Research :

This pages provides a summary listing of Paschal Preston’s research projects and interests, both current and past.

Recent and prior Research projects and activities:

Proposal : Global Internet and Media Concentration Project, 2020-2024. . Paschal Preston is member of a large team working an expanded multi-country study of media ownership and concentration across all major media sectors and platforms. This project is focused around the theme of ”Global Internet and Media Concentration” and coordinated by Dwayne Winseck of Carleton university, Ottawa.

C21 : News Media and Economic Inequality : Piketty’s ‘Capital in the 21st. Century’ [2016-2019] This comprised a four-country study focused on how News Media coverage and discourses engage with the the decades-long trends towards growing Economic Inequality. The study focused on news media responses to the best-selling book on this theme : Thomas Piketty’s (2014) ‘Capital in the 21st. Century’. Paschal Preston was lead researcher for the Irish and British legs of this four-country study. Prof. Andrea Grisold (VUW, Vienna) was overall project co-ordinator as well as leader of the research on German and Austrian news media. The key findings of this study will be published in book format : Grisold, Andrea & Paschal Preston (Eds) ( 2020) ”Economic Inequality and News Media : Power, Discourse and Redistribution’. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

Worlds of Journalism Study (WJS) , 2007-2022 Paschal Preston is a member of the international Scientific Advisory Committee of  the Worlds of Journalism Study (WJS) which has undertaken successive rounds of multi-country comparative empirical studies. The WJS is an academically-driven project  founded to regularly  assess the state of journalism throughout many countries of the world. The Study’s primary objective is to help journalism researchers  and policy makers better understand worldviews and other shifts in the professional orientations of journalists, the conditions and limitations under which they operate, as well as the social functions of  journalism in a changing world.  By the 2011-2014 round of WJS’s comparative studies, the project grew to cover some 70 countries.  The first two waves of the study (WJS1 and WJS2). were carried out in 2007–2011 and 2012-2016.. The second wave (WJS2), fielded involved interviews with more than 27,500 journalists in 67 countries. The third wave WJS3 (2020-2022) has a thematic focus on journalism, risk, and uncertainty with research teams from more than 110 countries participating in this research effort.
Paschal Preston is a member of the Scientific Advisory Committee for WJS3 (2020–2022) . The WJS-3 study of journalism in Ireland is currently handled by John O’Sullivan, Kevin Rafter (both of Dublin City University). FOR MORE, SEE <

The International Media Concentration (IMC) project – Media Concentration Around the World: (2009 – 2016)

Paschal Preston is a member of International Media Concentration (IMC) consortium which is engaged in a pioneering, comparative study of concentration in the media sector in many countries around the worldThe IMC project is a collaborative, multi-national  research venture involving researchers and teams based in 35 countries. Clearly, concentration of media ownership and control is a controversial subject. The goal of this project is to engage in an academic, empirical data analysis of  unfolding trends and their drivers across some 35 countries. The key aim is to advance understandings of “what is happening and why, and [with] no preconceived notion as to the results”.  The project’s international dimension is novel and informative, since in every country there are special circumstances that may obscure the broader trends and aspects of media concentration.

The community of scholars engaged in the ‘International Media Concentration Research Project’ followed a basic common methodology  for each country and a parallel work schedule.  As the lead Irish member of the research consortium, Paschal Preston undertook to study of media sector concentration Ireland . The empirical research was largely undertaken by DCU colleague Roderick Flynn ( In the initial stages Sergio Sparviero also worked on this project prior to his departure to Salzburg). . The First Report by the global research project on international media concentration  and ownership was planned to be produced in second half of 2011, but the many and complex challenges of such pioneering comparative research led to certain delays. The project’s key results were published in. :: Noam, Eli M. (Ed) and The International Media Concentration Collaboration (2016) ”Who Owns the World’s Media?: Media Concentration and Ownership around the World”.. Oxford University Press .

Host and Chief Organiser, IAMCR Conference, 25-29 June 2013: . Paschal Preston was host and Chief Organiser of the largest ever annual conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR) in 2013. The IAMCR is the oldest, preeminent and most truly global association for academic research and third-level teaching in the media, journalism and communication studies. The core theme was ”Crises, ‘Creative Destruction’ and the Global Power and Communication Orders” and the conference took place in DCU campus, Dublin, from 25-29 June, 2013.

