to a broad range of people? (Coming off the idea that TV isn’t separated to left and right as newspapers are, and have more responsibility to accuracy than social media etc.)

Laura Casellas Igual – International Coverage

  • Has social media allowed you to reach an international audience? If so, what are the benefits of that?
  • What are some professional difficulties you have encountered when exposed to different cultures? Have you experienced any miscommunication or a loss in translation?
  • Has your personal international experience provided you with another lens from which to approach your professional projects? How does that reflect in your local work?

– Sapir-Whorf-Theory

What to think about:

  • Think about the MP’s engagement with media and use that as proof that all media outlets are biased and communicate differently.
  • The politician as our case study and secondary source. Her perspective as a MP to highlight our research.
  • How is Brexit referenced? Is it a direct strand or indirect confrontation?




Group D – Communication – Third Meeting

Third Meeting:

Today’s meeting was a little challenging for all of us as there were a number of misunderstandings in terms of our research question. I understand where I might have been a little unclear but in order to have the selected politician included in our research project I need to collect questions from Laura, Nicola and Molly related to their mass media focus (e.g. social media and newspaper) to forward to them. Just to clarify that our presentation is not about the politician but about their expertise as a politician in parliament. They can give us guidance as to what we should watch out for and give our presentation a valuable voice. Due to the difficulties in finding data for specifically the 24 June 2016, we have decided to focus our research question on a wider timeframe and have now amended the question to:

“Explore how different mass media outlets communicate the aftermath of the Brexit vote.”

With this in mind, we said that we will all have a set of questions ready by Sunday for me to forward to the politician and their assistant as they need to check with the government guidelines whether they are allowed to take part in our research and answer our questions. I will fill in an ethical approval form now.


  • Complete the ethical approval form
  • By Sunday have questions ready in related to the selected mass media outlet to send to the politician
  • Revise and comment on each other’s procedures




Group D – Communication – Second Meeting

Second Meeting:

Think about specific mass media to narrow down the research:

Focus on the aftermath of the Brexit vote (24 June 2016):

  • Look at Twitter – how accurate are Twitter posts? Who posted what (e.g. celebrities and politicians)? Analyse the clicktivism theory in relation to the use of social media for political interpretation.

– Nicola

  • Look at The Guardian/Telegraph vs. Daily Mail/Sun – more vs. less reliable sources and how each interpret the Brexit vote?

– Josephine

  • Look at TV/News – is it similar to the newspaper articles? Who is involved? What channels were talking about Brexit? Analyse This Morning in comparison to the BBC News: is Brexit as politically addressed in This Morning as in the BBC News?

– Molly

  • Look at German/Spanish mass media – what is communicated beyond the British boarder? Analyse the Saphir-Whorf-Theory in relation to linguistic relativity.

– Laura

Think about why we have chosen the above sources and not any other:

  • Remember that the above are “picked” sources

Think about a research question:

  • Explore how different mass media outlets communicate the aftermath of the Brexit vote on the 24 June 2016


  • Why are we focusing on the above sources? Why are we analysing Twitter and not Facebook? Accessible to the public.
  • Look at Habermas theory.


Group D – Communication – First Meeting

Group D:

Nicola Screawn – Major in Politics

Molly McCullough – Major in History

Laura Casellas – Major in Film Studies

Josephine Steiskal – Major in Film Studies


In order to combine all of our major disciplines with the sub-theme of communication we thought about a historical and political event and how accurately this is communicated to the general public and possibly other countries (e.g. Germany and Spain). The contemporary turbulent political situation here in Britain makes Brexit an unavoidable case to explore. We are intrigued by how this event is portrayed in the mass media (documentaries, newspapers, social media, etc.) and how effectively the news travel beyond the British boarder. The challenge we face here is the extensive information provided which we decided to narrow down by merely focussing on one specific day of the Brexit journey.


  • What day of the Brexit journey is most relevant to explore?
  • What documentaries, newspapers and social media are Brexit orientated?


  • Come up with a research question
  • Narrow down the media research and think about what coverage we should focus on

What are your thoughts?

Best of luck to all the other groups!

Aurélie Fest-Guidon • Lacombe Lucien de Louis Malle. Histoire d’une polémique, ou polémique sur l’Histoire ?

Aurélie Fest-Guidon studies the influence Lacombe Lucien had on the perception of WWII, particularly the notions of Collaboration and French culpability in the Holocaust. First, she looks at the context in which the movie was created. Second, she examines how the main character Lucien evolved throughout the different scripts. Finally, she analyses how and why the film was heavily criticised and gives her interpretation of the problematic reception it encountered.

  • Origins of the film

The origins of the film can be traced back to two main events the film director (Louis Malle) experienced.

First, in 1974 when Louis Malle went to Mexico, he witnessed student protests in response to the presidency of Luis Echeverria (in office 1970 to 1976 and a CIA colloaborator). Louis Malle wrote a script from this experience, titled The Faulcon. However, he had to give it up because of the Mexican government’s opposition.

