The media provides the resources we all need for the conduct of everyday life.
Roger Silverstone

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Upcoming events

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Past events


Generation M2: US Youth and Media
Location: London School of Economics Date: 15 Jun, 2010

Prof. Don Roberts from Stanford University will give a seminar on his survey of U.S. young people’s media use. He will provide a detailed examination of the findings, looking at factors that are related to how different groups of youth use куда сходить в Питере each of the different media.This seminar is jointly hosted by Polis with the International Institute of Communications UK Chapter and International Media Literacy Research Forum.

The event is free but space is strictly limited and will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. To register please email with UKCH1-10 in the subject heading.


The Value of Journalism
Location: London School of Economics Date: 11 Jun, 2010

Come spend a day at the LSE celebrating the opportunities and challenges of networked journalism. Polis has teamed up with the BBC College of Journalism and others to bring speakers like Jon Snow (Channel 4) and Peter Horrocks (BBC), together with hundreds of media practitioners, analysts and educators. And it’s free and live on June 11th. Other speakers include Daniel Finkelstein (Times Newspapers), Janine Gibson (Guardian), Geordie Grieg (Evening Standard), Laura Kuennsberg (BBC), Douglas Alexander MP, Mark Pack (Lib Dems), Risi Saha (Conservatives) and many more. It will also be live-streamed and recorded.

You are probably a little tired of conferences about the crisis or future of journalism. This gathering is an attempt to move beyond the anxious navel-gazing and ask, “What can the new forms of journalism offer the digital society?” We think that there is lots that networked journalism can do for the citizen as well as for the news media itself.

Of course, there are threats to journalism and many who doubt the usefulness or sustainability of the new media production processes. This conference will put the ideas to the test.

Is blogging, social media, mobile, and the rest able to deliver quality, accuracy, and universal access? How will it report politics? Coming just after the UK election, this conference will provide a perfect opportunity to put the role of networked journalism in democracy under review.

There will be a series of big debates with big names in the main hall. At the same time there will be parallel panel sessions with media practitioners and experts in an adjacent venue.

To preview 'The Value of Networked Journalism' paper, that will be released at the conference, click here.

Check the full schedule here and apply for a ticket here.

The hashtag for the conference is #VOJ10

Meanwhile, if you want to become a sponsor or partner then email us at
Sponsor of the Value of Journalism Conference : Image

Other supporters include The World Economic Forum; The European Journalism Centre; The Media Society; Frontline Club;


Arab Media and Life in London
Location: London School of Economics, Hong Kong Theatre Clement House Date: 08 May, 2010

The complexity of media consumption by Arab speakers living in London and belonging to different generations will be discussed in a public event which will take place at the London School of Economics on Saturday 8th of May 2010, between 2 and 5 pm.

The event will bring the findings of a study conducted by a group of researchers based at the Department of Media and Communications, LSE, on the voices of Arab speakers in London.

Some speak very critically about the British mainstream public sphere but cannot see themselves outside it. Others criticise the politics of both their country of origin and of Britain. Some switch on soap operas to see themselves represented. Quite a few become ‘news junkies’ in trying to find the ‘truth’ when flicking between national and satellite television channels.

The study is part of the the project Media & Citizenship: Transnational Television Cultures Reshaping Political Identities in the European Union, funded by the EU. Dr Myria Georgiou is the leader of the UK team which is conducting research in the UK, Spain, and Cyprus. The researchers of the LSE team include Ramy Aly and Ahmad Ayyad.

The presentation of the research findings and will be followed by debates and hands-on activities that aim at recording public’s opinions about news on national and transnational television, the role of transnational television soap operas in their lives and their thoughts and visions about citizenship.

The event is free and open to all. For more information, please contact us at


In Media We Trust?
Location: New Theatre, East Building, LSE, Houghton St, London WC2A 2AE Date: 18 Mar, 2010

The media isn't what it used to be. Or is it us? As citizens in a society dripping with information, are we truly more informed and better at reaching the right decisions?  What does it take to be media savvy, as the line between media consumer and media provider is increasingly blurred? Can we trust the experts whose opinions we hear and read? Can we learn to be media-literate, and whose responsibility is it to teach us?

Polis is hosting an interactive panel debate with Ben Hammersley (Editor at Large, Wired), Matt Locke (Commissioning Editor for New Media and Education, Channel 4), Cynthia O’Murchu (Financial Times) and David McCandless (Author of 'Information is Beautiful').

The event is free and open to all. No need to register. Pose your questions in advance at and forward them to .

Presented by the Media CSR Forum and Polis.


Risks and Responsability OnlineRisks and Responsability Online
Location: The BOX, Tower Three, Level 5, London School of Economics Date: 11 Mar, 2010

Are social media a legitimate source for news stories? In an event chaired by Polis Director Charlie Beckett, representatives of the Press Complaints Commission (PCC), the media industry and legal experts will examine how journalists should deal with social networks.

This seminar will provide an opportunity to hear their opinions on high-profile cases such as the recent Twitter complaints against the Daily Mail’s coverage of the death of Stephen Gately.

It will also explore the ethics and practicalities of the new media environment including social networking and micro-blogging platforms as well as news media websites.

Here is a preview of some of the questions that will be debated during this panel:

• How, on a practical level, is the social networking phenomenon affecting the way that journalists gather news? What are the challenges for editors?
• How is this having an impact on organizations like the PCC which have to decide what is public information and what should remain private?
• Is there a noticeable trend towards the public becoming more cautious about the way they treat online material?
• How are sites like Twitter affecting the way that people respond to news events etc?
• What should we all be doing to highlight the potential implications of posting material online, at the same time as preserving freedom of expression?


Stephen Abell  (Director, PCC)

Professor Ian Walden (Professor of Communications Law, Queen Mary, University of London and PCC public Commissioner)

Caroline Kean (Partner, Wiggin LLP)

Jeremy Olivier  (Head of Multimedia, Ofcom)

Torin Douglas (BBC Media Correspondent)

Janine Gibson (Editor,

Chaired by Polis Director Charlie Beckett

Further speakers to be confirmed.

The seminar will finish at 8pm but you are invited to stay on for informal conversation and drinks until 9pm.

Places are limited. Please RSVP to


NGO and photography conference
Location: Main lecture theatre, London College of Communication Date: 10 Mar, 2010

The Third Frame: visual imagery and the representation of the majority world

This one day conference at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, in collaboration with OPEN-i, POLIS at the LSE and One World Media, will address the problematic relationship of visual imagery and the majority world, focusing specifically on the interactions between practitioners, NGO’s and their audiences. The conference will include presentations from filmmakers, photographers, academics and NGO staff and will seek to critically engage with the stereotypes of development and the possible alternatives to them.

The conference will explore the shift from the two traditional approaches to the coverage of development issues, either that of the journalist or of the fundraiser, towards a emergent  ‘third way’, where practitioners and charities work much more closely together, producing longer term bodies of work that question the stereotypes of simplistic media coverage of tear jerking crying children. However, there is a tension in this relationship, as the approaches of professional practitioners do not always align with the desires of the NGO’s, raising important questions about this new ‘advocacy’ approach and its implications for the independence of the practitioner.

Presentations will include Ed Kashi, Professor Lilie Chouliaraki LSE, professor David Campbell of Durham university, Jessica Crombie of Water Aid, Olivia Arthur of Magnum, Rachel Palmer of Save the Children, Jennifer Pollard of LCC, Ben Chesterton of  Duckrabbit and filmmaker Sandhya Suri. There will be a ‘world café’ style session over lunch for debate and discussion. POLIS Director Charlie Beckett will chair the final plenary session of the day.

Places are limited so please rsvp to


Social Media Reality Check
Location: New Academic Building, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Room 206 Date: 04 Mar, 2010

The Polis/PR Newswire survey asks what works in social media and why. Discuss the findings and the future with expert panelists including:

Michael Pranikoff, Director of Emerging Media, PR Newswire

Tomas Gonsorcik, Head of Strategy, Interaction London

Molly Flatt, Word of Mouth Evangelist, 1000heads

Chaired by Polis Director Charlie Beckett

Please RSVP to Attendance is by invitation only. A drinks reception will be held from 8.00pm.

The event is hosted by Polis in partnership with PR Newswire.