‘Journalism and Art Domains – Commonalities and Differences in Two Fields of Culture Production in Times of Crisis” (2012)
This project set out to compare the features of cultural production in two professional fields of culture and knowledge production : art and journalism. The aim is to identify and compare the specificities of each field, particularly at times of severe economic and social ‘crisis’. Whilst both these fields of cultural production may be seen as ‘situated’ within an overarching field of power and capital (Bourdieu, 1993), they have been usually studied and treated in isolation from one another. The aim of this desk-study is to identify and compare the specificities, commonalities and differences between the two fields, reflecting on the context of periodic crises and engaging with institutional and macro-level political influence and shaping factors.
Project director: Paschal Preston ; Research fellow: Trish Morgan

Digital News Media Actant /Archive (DiNA) , 2010-2014

The key initial aim of this collaborative project was to facilitate empirical studies of news media coverage, text and discourse to move beyond their traditional tendency to focus on newspapers and print news media. The core aim of this project was to to establish a digital research resource to provide and support a large, systematic corpus of digitised television and other audio-visual news and current affairs materials for staff and doctoral researchers. In August 2010, the Stage-1 phase of this project was awarded funding by DCU Faculty of H&SS research funds and the stage-1 technical facilities are currently being designed and implemented. The initial [stage-1]  resource became operational in the first half of 2012.

The ultimate project plan was to design and utilise this resource for cross-disciplinary collaboration, aiming to expand the initial core research platform via further external funding bids. The plan centred on developing inter-disciplinary research that embraced both the technical layers and semantic domains of digital news content (e.g. deep-semantic cataloguing, linking and tracing of the sourcing and life cycles of specific new threads and major news stories; the evolving boundaries of news cultures and shared news media spaces).  This design of the proposed research platform sought to offer and support entirely new approaches to research relevant to the core  agenda of  news-making and Journalism Studies areas. This included novel ways of engaging with well-established research concepts such as sourcing, framing etc related to news flows orientated to the wider public and democratic interests. It also sought to support entirely new research approaches and methods drawing on the inter-disciplinary expertise of the team and the distinct new technical functionalities and facilities, including enhancements to be added-on as funding improves. This project was originally proposed by Paschal Preston as a collaborative, interdisciplinary project between members of  several research units in DCU (members of COMTEC, SIM, CIS and CLARITY). :


Communication, Technology and Culture (COMTEC), 1991-2013
In 1991 Paschal Preston founded The Communication, Technology and Culture (COMTEC) research centre as an interdisciplinary research centre focused on socio-economic and cultural aspects of new ICTs and the information sector/society.

Based in the DCU School of Communications, COMTEC was one of the first such social science based research centres in the Irish university sector. For over two decades COMTEC pioneered a unique programme of research on communication technology, socio-economic and cultural change in the Irish university sector.

Directed by Paschal Preston, COMTEC achieved a distinguished portfolio of research, despite the paucity of public funding sources for such social science and humanities research in the Irish context. Much of the COMTEC centre’s programme of work has been supported by external funds provided on a project-only basis. COMTEC has participated in twenty multi-country research projects and established strong networking links with similar research centres in other EU states as well as counterparts in the USA and Asia-Pacific countries. The major projects based in the COMTEC centre and directed by Paschal Preston over this period, are listed further below.

Irish Social Sciences Platform (ISSP) (October 2007 — Sept. 2011)
The Irish Social Sciences Platform (ISSP) links together researchers from 8 institutions and 19 disciplines in the SS&H fields on an all-Ireland basis. The ISSP is strongly orientated towards inter-university collaboration (including the North-South dimension). ISSP comprises a “network of excellence” for H&SS research in the Irish context and is funded by HEA’s PRTLI-4 programme. A key aim is to share and leverage research activities, findings, resources. The ISSP’s research agenda is centred on three research pillars : .i) Knowledge Society (leader: Paschal Preston of DCU) .ii) Balanced Regional & Rural Development, and .iii) Sustaining Communities. ISSP also accords special emphasis on collaboration in postgrad research [doctoral] student education and training activities, including summer schools and mutual recognition of such training between institutions.
DCU’s contribution to KISS comprises two complementary research strands undertaken by specialist teams drawn from two faculties: H&SS and DCU-BS. The research of the H&SS team is focused on conceptual and empirical aspects of Innovation in Digital Media Domains and is led by Prof. Paschal Preston.