Second, during his trip to Algeria in 1962, Louis Malle met a soldier in charge of torturing prisoners. The film director was shocked by how banal the task was for this soldier.

Furthermore, in 1969, a young marine was decorated for his actions. After the ceremony, it was found out that same marine participated to war crimes. This further alarmed Malle.

These events participated in building a strong reflexion around the notion of responsibility and banality of evil.

Louis Malle chose to shoot the film in the south of France probably because of his traumatic memory of the war and the occupation, a memory which strongly inspired another one of his film, Au Revoir les Enfants.

  • Lucien Lacombe

Louis Malle chose to screate the scenario with a young writer, Patrick Modiano. Modiano was known for his ambiguous treatment of the Nazi occupation in France. He helped reduce the violent scenes, turned the relations between persecutors and victims into something more complex and worked on the characters to make them seem more obscure. Indeed, the motivations of Lucien or the members of the Jewish family are quite opaque.

Furthermore, Louis Malle chose to open the movie with a quote from the Americano-Spanish philosopher and writer George Santayana: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to relive it”, proof of the allegoric dimension of the movie.

  • Reception

The media coverage of the movie was extensive. At least 300 articles and shows mentioned it. The allegoric meaning of the film was completely put aside. Critics were centred around the political controversy the movie generated because of the representation it gave of WWII. Each political party no one agreed about the movie, and similarly for the different media which covered it. Inside the same newspaper you could find an article stating the movie was a masterpiece and another calling it trash. Only the extreme-left was uniformly opposed to the movie.

The critics highlighted three different concerns: (1) the topic was taboo because Charles de Gaulle promoted ‘national reconciliation’ and the film clearly went against that ; (2) the way Louis Malle portrays French people is too partial and ambiguous ; (3) the film targeted the bourgeoisie, not the people (Louis Malle was himself part of a bourgeois family).

  • A subversive movie ?

Lacombe Lucien questions the official memory of WWII. According to that official revisited version of history, all French people were pretty much resistants and collaboration between French government and Nazi regime did not exist.

In the movie though, the Resistance is weak, formed of isolated individuals who fail to achieve any kind of purpose. On the other hand, people who collaborate lack any ideological motivation. The realism of the movie participated to its controversial reception.

The narration is circular, highlighting how evil does not leave any trace whether it is from a victim or an oppressor point of view, as if it were not that important.

Finally, Lacombe Lucien evokes Hannah Arendt’s notion of the banality of evil, highlighting the absence of any form of ideological or political conscience. This raises an important question regarding the responsibility of individuals. Indeed, is it really possible to condemn Lucien when he does not have sufficient intellect to make any conscious choice ?

  • Conclusion

The reception of the movie Lacombe Lucien focused on its historical meaning when the strength of the film imagined by Louis Malle relied on its allegorical sense. Indeed, the origins of the movie and the transposition of the scenario into different historical and political contexts proves the importance of its allegoric dimension. The heavy criticisms this movie encountered emphasise the complexity of the conflicts between memory and History within a given society.

To have access to the original thesis click on the following link. The original version is in French.

Looking at research questions

Lacombe Lucien by Louis Malle 1974

We have decided to work on representations of communities through paradox.

We are now looking at several subthemes related to this idea:

  • Responsibility

Communities are usually theoretically constructed on the concept of responsibility. In Lacombe Lucien however, responsibility is controversial. Lucien is not defined as an intelligent individual. It raises the question of whether intellectual capacities define or not your responsibility in a matter. Can someone who does not have the intellectual abilities to take a decision be considered as responsible for his/her actions?

  • Memory and post-memory

The myth of a unified France resisting the Nazi regime is completely questioned by the way in which the characters are depicted. Lucien, who is part of the German police, does not have any ideological convictions, neither do the other characters in the movie. Thus, there are two main paradoxes. First, Lucien’s commitment to the German police whereas he actually has no ideological opinion about his actions. Second, the Gaullist myth of a unified resistant France (very popular when the movie was released) which is completely questioned in the film by putting an emphasis on the banality of evil. Everyone could and is acting for the benefit of the enemy or at the very least not against him.

  • A disunified critical reception

In her essay Lacombe Lucien de Louis Malle. Histoire d’une polémique, ou polémique sur l’Histoire ?, Aurélie Fest-Guidon highlights to what extent the critical reception of the movie was completely heterogeneous even among already formed and strong political groups. In January 1974, Le Monde, for instance, gave a very good appraisal of the film and one month after highlighted the political controversy the film entailed. It is a very good example of a rare phenomenon: a single newspaper taking different standpoints about the same movie. Within political groups, people had completely different opinions about Lacombe Lucien apart from the extreme left which remained highly opposed to Louis Malle’s movie.