Reporting during War Times
Location: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building Date: 13 Feb, 2010

How the great correspondents of the past managed to tell the world about conflicts around the globe? And how in the digital age, governments and the military seek to prevent free reporting of war? Can we ever really report objectively and openly on war? Three award-winning journalists join a panel at Polis to discuss war journalism.

Stephen Grey is the author of Ghost Plane: The Untold Story of the CIA's Secret Rendition Programme and Operation Snakebite: The Explosive True Story of an Afghan Desert Siege.

Sam Kiley has covered wars and insurgencies in more than thirty countries over the last twenty years and is the author of Desperate Glory: Six Months in Helmand with 16th Air Assault Brigade.

Ros Wynne-Jones is a freelance journalist and author and formerly the Daily Mirror's senior feature writer. Her novel Something is Going to Fall Like Rain, about south Sudan, is published by Reportage Press.

This event is free and open to all, but a ticket is required.  You can request one ticket per person. Tickets will be available to request from 2pm on Monday 25 January 2010.

Members of the public will be able to request a ticket using the online ticket request form, which will be live through this link.

LSE staff and students will be able to collect a ticket from the SU Reception, located on the ground floor of the East Building.


Investigative Journalism Seminar
Location: New Academic Building Room 107 Date: 10 Feb, 2010

The seminar ‘Tax, Financial Secrecy, and Investigative Journalism’ inaugurates a series of events focused on Investigative Journalism and Law, promoted by Polis. For updates on the upcoming seminars, join the Facebook group.


Richard Murphy, Tax Research UK Founder and Tax Justice Network Director. Richard has written widely on taxation and corporate accountability, including for the Guardian/Observer, and appeared in BBC radio and television documentaries. Richard is a visiting fellow at the Centre for Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex and an External Research Fellow at the Tax Research Institute, University of Nottingham, and was placed at number 25 in Accountancy Age’s ‘2009 Financial Power List’.

Michael Peel, Financial Times Legal Correspondent; Former West Africa Correspondent, Former Tax and Accountancy Correspondent. Michael’s fascination has been with West Africa, oil and corporate corruption, and he is the author of ‘A Swamp Full of Dollars: Pipelines and Paramilitaries at Nigeria’s Oil Frontier’. Michael has provided extensive coverage of the BAe and Kellogg, Brown & Root (KBR) billion dollar bribery cases. In 2000, Michael won a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust travelling fellowship to report on multinationals and the environment in Madagascar, Papua New Guinea and eastern India. Michael is a former associate fellow of Chatham House, for whom he has written reports on the crisis in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta, and on Nigeria-related financial crime and its links with Britain.


Professor Gavin MacFadyen, Centre for Investigative Journalism Director; senior producer-director in around 40 documentaries from the 1970s to present. Gavin has been the senior producer-director of more than 40 World in Action programmes, Channel 4 Dispatches, BBC Fine Cut, 24 Hours, Panorama, The Money Programme, and PBS Frontline, from 1970 to the present. Gavin has been jailed in three countries, shot at in four, and filmed and produced in around 30 countries.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information please email us at:

Lee Bollinger Uninhibited, Robust and Wide-Open

'Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for new Century'
Location: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE Date: 01 Feb, 2010

In a talk chaired by LSE Director Howard Davies, Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University, will present his new book 'Uninhibited, Robust, and Wide-Open: A Free Press for new Century' and discuss the freedoms of speech and the press.

This event is free and open to the public, places will be available on a first come, first served, basis.


A (Digital) Decade of Destruction?
Location: Committee Room 12, House of Commons, London SW1A 0A Date: 27 Jan, 2010

The last ten years have seen much of mainstream journalism in decline. What will the next ten years bring?

To address this and other questions, Polis Director Charlie Beckett joins a public discussion organized by the Commonwealth Journalists Association (UK branch) on Wednesday 27th January.

The panel will also have the presences of Dominic Young, News International  Director of Strategy and Product Development; Stephen Pritchard, Organization of News Ombudsmen President; John Fisher Burns, New York Times London Bureau Chief; and Mark Kobayashi-Hillary, writer and commentator on technology, outsourcing, globalization and corporate change. The debate will be mediated by BBC Correspondent Nick Higham.

RSVP: Rita Payne
Telephone: 07834-845240


Industry's leaders debate the future of internet rights
Location: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincolns Inn Fields, LSE Date: 25 Jan, 2010

Will the market and innovation decide the future of the internet, or will the future be led by law and policy?

The Internet is rapidly evolving and has mutated in the space of a decade from a static information source to a dynamic organism. In the future its shape will be dramatically different, as the online space moves even further to the centre of almost every aspect of our lives.

One of the key issues facing all online providers is the extent to which the rights of users should be protected and enhanced. Can users themselves be empowered to take greater control of their information? Recent controversies over new policies and practices also show that policy agendas and market pressures may collide on issues around privacy,  security, and end-user autonomy.

This very special discussion with the leading internet and telecommunications companies will identify the key policy and technological challenges for the coming years. Innovation in this space is dramatic. The companies taking part in this fireside chat are the buzz of the marketplace, and are constantly developing new devices and new platforms that substantially influence the online world.

Richard Allan, Director of European public policy, Facebook
Kasey Chappelle, Global Privacy Counsel, Vodafone
Alma Whitten, Privacy Engineering Lead, Google
Usama M. Fayyad, Open Insights

Gus Hosein, Information Systems and Innovation Group, Department of Management

Oxford Media Convention 2

Oxford Media Convention 2010
Location: Said Business School, University of Oxford Date: 21 Jan, 2010

In the public interest? Plotting the future of Britain's Creative Industries

Organised by ippr in partnership with MediaGuardian

Thursday January 21 2010, University of Oxford

Now in its eighth year, this is a must-attend event for anyone working in media policy, strategy and regulation. Setting the tone for media policy debate in 2010, the convention will ask what future faces the creative industries? Where should public funding be directed? And are citizens still masters of the media or is it time for a new media ethic?

Leading contributors from organisations including: DCMS, Facebook, Ofcom, Trinity Mirror Group, Channel4, Google and the BBC.

For more information, click here.

Evgeny Morozov

Digital Democracy and its Discontents
Location: Room D202, Clement House, LSE Date: 12 Jan, 2010

Evgeny Morozov is a contributing editor to Foreign Policy and runs the magazine's influential and widely-quoted "Net Effect" blog about the Internet's impact on global politics. Click here for the blog.

Morozov is currently a Yahoo! fellow at Georgetown University's E.A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. He was a fellow at George Soros's Open Society Institute.

Before moving to the US, Morozov was based in Berlin and Prague, where he was Director of New Media at Transitions Online, a media development NGO active in 29 countries of the former Soviet bloc.

Please find his website, and a link to his blog, here.

The seminar is open to the public but will be of primary interest to students and academics.

MeCCSA 2010 Conference

MeCCSA Conference 2010 at LSE
Location: LSE Date: 06 Jan, 2010

MeCCSA, the UK subject association for those teaching and researching in Media, Communication and Cultural Studies will be holding its annual conference from Wednesday 6th to Friday 8th of January 2010.

The conference is hosted by the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. It includes a reception and conference dinner at LSE.

In keeping with the commitment of LSE’s Department of Media and Communications to policy-relevance and to the highest ethical standards of practice in our field, the overall theme of the 2010 conference is Media, Communication, Policy and Practice.

To view a draft programme of the conference, please click here.

To book a place at the conference, please click here.

Catherine Mayer George Alagiah, BBC

The Polis Media Dialogues: Media and Identity
Location: East Building, Houghton Street, London School of Economics Date: 06 Dec, 2009

This year’s Polis Media Dialogues presents a series of weekly lectures delivered by leading figures from the media industry and policy sector around the topical themes of media and identity from their specific professional and expert viewpoints. Lectues will take place from 5 - 630pm in the New Theatre, East Building, Houghton Street, LSE.

Tuesday 13th October: Arab Media Panel
Speakers: Fatima El-Issawi, Researcher at Dept of Media and Communications, LSE and freelance journalist; Mohammed Chbaro, Director, London Office, Al Arabiya; Nasser Badry, UK News Editor, Al Jazeera; Ayad Abou Shakra, Editorialist, Asharq al Aswat newspaper. Chaired by Myria Georgiou.

Friday 23rd October: Identity and News - in Conversation with George Alagiah
Speakers: George Alagiah, BBC Presenter Six O'clock News & World News Today on BBC World News. Chaired by Charlie Beckett.