MEDIVA : ‘Media for Diversity and Migrant Integration: Consolidating Knowledge and Assessing Media Practices across the EU’. [Dec. 2010 — Sept. 2012]
Paschal Preston directed the Irish leg of the multi-country MEDIVA project which was concerned with the capacity of the media to reflect the increasing diversity of European societies. It engaged with the extent to which they foster a better understanding of immigrant integration processes at a time when social cohesion and integration policies are put to the test by an acute economic crisis.
In line with these aims, the MEDIVA project workplan comprised :
.1) Surveys of existing studies/projects assessing the media capacity to reflect diversity and promote migrant integration (looking at 5 aspects: content of news, news making and programme production, recruitment, employment, training) across Europe;
.2) Creating a searchable database of these studies;
.3) Creation of a set of Indicators assessing the capacity of the media to reflect diversity and promote integration;
.4) Assessing 30 selected media outlets (TV channels, newspapers, news web sites) across Europe on the basis of these indicators;
.5) Organization of 5 International Workshops to present the database, the indicators and discuss how they can be used;
.6) Creation and use of a targeted e-mail list of relevant stakeholders to disseminate the project results (database, indicators, their use for policy assessment/policy design and journalist training). Local MEDIVA Project Team: Paschal Preston, Neil O’Boyle, Gloria Macri.

“Re-Imagining and Re-Imaging Ireland and India: Comparing Media Representations of the ‘New’ India and Ireland” [April — November 2010]
This comprised a short pilot project which sought to analyse and compare how the mass media in Ireland and India have represented socio-economic and political developments in each of these two ‘late-developing’ or post colonial states.
Stage 1 research comprised an analysis of how English language media in each country have framed key features of the other [i.e. how have the Irish media have represented the ‘New’ India and its development model and trends; and how the Indian media have framed the ‘New’ Ireland — Celtic tiger and aftermath, Good Friday Agreement and EU].
If and as resources permit, a subsequent Stage 2, was proposed to explore more detailed analysis centred around two specific themes : .a) representations of the role of new ICT sector and knowledge economy in socio-economic development (c1990-2010) .b) Media and conflicts: N.I. and the Good Friday Agreement / selected conflicts in India. Project Co-directors : Paschal Preston & John Doyle.]

Industrial Innovation and Performance — Evolution of the Web Design Technology Cluster (October 2007 — January 2008)
This project undertakes a history-friendly study of the key stages in the evolution of web design technologies as an innovative new industry, beginning with the invention of the WWW in 1989 – a seminal free and open source technology produced at CERN, which proved so crucial for the growth of the Internet. The project explores whether and how each subsequent period is characterized by clusters of open or proprietary technologies, new or established actors, the dominance of one or two standards and the process of innovation leading to, and typifying, their roles.

eMEDIATE : Media and Ethics of a European Public Sphere from the Treaty of Rome to the ‘War on Terror’ (2004-2007)
DCU project team manager and contact: Prof. Paschal Preston This EU-funded project undertakes an innovative theoretical and empirical study of the evolution and meaning a European public sphere (EPS). eMEDIATE will engage in original research in two fields: a) the evolution of European media (including visual) narratives that transcend national or language-based cultural frames and political boundaries; b) the actual and potential use of the Internet as a means to constitute the EPS and to increase citizen participation.
The eMEDIATE consortium brings together researchers from 10 countries to analyse national editorial cultures and their evolution in five crisis periods with a view to comparing how they frame notions of a European ‘ethical responsibility’. The project team engage with new, networked and fluid conceptualisations of the public sphere to examine the development of Western and Eastern EPS since the Rome Treaty to the ‘War on Terror’. These issues will be mainly addressed through the analysis of media texts, but the research also undertakes multi-country interviews with senior media practitioners as well as reviews of the relevant media studies research literature. The project is expected to cast new light upon the forms and extent of intellectual and popular European integration processes since the second half of the 20th century.

