A new Laboratory for the Study of Social Issues, Mass Media, Journalistic discourse & Education was founded at the University of Ioannina, at the School of Education and started its operation this summer (2020). The Laboratory will cover teaching and research needs in the fields of Greek Language, Culture, Mass Media, and Sociology of Education. It includes two dynamic research units, that of Greek Language, Culture and Mass Media and that of Social Distinction, Gender Identity, and School Bullying.

The Laboratory will provide an area of research, analysis, teaching, and preservation of the Modern Greek Language, effectively using tools such as modern radio, television, and print media. At the same time, it will focus on the study of critical and sensitive social issues, such as social inequalities, xenophobia, and homophobia. In this context, it will offer courses, training seminars, and specialized programs (summer schools, training programs), contributing to the formation of a multicultural and dynamic educational environment concerning diversity, cultivation of empathy, and the softening of social discriminations.

The necessity of this laboratory establishment is mainly dictated by the major subjects it studies. Social discrimination, xenophobia and racism, school bullying and school mediation, gender expression, and homophobia are at the heart of social, educational, and scientific interest. Also, systematic academic engagement with issues related to the demonstration of the dynamics of the Greek language, the influences of the language of the media, and the public discourses broadcast by them to native speakers, especially in times of crisis, is considered imperative.

In the context of highlighting the cultural literacy of the media, the activity of the Laboratory will focus on the support and dissemination of Greek culture and Greek language in modern Greek and international media (mainly European and American Media), the study and analysis of the Greek language and the impact coming from the dominant presence of the media. Furthermore, it will also contribute to enriching the educational and pedagogical function of journalistic discourse in Depth.

Moreover, the work of the Laboratory will also include the reflection of the concepts of linguistic and spelling errors in language and communication, as well as the dynamics of linguistic deviation in the media and social media. The systematic study of the Greek language dialects in relation to modern journalistic and advertising discourse, the contemporary research of the post-memorandum language era in modern media, the study of the depictions, and linguistic representations of the crisis in the European media, are also topics of first priority. In addition, the Laboratory will further pursue the wider study of the Greek language under the sociolinguistic perspective and the scientific contribution to language policy issues, as well as the sharing of good practices for tackling hate speech in the European media.

Finally, it will promote the development of academic synergies and collaborations with national and international research centers and social organizations for the growth of joint research activities. At the same time, it will organize scientific events (workshops, conferences, seminars, lectures, experiential workshops). It will also assist in the elaboration of publications and editions in Greece and abroad.

Professors, researchers, students, educators, collaborators, and partners of research groups that are active in research and educational projects in the fields and topics treated by the Laboratory are registered as its members. The Laboratory is led by Ms. Nikoletta Tsitsanoudis-Mallidis, Associate Professor of Linguistics and Greek Language at the University of Ioannina, Academic Director of the International Summer University “Greek Language, Culture and Media.” The planning and the organizational chart of the actions and activities will be announced in the near future.