* Please note this lecture will start at 6 for a 6.30 start on Friday 23rd in the Old Theatre, Old Building

Tuesday 27th October: Cosmopolitan Mediascapes: London, Media and Cultural Diversity
Speakers: Sunny Hundal, Asians in the Media, Liberal Conspiracy, Pickled Politics; Jennifer Ogole, CEO of Bang Radio; Henry Bonsu, Colourful Radio; and Munira Mirza, the Mayor of London's Director of Arts and Culture Policy. Chaired by Myria Georgiou.

Tuesday 3rd November: Identity and Search - in Conversation with James Harkin
Speakers: James Harkin, Director of Talks at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. Chaired by Charlie Beckett.

Tuesday 10th November: The Unfinished Revolution - Nick Thorpe
Speakers: Nick Thorpe, author of The Unfinished Revolution and BBC Central Europe correspondent
Chaired by Charlie Beckett. 

This is a personal view, from ground level, of a revolution which never quite finished. Of how it re-emerges, in demonstrations and uprisings, on a regular basis. How the demons of the past - of collaboration, of unsatisfied national identity, above all of poverty - continue to haunt the present.

Blood drips on Thorpe’s head as he tries to escape the Romanian secret police, with a dissident's statement hidden in his clothes. Then as the Hungarian government prepares to expel him, he becomes a pawn in the Cold War as the British threaten to retaliate. Through the autumn and winter of 1989, Thorpe hops from revolution to revolution, from Budapest to Prague, Leipzig to East Berlin. And gets to Romania in time for the bloody finale.

But with the victory of democracy, his work was only just beginning. Thorpe guides us through the dramas and traumas of the 1990s, the years of 'jungle capitalism' through a taxi blockade in Hungary, and the miners invasion of Bucharest. He camps with Vaclav Havel - who borrows his sleeping bag. As Yugoslavia collapses, he reports from Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and FUROMacedonia.

The book concludes in 2009, with the impact of the crisis of capitalism, 20 years after the crisis of communism.

Nick Thorpe began reporting from Budapest in February 1986, the first western journalist to be based there. For the BBC, the Independent, and the Observer, he covered the dying years of eastern Europe’s regimes, then the revolutions which toppled them. He witnessed the collapse of Yugoslavia, popular uprisings in Bulgaria and Serbia, the transformation of nonviolent to violent resistance in Kosovo. As the BBC's Central Europe correspondent he continues to report the successes, and the failures of a revolution which never quite reaches its goal.

Tuesday 17th November: Media Research, Development and Identity
Speaker: Gerry Power, Director of Research & Knowledge Management, Research & Learning Group, BBC World Service Trust. Chaired by Myria Georgiou. 

The BBC World Service Trust is the BBC's international development charity. The Trust delivers a range of development projects using media and communication in more than forty countries across Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The projects are designed to address a range of issues in health, governance and human rights, humanitarian response, livelihoods and climate change. Projects are supported by a programme of research from the inception phase through to assessing the impact when projects have finished.  

Drawing on a selection of studies embedded within Trust projects, the presentation will examine the questions raised when conducting research with diverse populations about a range of topics: What assumptions are made about the identity of the research participant? How are assumptions about identity reflected in the study design and research methods employed? What research approaches can be considered that offer an alternative perspective on identity?  These questions will be framed in the context of research interviews conducted with diaspora, marginalised
and IDP populations, in particular.

Tuesday 24th November: Women and the Media - in Conversation with Catherine Mayer 
Speaker: Catherine Mayer, London Bureau Chief, Time Magazine. Chaired by Myria Georgiou.

NB. This event is now being held in the NEW THEATRE, EAST BUILDING, HOUGHTON STREET, LSE.

** Please note this event will start at 7.30

Tuesday 1st December: Rwanda and the Media - Survivors and Reporters
Speakers: Patrick Iregura and Serge Rwigamba, survivors of the Rwandan genocide; and Lindsey Hilsum, World Editor, Channel 4 News. Chaired by Charlie Beckett.
Please note this event will finish at 6.30pm

These events are free. You must RSVP if you wish to attend. Lectures will be held at the New Theatre, East Building, Houghton Street, London School of Economics. For directions please click here. 

Contact .


Lindsay Hilsum Patrick I

Reporting the Rwandan Genocide
Location: New Theatre, East Building, Houghton Street, London School of Economics Date: 01 Dec, 2009

In partnership with the LSE Arts Programme and the LSE Annual Fund, Polis will hold on event on Tuesday 1st December from 5 to 630pm looking at the reporting of the Rwandan genocide both during and after the atrocities as part of the Polis Media Dialogues on media and identity.

This event will discuss how the media reports post-atrocity Rwanda, and the implications this has in shaping the identity and recovery process of survivors of genocide. Joined by two survivors of the Rwandan genocide, Patrick Iregura  and Serge Rwigamba and Channel 4 News’ World Editor Lindsey Hilsum, this event will reflect on how the story was told before, during and after the brutal events. It will examine the gaps between reality on the ground during times of mass atrocity  and humanitarian crisis, and the public’s perception of it, as gleaned from the media, in the West.

The event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. Any queries, email .

For directions please click here




Bill Roedy MTV

MTV, Music Media and Morality - CANCELLED
Location: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building,Lower Ground Floor, LSE, Date: 30 Nov, 2009

Postponed until 2010 - details TBC

This event will look at the relationship between MTV, 'music' media and morality, looking at the role of Bill Roedy's work using MTV as a international and innovative platform to discuss how media can contribute to internationally important issues such as aids and poverty.

Bill Roedy is chairman and CEO of MTV Networks International and an ambassador for UNAIDS.

Alan Fisher

Reporting Conflict: The Media and Gaza
Location: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE Date: 25 Nov, 2009

Managing news in conflict - what did the international media learn from covering Gaza during the Israeli offensive in Dec 2008 / Jan 2009?

Much is at stake in managing the media when it comes to conflict. As Governments and NGOs become more media-savvy, is it possible to report transparently on war?

Media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has a history of raising questions about impartiality and transparency. The reporting of Operation Cast Lead was no exception. The Israeli government succeeded in keeping most of the foreign media away from the action with AJE the only English-language channel with its own correspondents inside. Meanwhile the BBC sparked a domestic controversy by refusing to broadcast a humanitarian appeal on grounds of impartiality. What can we learn from the way the media has been managed - and managed itself - during the offensive?

Speakers: Alan Fisher, Al Jazeera English; Sherrine Tadros, Al Jazeera English; Jeremy Bowen, BBC Middle East Editor and Louise Turner.

Wednesday 25th November, 6.30-8:00pm

For directions to LSE, please click here.

For more information please get in touch with us at .

Silverstone Davies Buckingham Rebekah-Willett

Digital Natives - The Internets Lost Tribe? A seminar on Young People and the Internet
Location: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, Lower Ground Floor, New Academic Building, LSE Date: 24 Nov, 2009

To read Polis paper on the panel, click here.

Polis is pleased to host this event that seeks to revisit the term 'digital natives' and critically discuss a generation of users that speak the language of new technologies with ease and confidence. To listen to the evnt please click here.

Introduction from Charlie Beckett, POLIS Director

Speakers include:
Professor Sonia Livingstone, Department of Media and Communications, LSE
Professor David Buckingham, Institute of Education
Dr Chris Davies, University of Oxford
Dr Rebekah Willet, "Power relations, play and boredom in teens online interactions," Institute of Education.

Chair: Charlie Beckett, POLIS Director

Ranjana Das, POLIS Silvertone Scholar 2009, will also present her work on the day

Find an inital programme of the event here.

For directions to LSE, click here.  For the location of the New Academic Building (NAB), click here.

The lecture will be from 6 - 8pm followed by a drinks reception sponsored by Ofcom.

If you would like to attend please RSVP to .

Mandate Logo 1 Jeremy Hunt

Jeremy Hunt MP on the future of Digital Britain
Location: LSE, exact location TBC Date: 17 Nov, 2009

Jeremy Hunt, Shadow Culture Secretary, joined by Professor Robin Mansell from LSE and media entrepreneur Peter Bazalgette,  discuss a the future of Digital Britain. Questions will be welcomed. To listen to the event please click here.

This event is kindly sponsored by Mandate Communications.

Please arrive at 6pm for a 6.30pm start. A drinks reception will be held from 7.45pm.

You must RSVP to atten at .