‘Young Persons and Mobile Communications in Ireland’ (2006)
This project investigated the evolving patterns and forms of mobile communication practices amongst young persons. It explored variations in consumption practices with respect to social group differences and space (urban and rural settings) in contemporary Ireland. Mentors: Prof. P. Preston & Dr. Pat Brereton Post-Doc Researchers: Dr. Anthony Cawley & Dr. Deirdre Hynes

BEACON : Potential Socio-Economic Impacts of Broadband Access and Use on New Forms of pan-European Work, Trading, and Public Service Provision (2004-2006)
This EU-funded project examined trends and socio-economic issues related to the access, use and application of broadband communication networks and services. The main objective was to conduct socio-economic impact assessments of broadband access and use in the context of the expanding role of electronic services in a networked, ‘knowledge based’ economy. The results of this multi-country project will help to better identify the challenges with regard to broadband enabled new forms of business, collaborative working and public service provision (eBusiness, eWork and eGovernment). The research and analysis covered societal and economic issues both at the micro and macro level, lead the research on digital content applications, new media models and user/consumption issues.
COMTEC project manager and contact: Prof. Paschal Preston Post-Doc Researcher: Dr. Anthony Cawley

Digital Games : Design, Production, User and Textual Aspects of a Major New Media Sector (2001-2004)
The expanded project explored computer games as texts and the consumption of computer games in the context of their role in everyday life. The project adopted a comparative media approach and identify the connections between traditional cultural forms and new online and offline digital games. This project built on the DCU funded project ‘Digital Games: Production Processes in Ireland’. The Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences and DCU’s Research Advisory Committee and other sources provided the funding to expand and extend this project for 2.5 additional years. Post-Doc Researcher: Dr. Aphra Kerr Mentors: Prof. Paschal Preston, Prof. F. Corcoran & Dr. O’Connor

Contours of A ‘New Economy’ ? : Assessing the Trends and “Performance” of the Telecommunications, Media and ICT Sectors (2003-2007)
Drawing on recent work on the ‘new economy’ and innovation in services, and neo-Schumpeterian approaches, this project undertakes an innovative study of the trends of change in three major sub-sectors of the information economy.

Innovation in Digital Media ‘Content’ Sectors : Marie Curie Research Training Site Award (2001-2006)
Paschal Preston won an EU Framework project grant for hosting and training of European postgraduate researchers working on socio-economic aspects of Digital Media and ‘Content’ sector developments. This project was funded under the Marie Curie sub-programme of the EC 5th Framework R&D programme

iDiM: ‘Industrial Innovation Trends in Digital Media Sector, 1994-2004’. (2002-2004)
Paschal Preston received local DCU (RAP Albert College Fellow) funding for a project focused on Industrial Innovation Trends in the Digital Media Sector (1994-2004).

Digital Media Industries and Future Skills Trends (2003-2004)
Paschal Preston (Director of COMTEC & STeM) and researcher Aphra Kerr were commissioned to undertake research on ‘Skills requirements of the Digital Content Industry in Ireland’. This project examined the trends of change with respect to the new clusters of skills and expertise relevant to the digital media sector over the next 5-7 years and Aphra Kerr was the main researcher. Subsequently the project was extended to include a case study of wireless and mobile media firms which was undertaken by Dr. Anthony Cawley. This project is one of a series of national studies commissioned as a follow-up to a major policy report on the digital media sector (published by Forfas in December 2002). This STeM project was funded and supervised by FAS on behalf of the Expert Group on Future Skills Needs.

‘ ‘New Media, New Pleasures’ (2003-2004)
The ‘New Media, New Pleasures’ project examined users’ engagement with digital games and ludic media. Paschal Preston has only a minor (largely advisory) role in this project. The major work was undertaken by colleagues Aphra Kerr, Pat Brereton and Roderick Flynn.

SIGIS: Strategies for Inclusion and Gender in the European Information Society. (2001-2004)
SIGIS was one of the largest ever studies to examine the process shaping women’s in/exclusion in the production, application and use of new ICTs. This EU funded project examined public and private sector strategies related to the issues of ‘Inclusion and Gender in the European Information Society’. Linking research centres in 6 EU member states, the project examined the changing role of women in the production and consumption/use of new ICTs in Europe .

