Four of the top ten news sources most trusted by American audiences are British. Predominant among them is the BBC, the world’s most celebrated example of public service media. At a time when professional journalism is under extraordinary pressure – accused by the Right of peddling ‘fake news’ and criticized by the Left for failing to play a robust monitorial role – there is a temptation to see the BBC as a beacon of light in an otherwise gloomy picture. This lecture attempts to provide a note of caution to those who see the public service model as a desirable alternative to the highly commercial and partisan US media landscape. It suggests that neither model is sufficiently independent and argues that we will need to continue struggling for a democratic media system that is not captured by elites.
Des Freedman is Professor of Media and Communications in the Department of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of The Contradictions of Media Power (2014), The Politics of Media Policy (2008), and (with James Curran and Natalie Fenton) Misunderstanding the Internet (2016). He was a founding member of the Media Reform Coalition and Project Lead of the 2016 Inquiry into the Future of Public Service Television chaired by Lord Puttnam.
For those attending the lecture, there will be a reception in the Forum from 5:15-6:15pm.
If you would like to attend this event PLEASE RSVP to Emily Plowman.