Christian Lander Christian Lander 2

Stuff White People Like - How to find social success with the urban-dwelling middle classes
Location: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE Date: 22 Oct, 2009

When Christian Lander started a blog as a joke he never imagined that his inside joke would turn into a New York Times Bestseller and a piece of internet history with more than 60 million hits to his site. Here Lander investigates, explains and offers advice for anyone wanting to interact with the caucasian persuasion and needing to understand their ways.

Christian Lander was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. He earned his degree in English from McGill University, his Masters in Film from the University of Arizona, and half of a PhD from Indiana University. He now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Jess.

This event marks the publication of Lander's latest book Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions.

Chaired by Charlie Beckett.

The event starts from 6.30pm until 8pm and is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. Any queries, email or phone 020 7955 6043.

Kirsty Young Justin Webb 2

Why I Grew to Love America
Location: Sheik Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE Date: 20 Oct, 2009

Justin Webb discusses American Politics with Polis

Speakers: Justin Webb, BBC North America Editor; Kirsty Young, Presenter, BBC Radio 4

6.30- 8pm to be followed by a book signing.

The event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

Find a map to the NAB here.

For more information please get in touch with us at

4ip logo Charlie Elphicke

Recasting the Net Round Two: Recasting Power
Location: Austin Court, 80 Cambridge Street, Birmingham, B1 2NP Date: 17 Sep, 2009

Blogging, You Tube, Facebook and Twitter are all having a huge impact on modern politics - but how well are our democratic institutions responding? Are online tools more effective than traditional methods of holding power to account? Join us on Thursday 17th September as we explore the social and political implications of a public newly empowered with 21st century tools. Recasting the Net: Recasting Power is the second of three live and online public series curated by Polis and Channel 4 4ip's Team, designed to explore and discuss the next phase of the web.

Speakers: Charlie Elphicke, Conservative Prospect MP for Dover, Cllr Paul Tilsey, Charlie Beckett, Director of Polis and members of Birmingham's political and digital community to discuss how online tools are transforming politics.

To attend this event please RSVP to:

For more information please go to:

Prof. Castells Professor Robin Mansell

Communication Power
Location: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building Date: 09 Jul, 2009

The event marks the launch of Professor Manuel Castells latest book, Communication Power, in which he analyses the transformation of the global media
industry by the revolution in communication technologies.

Manuel Castells is university professor and the Wallis Annenberg Chair Professor of Communication Technology and Society at the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles,
and research professor of information society at the Open University
of Catalonia, Barcelona.

This lecture is free and open to everyone but however a ticket is required. One ticket per person can be requested from 10.00am on Tuesday 30 June online.

For more information e-mail or call 020 7955 6043

John Kampfner

Freedom House Report - Reporting in Italy
Location: London School of Economics, Room D 202 Date: 06 Jul, 2009

This seminar event will explore the current state of Italian media by John Kampfner, former Editor of the New Statesman and Conchita Sannino, La Repubblica Journalist


John Kampfner, Journalist, Broadcaster, Writer, former Editor of the New Statesman.  John is Chief Executive of Index on Censorship, one of the world's leading organisations that probes abuses of freedom of expression, John has just completed his new book. "Freedom for Sale" will be published in September 2009 by Simon & Schuster in the UK

Conchita Sannino, La Repubblica Journalist, author of scoop on Berlusconi and his relationship with 18-year-old Noemi, and the following La Repubblica investigations.

A reception will follow the seminar.

For more information and to attend please contact Simona Milio at or  0207 9556824

Supported by National Union of Journalists

Supported by Foreign Press Association

Media Training in Hebron Professor Lilie Chouliaraki

The Future of Picturing the World
Location: Old Theatre, Old Building Date: 03 Jun, 2009

Faced with ‘compassion fatigue’, how is the practice of filmmakers
and photojournalists changing and what are the implications for
those who rely on photography and film? How will the internet open
up new spaces and change the way in which images are used?

Adrian Evans is director of Panos Pictures. Lilie Chouliariki is
POLIS research director at LSE. Julian Stallabrass is a reader at The
Courtauld Institute. Renzo Martens is an artist. Sabine Selchow is
a fellow at LSE.

This event is being organised by the LSE Events and Conferences Unit and is a Centre for the Study of Global Governance event, to see their website click here.

4ip logo Charlie Beckett

Recasting the Net: Where’s the Revolution?
Location: Channel 4 Television, 124 Horseferry Road, London, England SW1P 2TX Date: 01 Jun, 2009

ImagePolis is partnering up with Channel 4/4iP on a series of national debates to be filmed for a special website on the state of the Internet and the future of online media and you are invited to attend. The first of four events 'recasting the net: where’s the revolution?' will take place on Monday June 1st.

The first event 'Where's the Revolution?' is on June 1st, and will feature leading speakers such as Matthew d’Ancona of The Spectator, Tom Loosemore, Head of 4ip, Charlie Beckett, Director of the media and society think tank Polis and Helen Milner, Managing Director, UK Online. This event will set the social and historical context for the series and will encourage contributions from a diverse range of participants to debate how the Internet has evolved, and what are the challenges and conflicts ahead. What can we learn from the history of the web to help us set out scenarios for the future? The Internet now has a history. What can it teach us?

If you would like to attend please email

Over the coming months 4iP and Polis will be hosting further lectures around the country. For more information please email or click here.








Prof Paul Collier Prof. Mary Kaldor

Opening up ‘Illiberal’ Regimes
Location: Old Theatre, Old Building Date: 19 May, 2009

SPEAKERS: Professor Paul Collier, Professor Mary Kaldor,
Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Maung Zarni
CHAIR: Professor Lord Giddens

Paul Collier is co-director of the International Growth Centre at LSE
and professor of economics at Oxford University. Mary Kaldor is
professor of global governance at LSE and co-director of CSGG. Ziba
Mir-Hosseini is senior research associate in the Centre of Islamic and
Middle Eastern Law at SOAS. Maung Zarni is co-ordinator of the
Burma/Myanmar Research Initiative at the CSGG, and founder of the
Free Burma Coalition.

This event is being organized by the LSE events and conferences office. To contact them please email or call 020 7955 6043.

David A Charlie Beckett

Vodoo Histories: From Protocols to 9/11
Location: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building Date: 07 May, 2009

On the 7th May, David Araonovitch, an award-winning journalist will discuss his latest book, 'Vodoo histories: The Role of Conspiracy Theory In Shaping Modern History (published in May 09). Chaired by Charlie Beckett, the Director of POLIS, this lecture will look at those people who have found themselves at the wrong end of a conversation about moon landings or the twin towers. Aaronovitch carefully probes and explodes a dozen of the major conspiracy theories. He looks at why people believe them, how press reportage affects our understanding and makes an argument for a true scepticism: one based on a thorough knowledge of history and a strong dose of common sense.

David Araonovitch is an award winning journalist, who has worked in radio, newspapers and television in the UK since the early 1980's.

This event is free and open to everyone with no pre-registration needed. For more information please contact the LSE Conference and Events Office at:



John Davison Radio Benin

NGOs and Media: Public Seminar
Location: LSE Date: 06 May, 2009

Polis is holding a public seminar on May 6th to start a research fellowship by Christian Aid head of media John Davison. Davison will be examining the role of international NGOs and of journalism in promoting democracy and Development in Developing countries such as Ghana.

If you wish to attend the seminar contact us at

Ed Richards

The Future of Telecoms - TONIGHT
Location: New Theatre, East Building Date: 16 Mar, 2009

In sponsorship with Hanover Communications, Ofcom Chief Executive Ed Richards will outline the future challenges for telecoms in an era of significant technological and economic changes, and as policy-makers increasingly highlight the growing role of communications services.

Ed Richards is chief executive of Ofcom. Prior to this he was senior policy advisor to the UK prime minister, for media, telecoms, internet and e-government.

This event is free and open to all but space is strictly limited. To register or request more information email

Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to reserve a press seat or have a media query about this event, email

For directions to the Old Theatre, East Building please click here.


Richard Porter

LSE Media Group Networking Event
Date: 09 Mar, 2009

The purpose of this social event is to provide an opportunity for members to catch up with old friends and contacts, network and make new contacts.

It will take place on Monday 9 March, 6.30 - 8.30pm in the Senior Dining Room where drinks and canapes will be served.

Tickets for members and guests are £10 each. All proceeds go directly to cover catering costs.

To book a ticket click here.

Book early to avoid dissapointment!