EMTEL II: European Media Technology & Everyday Life Network. 2000-2002 EMTEL project is focused on the implications of new media technologies (ICTs) for household users – and everyday life activities- in different EU countries. Thus, this research is strongly focused on users and consumption/demand aspects of new ICTs. The EMTEL project links researchers from eight other centres and is funded by the European Commission. Following the successful completion of the first phase (EMTEL1, 1994–1998), the EU agreed to finance a second phase (EMTEL-2) for the period 2000-2003. The focus of the COMTEC contribution to the second phase of the EMTEL project is focused on ‘New Media and Public Communication’.

EKB-SEIS : Mapping the European Knowledge Base of Socio-Economic Impact Studies of IST (2003).
Paschal Preston participated as a member of the evaluation team for an EU-funded project ‘Mapping the European Knowledge Base of Socio-Economic Impact Studies of IST’. The aim of this project was to increase the visibility and usability of socio-economic research on new ICT. This project aimed to ‘make socio-economic research on ISTs more transparent’ ‘increase its usability and potential contribution to technology development and applications and to policies’, especially in policy domains concerned with developing the knowledge society in Europe. To those ends, the project undertook five thematic reviews of IST research in Europe. COMTEC centres’s Project manager : Prof. Paschal Preston

.Innovation Trends and Processes in Digital Media & ‘Content’ services, 2000-2010:
A number of COMTEC projects between 2000 and 2010 focused on the general theme of innovation dynamics and industry trends in the digital media and/or ‘content’ services sector. This stream of work is intended to address both the supply/production and demand/consumption aspects of the innovation process in digital media domains. Specific projects in this stream include:
.a) Digital Games : production and user/consumption aspects.
.b) Innovation processes and industry trends in the Digital Media sector in Ireland:
.c) The consumption and use of new media in Irish households.

.Connectivity Ireland: The Regulation and Evolution of Telecommunications in Ireland, Since 1980.
Study of the development and diffusion of telecommunications infrastructures and services in Ireland. This research is mainly focused the socio-economic and policy aspects of the multi-dimensional changes and convergences unfolding in this sector since 1990. It addresses the new forms of competition in the telecoms infrastructure and services sectors (including mobile and the Internet), the role of state regulatory and other policy factors and their implications for downstream (in application or user sectors) industrial innovation and ‘universal service’ issues. The project also addresses these developments in a comparative and historical perspective, especially since the initial plans for digitalisation in the early 1980s

.Marie Curie Training Site for Digital Media ‘Content’ Research : 2001—2006.
Paschal Preston has been awarded funding for the training of postgraduate research on Digital Media Content developments under the Marie Curie sub-programme of the EC 5th Framework R&D programme [2001-2005]

.MEDA Telecom Project , 2000-2003 : “New Approaches to Telecommunications Policy in Mediterranean Countries”. Paschal Preston was one of the key partners in the MEDA Telecom Project “New Approaches to Telecommunications Policy in Mediterranean Countries” . This project, which provided a platform for multilateral dialogue and experience sharing between Mediterranean countries and Europe, was funded by the European Commission and managed by ENCIP. Throughout the project yearly events were organised to support the exchange of knowledge: regional fora, policy workshops, study tours and training seminars. In addition, specific training sessions are organised to support the creation of a community of relevant professional expertise across the MEDA region.

Innovation in the Irish Digital Media Industry, 1999-2003 (1999-2003)
Conducted during the 1999-2003 period of the boom, this project undertook in-depth qualitative research on Innovation processes in a number of firms based in the Irish digital media services sector. This externally-funded doctoral study was conducted by Anthony Cawley.

Digital Media Uses and Consumption in the Irish Household Setting (1999-2004)
This project undertook in-depth qualitative research on the use and consumption of Digital Media in the Household setting in Ireland. This externally-funded doctoral study was conducted by Deirdre Hynes.

Broadband Infra-structure Rollout in Ireland : Review of Projects. (1999-2001)
Paschal Preston participated as part of multi-disciplinary team advising on the government’s programme for Broadband infrastructure rollout in Ireland.

