‘Doing History in Public’ – Conversation 2, Print Media

24 June 2024

On 20 June, the Royal Historical Society held the second in a new series of consultative conversations to consider ‘Doing History in Public’. The series takes the form of evidence-gathering ‘conversations’ — between historians and specialist professionals in related sectors — to identify the resources and guidance most useful to support those ‘doing history in public’.

Three seminars are taking take place between April and September 2024. Each session will draw on the experience of practitioners working across a range of formats to identify common interests, concerns, priorities and requirements for historians working publicly. From these, the Society looks to develop resources and guidance that will support the practice of public history and the communication of research on public platforms.

The second session in the series, held on 20 June, considered Doing History in the Print Media. This conversation brought together historians who have published their work in print genres, including newspapers and popular history journals, as well as writers for prominent history blogs, and authors of trade books working with commercial publishers.

Topics raised in this second conversation included current publishing trends in print media, balancing authority and accessibility when writing for popular print outlets, ensuring accessibility for historians to publish in the print media, and the ethical and legal responsibilities which come with writing for a wider public audience.

Participants also continued the work of identifying how the Society might best support the profession in ‘Doing History in Public’.

The next seminar — Conversation 3 in the series considers ‘Doing History in the Broadcast Media’, and will bring together historians, journalists, producers and podcasters to discuss attendees’ experiences (positive and negative) of working with different forms of broadcast media. Further details of the third conversation, which takes place on Wednesday 18 September, will be announced shortly.