Kapka Kassabova

Roundtable on Migrant Literature - LSE Literary Festival
Location: Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building Date: 28 Feb, 2009


Kapka Kassabova (pictured),

Mustafa Kor, Naema Tahir

Chair: Professor Luc Bovens

These authors will explore what it is like to be migrant writers in their respective societies – what are the points of divergence and what are the commonalities?

Kapka Kassabova was born in Bulgaria, and is now settled in Edinburgh. Her memoir of childhood in Bulgaria A Street Without a Name is published in February 2009.

Mustafa Kor was born in Turkey and emigrated to Belgium when he was three years old. He published his first novel De Lammeren (The Lambs) in 2007 and received the El Hizjra Prize of Literature for Uitverkorene (The Chosen).

Naema Tahir’s works include A muslim woman unveils, Prized Possession and Lonlinesses. Her most recent novel Little Green Riding Hood and the Converted Woolf deals with morality amongst Muslims.

The event will take place at 5.15- 6.30pm on the 28th of February in the Wolfson Theatre. To find out more information contact LSE Events.

HD Evan Davies

TONIGHT: Why did nobody see it coming? Reporting the Global Crash of ‘08
Location: Old Theatre, Old Building, London School of Economics Date: 23 Feb, 2009

Tonight, from 6.30 - 8, POLIS, in partnership with the Media Society and Society of Editors, will hold an event to discuss the reporting leading up to the global credit crash of 2008.

Chairing the event is Howard Davies, along with Evan Davis of the BBC; Alex Brummer of the Daily Mail, Vince Cable MP, Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor and Gillian Tett, Assistant Editor, The Financial Times; and Professor Williem Butler  of the LSE as key pannelists.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis with no seat reservations.

For directions to the Old Theatre, Old Building please click here.




Robin Mansell Marz

The Internet and Its Myriad Ways: An Asian Perspective - CANCELLED!
Location: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House Date: 10 Feb, 2009

Chaired by Professor Robin Mansell, POLIS Advisory Board member and Head of the LSE's Media and Communications Department with POLIS Director Charlie Beckett as the discussant, this event will host Arun Mahizhnan, Deputy Director of Singapore's Institute of Policy Studies. The event will examine the vastly different impact of new communication technologies in different Asian countries.

This event will start at 6.30 and finish at 8.

Clay Shirky Charlie Beckett

Professor Clay Shirky at POLIS event - Here Comes Everbody: How change happens when people come together
Location: Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE Date: 03 Feb, 2009

Charlie Beckett, the Director of POLIS, will host a lecture by Professor Clay Shirky, to discuss the burgeoning online social explosion and ask what the implications are when people are given tools to work together, without needing traditional organizational structures.

Clay Shirky is a Professor at New York University's interactive telecommunications programme, and has consulted for many companies, including Nokia, Procter and Gamble, the BBC and the US Navy.

This event starts at 6.30 and finishes at and is free and open to all. For more information please contact

Robin Mansell

Thinking Like a Social Scientist: a Lecture by Professor Robin Mansell
Location: U8, Tower 1, LSE Date: 21 Jan, 2009

In this lunchtime series of lectures, a selection of LSE's academics from across the spectrum of the social sciences explain the latest thinking on how social scientists work to address critical problems of the day.

Robin Mansell is a professor of new media and the internet and head of the Department of Media and Communications at the LSE.

For more information please contact the LSE's Events Department at: . This event will start at 1.05pm and finish at 2.

Dr Damian Tambini paper

Financial Journalism and the Economic Crisis
Location: E 171, First Floor, East Building Date: 20 Jan, 2009

On Tuesday 20th of January from 2 - 4, Dr Damian Tambini of the LSE Media and Communications Department, and POLIS board member, will be hosted by the LSE SU Economics Society to discuss his findings about the financial reporting of the global economics crisis in a recently published POLIS report, "What is Financial Journalism for? Ethics and Responsibility in a time of Crisis and Change". The report can be read clicking here.

This event is free and open to everyone. No RSVP is required.





The Guardian and Katine: Can the Media do Development?
Date: 13 Jan, 2009

POLIS, in partnership with will hold a small seminar on Tuesday 13th January to discuss a pertinent question in light of the The Guardian's three year experimental development project aimed at improving the lives of the 25,000 inhabitants of Katine, Uganda: Can the media do development?

This event will bring together key partners involved in the Katine Project, The Guardian and AMREF, to discuss the three year experimental development project using the Katine project as a case study. The purpose of this intensive seminar will be to discuss the reporting of development with the broader aim of understanding whether the media can play a constructive role or if the spotlight hampers prospects for progress.

Speakers will include the Guardian’s Madeleine Bunting, Ugandan journalist Richard Kavuma, and the head of Programmes for AMREF, Grace Mukasa.

This is the latest event in POLIS' programme of seminars and research into humanitarian and development communication. For more information on this research programm please click here.

For more details, please contact Allison Brownlee at


Meyer Snoddy

'So Then Its Farewell': Sir Christopher Meyer in Conversation with Raymond Snoddy
Location: London College of Communications, Elephant and Castle Date: 12 Jan, 2009

POLIS, in parternship with The Media Society and The Society of Editors  present Sir Christopher Meyer, Retiring chair of The Press Complaints Commission, in conversation with Raymond Snoddy, journalist and broadcaster.

The event will take place from 18.30 - 20.00 on Monday 12th January at the London College of Communications in Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SB. Tickets are £10 in advance. Students will be admitted for free. Please send cheques to Sam Keegan at 29 Prothero Road, London SW6 7LY. Cheques should be made payable to The Media Society.

For more information, please email

We would like to thank Camelot for it’s generous sponsorship of this event.

Jeremy Hunt

Digital Britain: A Response from the Conservatives
Location: LSE Date: 01 Jan, 2009

Jeremy Hunt, MP, chats with Polis about the conservative reaction to Digital Britain

Speaker: Jeremy Hunt, MP

Please note: Date and time of Event TBD

For more information about this event, please get in touch with us at



The New Photojournalism and Revolution: Susan Meiselas in Nicaragua and Gilles Peress in Iran
Location: Shaw Library, Old Building, London School of Economics Date: 04 Dec, 2008

The late 1970s saw a sea-change in the photojournalistic coverage of world events that is still reverberating today. Photographers shifted from the concept of 'objective', balanced and supposedly 'truthful' documentation of the news to a more personal, partisan, subjective and authored approach that reflected the paradigms of the New Journalism of the 1970s. Two bodies of work, published as books during the early 1980s, stand out as seminal in this process, Nicaragua by Susan Meiselas and Telex Iran by Gilles Peress. Both set a new precedent for how the aesthetic and formal qualities of the image could be harnessed to depict political and social events, and for how the vision and commitment of the individual could become the story itself. To coincide with the exhibition 'Recording the Truth in Iran', this talk will compare two distinctive and vital depictions of societies caught up in the turbulence of revolution.

Paul Lowe is a senior lecturer in Photography at the University of the Arts London, and an award-winning photographer living and working between Sarajevo and London. His work is represented by Panos Pictures, and has appeared in Time, Newsweek, Life, The Sunday Times Magazine, The Observer and The Independent amongst others. He has covered breaking news the world over, including the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nelson Mandela's release, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia and the destruction of Grozny. Since 2004, Paul has been the Course leader of the Masters programme in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication. His book, Bosnians, documenting 10 years of the war and post war situation in Bosnia, was published in April 2005.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email

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'Reporting Suicide in the Media'
Date: 01 Dec, 2008

The past year has seen considerable debate about the media’s reporting of suicide. On Monday December 1st POLIS, in partnership with the Press Complaints Commission,  held a seminar discussion on the topic.

The seminar explored a number of ethical and practical issues relating to the coverage of suicide in both print and broadcast media – and will examine the importance of regulatory structures. It will also have an international perspective, comparing journalistic practices in several countries.

This will be an informal working seminar, aiming to gather contributions from a range of experts and practitioners with the aim of understanding and shaping editorial and regulatory practice.