Culture, Trade and Citizens’ Communication Rights in a Global Market (1999-2003)
This project examined the implications of European and International trade policies for the media and cultural industries.

Research networks:

.ENCIP: European Network for Communication & Information Perspectives, 1993-2006
Paschal Preston, was a Board Member of ENCIP between 1994 and 2006. The ENCIP network comprised a group of eleven academic and industry-based research centres focused on the economic, industrial, social and policy implications of new ICTs. ENCIP promoted and supported the conduct of collaborative economic and policy research and related regulatory developments in the European information and communication industries sector. The ENCIP group also organises the European Communications Policy Research Conference.

.Euro CPR Scientific Board Member: European Communications Research Conference: 1994-2007:
Paschal Preston was a member of the 10-person Scientific Board which organised the annual European Communication Policy Research Conference. For more than 15 yesrs, this unique annual conference brought together high-level European academic and communication industry-based researchers and policy staff from national and EC-level regulatory agencies. These events were structured around extended presentations, detailed reviewer commentary and discussion of a small number of research papers engaging with major research and policy issues of current concern. The organising board for Euro CPR had developed close links with the equivalent annual Communications Policy Research conference in the USA and related researchers internationally.

Prior Research & Projects, 1990-1999:

Funded by the European Commission’s Fourth Framework Programme this research network project focused on the factors shaping the development, adoption and use of multimedia applications and services in seven different national settings. Paschal Preston co-ordinated the stream of research studies focused on multimedia ‘content’ projects, with a particular emphasis on those directed at final/household users. This research stream explored the various stages of the innovation process, the role of networking linkages between the different actors, skills/competencies, the industrial, textual and other strategies adopted. Dr. Aphra Kerr was research officer on the project and worked full-time on the conduct of the case studies.

Socio-Economic Research on Multi-Media Content and Tools in EU’s FP. 5 : the Prospects and Proposals (1999)

Briefing report by Paschal Preston (Director, COMTEC) for panel session at Expert Workshop organised by DG-XIII/E, Luxembourg, 2 March 1999. Commissioned and organised by DG-XIII/E.

Cross-National Political Media Spaces in Europe : Case Study of Elections to European Parliament (1999)

Project manager and contact: Prof. Paschal Preston Members of the research team: Roderick Flynn and Debbie Ging :: COMTEC was partner in a pan-European research project focused on an analysis of media coverage of European political and cultural news in France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Conducted in co-operation with partners from 8 countries and the European Institute for the Media, the project was conducted around the time of the elections for members of the European Parliament. The research investigated the potential role for the media in the process of European integration and the promotion of understanding between cultures. The introduction of a Single Currency in Europe, plans for expansion into Eastern Europe, the recent crisis in Kosovo and the European Parliament elections were important issues during the research period. The project monitored the coverage of major influential news outlets in eight European countries. The research project also engaged with current debates regarding integration and identity in Europe, assess the possible role of the media in this process, and contribute to and open up public debate on these issues. Interviews with politicians and media practitioners throughout Europe provided additional perspectives on these debate

Information and Citizenship in Europe : Implications of new ICTs (1995-1996) 

Paschal Preston led COMTEC’s contribution this EU-funded project which adopted an information-centred approach to the issues of citizenship, participation and the factors shaping the information rich/poor divides in the mid-1990s. The project examined the evolving role, scope and range of specialist information relevant to effective participation and the implications of new ICTs with respect to the information rich-poor divides. The project’s findings indicated that new technological innovations, including the then emerging Internet, were unlikely to provide any tech-fix or direct amelioration of the information cleavages evident in the several European countries that were studied

.TeleCity Vision (TCV): Information Society and Urban Development – A European Comparison. 1998-2001
Six-country research project examining both the potential for, and barriers to, innovation and development in selected aspects of the urban system in contemporary Europe. It investigated how the increasing use of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) is impacting upon urban development and planning in Europe. Funded by the European Commission, this international study also explored how the key actors involved in the process of urban development: (a) seek to harness, use and apply new ICT-based innovations, and (b) react with appropriate institutional and organisational changes. Dr. Roderick Flynn, lecturer in the School of Communications, Dublin City University, was senior researcher on this project.