Charlie Beckett, Director of POLIS, will chair the following panel of speakers:

Tim Toulmin (Director, PCC)

Professor Sonia Livingstone (London School of Economics)

Bob Satchwell (Executive Director, Society of Editors)

Anthony Langan (Public Affairs Manager, Samaritans)

Odd Isungset (Chairman, Norwegian Press Complaints Commission) 

Trevor Barnes (Senior Standards Manager, Ofcom)

This event has been kindly supported by the Press Complaints Commission

Tom2 4ip

Polis Media Leadership Dialogues: Tom Loosemore, “4iP: Reinventing Public Service Media for a Digital Age”
Date: 25 Nov, 2008

The Polis Media Leadership Dialogues

Michaelmas Term 2008

The Polis Media Leadership dialogues are a series of guest appearances from influential media figures in London and beyond. Each week we host a different talk from a media leader followed by an expert response.

Tom Loosemore
Head of 4iP, Channel Four

“4iP: Reinventing Public Service Media for a Digital Age”

With an expert response from Charlie Beckett, Polis Director
London School of Economics and Political Science

Tuesday November 25, 2008

17:00 to 18:30
Room E171, East Building  



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Humanitarian Communications in a Global Media Age Symposium
Location: LSE Date: 21 Nov, 2008

'Humanitarian Communications in a Global Media Age' is a culmination of a series of three high-level academic seminars. Bringing together outstanding international thinkers in this field, this one day symposium will exammine the state of communications around humanitarian relief, international development and human rights in a globalised digital communications age.

It will address the big questions: in an age of bloggers, celebrity campaigners and corporate public relations what are the ethics, politics and practicalities of humanitarian and development communications? How can communications attract the attention of the public and how can it convert that interest in to action?

The aim of the symposium is to broadly address the following key three themes, organised into a series of panels with leading thinkers in each area.

Panel 1: Humanitarianism, Media and the Cosmopolitan Public

Prof. Costas Douzinas, Birkbeck College

Empty Humanitarianism: This short talk will argue that the concept of 'humanity' is not a quality shared by humans but a strategy for ontological ordering. Its contemporary version of (cosmopolitan) humanitarianism is the latest phase of the 'civilising mission’.

Dr Kate Nash, Goldsmiths College

Creating Mediated Cosmopolitan Solidarity: In this paper I will reflect on how cosmopolitan solidarity beyond the national-state might be created and sustained in the absence of a global state. In ‘Global citizenship as show business: the cultural politics of Make Poverty History’ (Media, Culture and Society, 2008) I argued that the ‘Make Poverty History’ campaign in the UK, which aimed to bring about structural change in global economic governance, was also part of an innovative set of campaigns across the globe to build popular cosmopolitan solidarity. In this paper I consider further the limitations of the techniques and means used to build solidarity in Make Poverty History, and discuss analogous campaigns which have created ‘extraordinary solidarity’ historically. What do we know about the necessary conditions for creating cosmopolitan solidarity? In particular I reflect on the role that is played, and might be played, by the media in creating ‘extraordinary solidarity’.

Prof. Keith Tester, University of Hull

The Stories of Birhan Woldu: In this paper I use the example of Birhan Woldu, the so-called ‘icon of famine’ from Live Aid and Live 8 as an opportunity to raise questions about whether the media are a ‘cosmopolitanism generator’. The case of the appearance of Birhan Woldu raises questions about power and the paradoxes of liberal toleration that cast doubt on confident cosmopolitan assumptions. The point is that Birhan Woldu is represented in the media as uncosmopolitan – what does this imply?

Panel Two: Global Stakeholders in Humanitarian Communication

Dr Hans K. Hansen, Copenhagen Business School

Calibrating Humanitarian Risks: How Everyday Forms of Calculative Practice Shape the Engagement with Crisis, Conflict and Corruption:
When intergovernmental organizations, international financial institutions, non-governmental organizations and corporations engage with humanitarianism today, they typically draw on a wide range of more mundane and taken-for-granted calculative practices whose powers often go unnoticed in current discussions about cosmopolitanism, global politics and the mediatization of humanitarianism. These practices include the assessment of political risks of various sorts; the rating, ranking and benchmarking of countries and organizations according to specific governance criteria; and, the deployment of blacklisting of political and corporate entities under special circumstances. I propose we take a critical look at the role of these calculative practices, including their underlying frameworks and alignment to humanitarian projects and programs. First, the study of calculative practices can provide us with important insights into how activities carried out in the name of humanitarianism make visible and governable particular subjects and relations in global politics. Calculative practices establish a field in which standards for normalcy, deviance and responsibility are delineated. Such practices are more than mere analytical tools and embedded in systems of hierarchy and authority. Second, the study of how calculative practices are deployed draws our attention to organizational strategies of legitimation, including how humanitarian initiatives and interventions across the board - public and private, national, international and transnational – can bolster or undermine the public trust of key organizations with a humanitarian agenda. The argument is illustrated with examples from on ongoing research project on international anti-corruption. Specifically, I focus on how various calculative practices have been aligned to recent programs and projects conducted under the auspices of the World Bank and humanitarian organizations.

Prof. Mette Morsing, Copenhagen Business School

Towards Transparency or Silence?: The “global concern thesis” holds that contemporary corporations are responsible and transparent to the critical gaze of inquisitive stakeholders in global society. A central feature is the corporate response to form CSR policies demonstrating the willingness to take action on global humanitarian concerns about social and environmental issues. In fact, corporations have entered a competition to demonstrate themselves as the more globally concerned corporate citizen. While this demonstration of corporate “socially desirable behaviour” is appreciated, it is also a double-edged sword. No matter how much corporate leaders seek to manage their media visibility their ability to control is limited. The use of weblogs and other online media demonstrate how the news media and spatially isolated individuals may assert a collective influence on corporations by turning mass media into the mass’ media – for them: free of charge. In the competitive game of demonstrating a global concern, corporations may risk over-exposure followed by critique of hypocrisy. Rather than creating transparency, demonstrating a humanitarian concern becomes a source of uncertainty or fragility where the very possibility of being observed by thepublic implies a risk and a disciplining of corporate behaviour in terms of strategic silence.

Dr Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths College

Cloning the News: NGOs, New Media and the News: This paper will consider the NGO as news source and the nature of its relationship to the professional journalist in a new media environment. It draws on a range of interviews with a variety of NGOs and journalists conducted throughout 2007/08. Publicity - both for campaigning and for fundraising is a central aspect of all NGOs work. For many, particularly the large, resource rich organizations, responding to a media saturated environment has meant a growth in press and PR offices increasingly staffed by trained professional journalists. These professionals apply the same norms and values to their work as any mainstream newsroom albeit with different aims and intentions; they use their contacts and cultural capital to gain access to key journalists and report increasing success in a media-expanded world. The resource poor however, far from finding a more levelled playing field with new media increasing access, as proclaimed by many early exponents of the advantages of new communication technologies, are forced to rely on long-standing credibility established by proven news-awareness and issue relevance. They find it much harder to keep up with changes in technology and the explosion of news space; and much harder to stand out amidst the countless voices on-line all competing for journalists’ attention. As journalists are now required to do more in less time, so their interactions with news sources dwindle. In news terms, NGOs may be getting more coverage (often on-line), but the nature of that news remains firmly within pre-established journalistic norms and values – a media logic that has led to ‘news cloning’.

Panel Three: The Mediated Visibility of Humanity

Dr Eric Guthey, Copenhagen Business School

Billanthropy, Business Celebrities, and All This Business About Humanitarian Causes: When the world’s richest business figures involve themselves in philanthropic ventures, the media take notice. The media become even more fascinated when business celebrities team up with their mega-celebrity counterparts from the realms of sports, music, and entertainment to champion humanitarian causes. More than just a public relations or branding strategy, the mediated combination of big business, celebrity and humanitarian concern speaks to something fundamental about the nature of business celebrity, and about its relationship both to corporate activity and to debates about what it means to be human in a corporate society. With these issues in mind, I propose a new understanding of celebrity that helps explain why media audiences are fated to keep looking at images of Bill Gates with Bono, images of Bill Gates with young babies in Africa, and images of various other business figures sharing the frame with all manner of celebrities and residents of the Third World in ways that accentuate the connections between mediated celebrity and humanitarian concern.

Prof. Luc Bovens, LSE

The Ethics of Photojournalism: Grace Mungai, a victim of Kenya's civil war, lies murdered in a puddle of blood in her house as her young son is crying in the background. This Reuters photograph was run in large format by The Observer (Feb 10, 2008). Every day we are bombarded in the media with photographs of such horrific magnitude. Clearly truthfulness is a constraint on what is being depicted—we object to photographs that are posed, doctored or are presented out of context. But truthfulness is only a minimal constraint. There is a public trust that certain photographs are blocked from publication for being too disconcerting. They may be disrespectful towards the people depicted. Larry Burrows, a photojournalist who was killed in Vietnam, wrote, "It's not easy to photograph a man dying in the arms of his fellow country-man ... Was I simply capitalizing on other men's grief?" Or they may be disrespectful towards the readers. As readers, we feel the discomfort of Leontius in Plato's Republic who cannot resist looking at the corpses after an execution and we object to being put in this position. What motivates this public trust? What are its unspoken rules? And how does one balance the constraints of this public trust against an obligation to truthful and comprehensive reporting?

Prof. Lilie Chouliaraki, LSE

Communicating the humanitarian cause: Towards a post-emotional sensibility: My empirical focus is humanitarian appeals as a genre of mediation that traditionally configures specific forms of action at a distance based on the ‘grand’ emotions of pity: indignation and protest or empathy and charity (Boltanski 1999). I explore contemporary examples of this genre of mediation in order to show how they articulate the semiotics of vulnerability and construe moral agency towards vulnerable others. I conclude that an emerging tendency in the mediation of humanitarian appeals is to break with traditional registers of pity and to privilege a light-touch and low-intensity form of agency, no longer inspired by ‘grand’ emotion or intellectual vision but momentarily engaging us in practices of playful consumerism.

A report about the symposium will be available shortly after the event.

Whistleblowers and Mischief-makers: The Ethics of Scandal
Location: London College of Communication: Boardroom Date: 21 Nov, 2008

ICE aims to bring together academics, professionals and campaigners from a range of disciplines in the field of communications to share interests and highlight ways of improving standards. Issues to be explored at the conference might include

• The history of scandal coverage in the media
• Case study analyses of media coverage of scandals
• Handling scandal coverage: the dilemmas of PR
• Handling scandal: journalists’ perspectives
• Corporate scandals: how managements respond
• Scandal and the ethics and dilemmas of whistleblowers
• Law and the rights of whistleblowers
• Sex, sleaze and celebrity scandal: the dumbing down debate
• The politics of scandal: feminist and Marxist approaches
• Law and scandal: is a new privacy law emerging ‘by the back door’?

Keynote speakers include:

“Reporters, Priests and Gossips: Unravelling the Gay Conundrum in the Church”
Michael Ford, writer and reporter/presenter for BBC Religion and Ethics and BBC World Service.

“Spinning tales: How PR deals with journalists' scandalous needs”
Simon Goldsworthy, Senior Lecturer in Public Communication, University of Westminster.

Those interested in presenting a paper to the conference should send 200-word abstracts to the ICE conference co-ordinators, Richard Lance Keeble ( or Fiona Thompson ( by October 1. The conference co-ordinators will respond to all submissions by October 14.

Ben Brogan

POLIS Media Leadership Dialogues - Benedict Brogan, Political Editor, Daily Mail
Date: 18 Nov, 2008

Benedict Brogan is a career political journalist, having worked at the Glasgow Herald, the Daily Telegraph, and now as Political Editor of arguably the UK's most influential newspaper, the Daily Mail. He is well known for his widely read political blog. Ben is also a frequent political commentator on television and radio.

The talk will take place in E171, East Building, LSE on 14 Oct, 2008 from 5 - 6.30. Space is limited so please email to reserve a seat.

Financial Times_photo tett

What is Financial Journalism for? Ethics and Responsibility in a time of Crisis and Change
Date: 17 Nov, 2008

On Monday 17th  November 2008 , POLIS will launch a ground-breaking research report on "Journalism as a Social Compact: The Rights and Duties of Financial and Business Journalists".

Dr Damian Tambini of the LSE Media and Communications Department, and his research team have been conducting a series of in depth interviews with senior financial journalists, and with leading financial PR executives, regulators, academic experts and other stakeholders. This report introduces a model of the rights and duties of financial and business journalists. It shows how journalistic privileges have been granted in recognition of the social function of ethical, responsible journalism, and examines the impact of current market and technological changes on the nature of those ethics and responsibilities.

Dr. Tambini and his team have also analysed ethical codes on financial journalism from the UK and the US, analysed existing research on the market impact of news, and conducted a series of pilot interviews with experts in the U.S. from Bloomberg, the Wall St Journal and other leading titles.

Speaking at the event is Ed Wasserman, Knight Professor in journalism at Washington and Lee University and Gillian Tett, Assistant Editor, Financial Times.

Seats are left but space is limited. Please email us for more information. 

runs britain peston

"Who runs Britain?" Robert Peston
Location: Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE Date: 17 Nov, 2008

Robert Peston is the BBC's award-winning Business Editor, who on September 17 2008, exclusively revealed that the UK's battered mortgage giant, HBOS, was being taken over and rescued by Lloyds TSB. In 2007, Peston’s scoop on Northern Rock seeking emergency financial help from the Bank of England won the Royal Television Society’s Television Journalism Award for Scoop of the Year and the Wincott Award for Business News/Current Affairs Programme of the Year. He was Journalist of the Year in the Business Journalism of the Year Awards for 2007/8, and also won in the Scoop category. He was previously the Sunday Telegraph’s City Editor, in charge of its Business and Money Sections. In the 1990s, he was political editor, financial editor and head of investigations at the Financial Times, where he won the ‘What The Papers Say’ award for investigative journalism. His award-winning blog can be found at

This event is an LSE public lecture and is being run by the LSE Events and Conferences Unit.  It is free and open to all however a ticket is required. One ticket per person can be requested from 10.00am on Friday 7 November via the online ticket request form.

Please contact the Press Office if you would like to reserve a press seat or if you have a media query about this event. Email

Media Training in Hebron

The Mediatisation of Humanitarian Crises: User Generated Content Changes Disaster Reporting
Location: G108, Kingsway, LSE Date: 13 Nov, 2008

The third in a series of panels on Humanitarian Communications held by POLIS, the discussion on Thursday November 13 focused on the mediatisation of humanitarian crises, the changing role of NGOs in relation to the media, how citizen journalism and aid agencies are affecting humanitarian reporting and the audience perspective on disaster reporting.

Professor Simon Cottle of Cardiff University’s School of Journalism opened the program by arguing that the fundamental relationship between news media and aid agencies is changing, fueled by the shifting ecology of global news. In a crowded field where big NGOs vie for media coverage, these organizations are learning how to “sell” humanitarian crises and brand their agencies. With reduced foreign bureaus, news agencies increasingly rely on well-packaged stories from the field by NGO aid workers reporting in disaster areas. NGOs are complicit in giving the media what they want – packaged stories to run about the ‘innocent victim’ which improves their organizations ‘brand’ – an important assent in a corporate environment where, according to Professor Cottle, “public profile becomes a bankable currency.” Aid agencies increasingly defend their brand by increasingly focusing resources in areas that look good on camera while avoiding critiques by the news media. But Professor Cottle and attendees questioned whether the media would hold them to account if they fail to devote resources to where they are actually needed, particularly if the media rely on aid organizations for foreign reporting.

Glenda Cooper, the Reuters Institute Fellow at Oxford University furthered the argument that the blurring of boundaries between the news media and aid agencies as foreign bureaus are shut is problematic and she raised important questions about the meteoric rise of user-generate content on the industry. Cooper looked at the influence of user generated content during the 2004 Southeast Asia Tsunami and the 2008 Sichuan earthquake to highlight the changing role of user generated content in the media world. She observed the changing control of a story in news coverage and reporting that shifts, the close, symbiotic relationship media and aid agencies previous had to one where the victim or bystander has the ability to report on a humanitarian crisis. This opening up allows more diversity in voices, but not necessarily stories and raises concerns over the possibility of hoaxes and objectivity of reports derived from user-generated content. Cooper also raised questioned about the increasing use of aid workers as reporters and bloggers. In a world where the “more media friendly the disaster, the more money it gets,” concerns over the veracity of aid worker’s reports arise when “media doesn’t prioritize objectivity and aid organizations do not object.” Cooper felt that news driven by agenda rather than neutral reporting blurs the boundaries of news objectivity that must not be allowed to deteriorate.

This ‘blurring of the lines’ is even more worrisome when you consider “who is sending what message to whom with what effects,” according to Professor John Ellis of the University of London. Prof Ellis focused on the receiver’s perspective on disaster reporting and the different agendas held by reporters, interviewees, aid agencies, and the individual viewer. The expectation of who is being addressed in the audience is a key relationship - a viewer is a necessary witness but not necessarily the principal addressee. The audiences role in this changing media ecology is very important when considering the future of humanitarian communications.