Ireland Info-Age Town : Socio-Economic aspects of Advanced Communication Trials and Experiments (1997-1998) 

Paschal Preston was commissioned to undertake the lead research role and other consultancy work related to the selection, design and shaping of Telecom Eireann’s Information Age Town project.

IEGIS : Conference on ‘Ireland in the European and Global Information Society’ (April 1997)

Paschal Preston proposed and co-organised of this conference focused on key social and policy issues related to the ‘information society’ concept, a prominent theme at that time . The conference was centred around a series of presentations by a range of Irish and European researchers.

‘Landmark’ International Conference : Internet Access, Pricing and Regulation : Communication and Info Infrastructure Services (June 1996)

COMTEC director, Paschal Preston organised and hosted one of the first major international conferences on Internet regulation and policy issues in Dublin on the 20th and 21st June 1996. This landmark event was organised in collaboration with the OECD’s Information, Computer and Communications Policy Division, and the EC’s DG XIII-(IS2) dept. . . Attended by 80 participants from government, industry and academia based in Europe, Asia and the Americas, this landmark meeting provided truly pioneering and international perspectives on many of the strategic regulation and policy issues and challenges being posed by the rapidly diffusing Internet. The sessions ranged over the major existing and emerging issues in respect to Internet access, tariff, competition and content developments as well as other key policy and socio-economic issues. The session titles, provided below, indicate the scope of the key topics and discussions.

Titles of Sessions at this Landmark Conf on Internet Regulation & Policy. Session 1: Welcomes and Keynote Addresses
Session 2: OECD paper on info infrastructure & pricing
Session 3: Pricing New Services over the PSTN
Session 4: Pricing new services over alternative infrastructure
Session 5: New Applications and Regulation
Session 6: Internet Telephony, Pricing and Regulation
Session 7: International Traffic Exchange
Session 8: Internet Addresses & Domain Name System
Session 9: Closing Remarks

FOR96 : ‘Content Matters: Policy Issues and Strategy for the Digital Content Industries’ (1996) 

Paschal Preston was commissioned to undertake this Irish policy study to identify and analyse the key current and emerging developments in the digital media (‘content’) services domains. [Commissioned by an Irish government agency ]

COST 248 Action, 1993-1997: : ‘Future of Residential Telecoms User

Paschal Preston, was a member of the EC-funded COST 248 initiative, a networking project focused on “The Future of the European Residential Telecoms User”. This network addressed use, demand and consumption aspects of existing and new/innovative telecoms products and services aimed at the residential user. Comprising researchers from 12 EC countries, it exchanged research findings related to trends in the use and consumption of communication services & products.

IR-ISH : ‘Ireland & the European Information Society : A Scoping Study’ (1995)

Paschal Preston was commissioned to lead this first ever Irish policy study to identify and analyse key ‘information society’ developments. The brief was to identify and examine key social, economic and cultural factors and features specific to Ireland but also considered in relation to the broader European and global ‘information society’ developments and related policy discourse

.NETEPS: Network on Communications & the Peripheral Regions and Small Countries : 1993– 1998
Paschal Preston was convenor of NETEPS. This was an informal network of university-based and other researchers focused on current developments in electronic communications technologies, markets and policy fields. It had a particular concern with regulatory models and techniques and their specific implications for the smaller countries and less developed regions of Europe. NETEPS also organised a number of workshops focused on related policy and regulatory issues.

NETEPS Conference on ”Telecommunications Policies, the Smaller Countries and Peripheral Regions in Europe” (1994) 

Paschal Preston was organiser of this conference focused on the implications of the EC’s radical new telecoms policies for the smaller countries and peripheral regions in the EU area

EMTEL Project: European Media Technology and Everyday Life (1994-1997)

This multi-country study focused on comparative studies of new media in the household and everyday life setting in different national contexts.

Information and Citizenship and Role of New Technologies in European Countries (including Ireland) (1994-1995)
This multi-country project examined national and EU-level trends, concepts and debates concerning citizenship and information access, paying particular attention to the actual and potential role of new ICTs and services. Led by Director Paschal Preston, the COMTEC research centre was co-partner with four other research centres in this EC-funded multi-country project.

Intellectual Property Rights and Development of the Media & Cultural Industries in Ireland (1993-1998)

This project examined the development and implications of intellectual property rights policies in Ireland, with specific reference to the cultural industries sector. Although the main focus was on more recent technological, policy etc developments, the project was informed by a historical perspective. Researcher : Michael O’Gorman

New ICTs and Everyday life in Dublin Households (1993-1997) 

This project examined changes in the consumption of audiovisual and other media by working class households in Dublin. Using ethnographic, oral history and other methods it examined the changing use patterns, and meanings of the consumption of audiovisual media between the 1920s – 1990s.

IPSN project: Information Policy Support Network (1993-1995)
Paschal Preston was appointed the only Irish member of this (European) policy advisory forum was established by the EC’s DGXIII, in October 1993.

Household uses of new/innovative telephone-based communications/services (1993-1996)
Study of the demand and use of advanced telephone-based services in Irish households. Funded by Telecom Eireann

The Role of Users and Users Associations in Shaping Telecoms Developments in the EU and Ireland, 1980-95. (1993-1995)
This project examined empirical and theoretical aspects of the changing role of users in the telecoms sector. It placed particular focus on the household/residential user, considered as both citizen and consumer. This project was part of a major collaborative study of the role of telecoms users by network members based in 10 different countries.

ANET: Academic Network on European Telecoms (1991-1996)
Paschal Preston was a key member of ANET, one of the first multi-country research networks to engage in research on user, socio-economic and policy aspects of the ‘new telecommunications’ innovations and services in the early 1990s. ANET conducted some of the first comparative studies of user aspects of videotext and audiotex, as well as user orientated studies of telecoms and information society initiatives in Europe and the USA during the early 1990s. Key ANET publications include : Harry Bouwman & Mads Christoffersen (Eds.) (1992) ‘Relaunching Videotex’. Boston ; Dordrecht : Kluwer Academic Publishers, and Michael Latzer & Graham Thomas (Eds.) (1993) ‘Cash Lines : the development and regulation of Audiotex in Europe and the United States’. Amsterdam : Het Spinhuis

Telecommunications and ‘Universal Service’ in Ireland : 1890-1995 (1992-1995)
This project examined the historical development of successive generations of telecoms technologies and services, conceptions of ‘universal service’ and related policies in Ireland.

The Rise and Fall of ‘Irish Press’ Newspapers (1992-1996)
A detailed study of the rise and decline of one of the major national newspaper groups in twentieth-century Ireland

The Application of ISDN in Irish Media & Communication Services Sector (1992-1994)
Study of the potential implications of new broadband technologies in three media/cultural industries

Socio-Economic and Political Factors Shaping the Diffusion and Adoption of MMDS In Ireland (1991-1994)
In 1988 Ireland pioneered the large-scale adoption of Micro-wave Multi-point Distribution System (MMDS) to provide a national ‘wireless’ cable TV services to homes outside the major cities. Initially, it was anticipated that this ‘tried-and-tested’ technology would be adopted by a large number of households within three years. But the level of adoption remained very low. This study examined the factors which have shaped the pace and forms of adoption and use of this new ICT in the Irish context.

The Role of User Associations in Shaping Telecoms Policy Developments in EU countries (1993)
Paschal Preston examined the role of user associations in Ireland as part of this Multi-country study undertaken by Members of the Academic Network for European Telecomms (ANET).

Audiotex Developments and Policies in Ireland (1992-1993)
Paschal Preston was lead researcher on this study of Audiotex Developments and Policies in Ireland (1992-1993). This was undertaken as part of a larger multi-country study organised by the Academic Network for European Telecoms (ANET). Paschal Preston was the Irish member of ANET, a pioneering academic multi country research network which undertook comparative research on new ICT-based services and innovations in EU & USA countries between 1988 and 1995.

Local Radio & Media Change in ‘the West’: the Case of Galway (1991-1993)
This project examined the emergence and development of local radio broadcasting services in Galway, their characteristics and implications. It addressed theses issues in relation to broader patterns of socio-economic & media change in the area.

New Media & Changing Leisure Patterns in North Dublin (1991-1993)
Implications of new media and leisure patterns and urban change in North Dublin households.