This report was written by POLIS intern Eli Lipmen.


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Q & A with Ed Richards: The Future of Public Broadcasting and Telecommunications, 5.30 - 6.30
Location: New Theatre, London School of Economics Date: 12 Nov, 2008

In light of the Ofcom's review of Public Service Broadcasting in June, Ed Richard, Chief Executive of Ofcom, will join us to discuss the future of public service broadcasting and telecommunications in the UK for a Q & A.

A reception will follow the event. For more information please email us at

This event has been supported by Hanover Communications


Humanitarian Communications in the Global Media Age
Location: G108, 20 Kingsway, LSE Date: 06 Nov, 2008

We will put together a series of academic seminars, panel debates, lectures and conferences beginning October 2008. In 2009 we will move onto a series od events more focused on enagagement with the public and stakeholders. We will also be launching a series of research projects and partners. To find out more about this please go to the research section of our website.

The events organised for 2008 are:

Panel Two: Humanitarian Campaigning and the Cosmopolitan Imagination, November 6th, G108, Kingsway, LSE, 6.30 - 8

The panel discusses the increasing commercialisation in the communication practices of NGOs and reflects on the tensions that this trend brings about. These are old tensions between fund- and awareness-raising, which are now reformulated as tensions between profit and justice; consumption and solidarity; entertainment and social change.

Invited Participants: Dr Nick Stevenson, University of Nottingham; Dr Bruna Seu, Birkbeck College; Denise Searle, management and communications consultant (Oxfam, Widows’ Rights International and aids2031) and Director of Marketing and Communications for ‘A Different Movie’;previously Senior Director of Campaigns, Amnesty International and Chief of Broadcasting, UNIFEC.

Panel Three: The Mediatisation of Humanitarian Crises, November 13th, G108, Kingsway, LSE, 6.30 - 8

This panel focuses on the symbiotic relationship between media and humanitarian NGOs, raising issues about the ways in which i) the media are currently shaping not only the reporting of emergencies and crises but also the very communication strategies and market images of NGOs and ii) the ways in which new media and citizen journalism may be changing the ways reporting of humanitarian issues takes place. It addresses the responsibility of media and journalists in reporting on human suffering- a responsibility not only about informing the public but also about shaping the conditions of solidarity with vulnerable others within and outside the West.

Invited Participants: Prof. Simon Cottle, University of Cardiff; Prof. John Ellis, Royal Holloway, University of London; Glenda Cooper, Reuters Institute Fellow, Oxford University;

To attend the events above please rsvp to

Maps and directions:

Symposium: Humanitarian Communication in the Global Media Age, November 21st (invitation only)

The symposium takes a broad view on humanitarianism as action on suffering others in the name of universal humanity and draws together the themes of i)ethics and the cosmopolitan imagination, ii) global politics, NGOs and corporations and iii) the mediatisation of suffering – all three addressed in the POLIS panels mentioned above. The aim of the Symposium is to debate the challenges of humanitarian communication today, with a particular focus on the moral, political and cultural implications they may have on the formation of contemporary public ethics.

Broadsheet Versus Broadband: Is digital journalism the new black (and white)?
Location: The Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE, 53 Lincoln's Inn Fields Date: 30 Oct, 2008

CHAIR: The Earl of Stockton (Former Chairman Pan Macmillan Ltd)

DISCUSSANTS: Pete Clifton (Head of Editorial Development, Multi-Media Journalism The BBC)
Margaret Manning (Female Entrepreneur of the Year and Chief Executive Reading Room)
Peter Barron (Head of Comms Google UK, Ireland & Benelux, former Editor of Newsnight)
Neil McIntosh (Head of Editorial Development,


Please send cheques to Sam Keegan, 29 Prothero Road, London SW6 7LY. Cheques payable to The Media Society.

For more information:

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'A More Ambitious Role for Public Service Broadcasting' Jeremy Hunt MP
Date: 29 Oct, 2008

Jeremy Hunt MP, the Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport will be making a keynote policy speech on the subject of public sector broadcasting and social responsibility. There will be an opportunity for questions. The speech is hosted by the LSE media think-tank Polis with the support of Hanover Communications.

This event is now full.  To read Jeremy Hunt MP's forthcoming speech tommorow, please click here

Tom Steinberg

'Democracy in the Internet Age' Tom Steinberg
Location: Room E171, East Building, LSE Date: 28 Oct, 2008

Tom Steinberg, the Founder & Director of mySociety, will give a speech as part of the Polis media Leadership Dialogues on the topic of ‘Democracy in the Internet Age’ with an expert response from Charlie Beckett, the Polis Director at the London School of Economics and Political Science. The Polis Media Leadership dialogues are a series of guest appearances from influential media figures in London and beyond. Each week we host a different talk from a media leader followed by an expert response.


Manuel Castells Lecture: "Internet Beyond Myths"
Location: Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE Date: 24 Oct, 2008

Although it is an old technology (deployed first in 1969) its expansion in the last two decades has weaved the entire realm of human activity in the Internet networks. While the digital divide persists, over 1.3 billion users of the Internet in 2008 and its potential expansion through wireless communication networks make the Internet in the Information Age the equivalent of the electrical grid and the electrical engine in the Industrial Age. However, in spite of ubiquituous presence of the Internet in our everyday life, its understanding as a social process of communication is blurred by myths and ideologies that populate the media. And yet, scholarly research has gathered a substantial amount of evidence, worldwide, in the last decade on the actuality of its effects. This lecture will summarize the main findings of such a body of research, including some conducted by Professor Castells on the specific effects of Internet-mediated communication in the patterns of social life, in business, in education, in public services, in politics, in the media and in culture, and will draw the analytical implications of these findings. Finally, the lecture will explore the reasons for the persistence of myths, be it utopian or dystopian, about the Internet in contrast with the knowledge we now have about its social consequences.

Professor Manuel Castells is the Wallis Annenberg Chair Professor of Communication Technology and Society at the Annenberg School of Communication, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, and Research Professor of Information Society at the Open University of Catalonia, Barcelona. He is as well Distinguished Visiting Professor of Technology and Society at M.I.T., and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Internet Studies at Oxford University.

This event is free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis. For more information, email or phone 020 7955 6043.

Media queries: please contact the Press Office if you would like to reserve a press seat or have a media query about this event, email or call 020 7955 7060.

If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, please refer to Coming to an event at LSE

The next lecture in this series will be delivered by Professor Anne-Marie Slaughter on the topic of America's Edge: a global country in a global century on Tuesday 28 October.You can see a list of all the lectures in this series at Space for Thought Inaugural Lecture Series here.

Nick Davies

'Respect for Contempt?: Keeping Speech Free and Trials Fair'
Location: New Theatre, East Building, LSE Date: 23 Oct, 2008

In close partnership with the LSE Law Department and BBC College of Journalism, on the evening of the 23rd of October POLIS will hold a high profile public panel debate to discuss current issues in media law and practice regarding contempt. Maxine Mawhinney from BBC News 24 will Chair, with contributions from Joshua Rozenburg (Legal Affairs Editor, Daily Telegraph), Jonathan Kotler (US Attorney and USC Annenburg School of Journalism), Mark Haslam (partner, BCL Burton Copeland, and Nick Davies (Guardian, author of Flat Earth News).

This will be followed by an invitation-only stakeholders' policy workshop on the 24th. A second stakeholders' forum, focused on the law of privacy, celebrity and investigative journalism will be held later in the year. To find out more on any of these events, or to reserve a seat for the public panel debate on the 23rd, please email us at

Polis Media Leadership Dialogues
Location: E171, East Building, LSE Date: 14 Oct, 2008

All talks with will take place from 5 - 6.30 in  room E171, East Building, London School of Economics

14/10 Emily Bell, The Guardian

Emily has worked for the Observer and then the Guardian for the past seventeen years, setting up in 2000 and becoming Editor-in-Chief of Guardian Unlimited in 2001. In September 2006, Emily was promoted to the new position of Director of Digital Content for Guardian News and Media. Guardian Unlimited, the Guardian and Observer’s network of websites, has won multiple awards, including the prestigious Webby for Best Newspaper on the world wide web in 2005, 2006 and 2007.

Emily writes a regular column for the Guardian about media policy issues and also for Broadcast magazine. She lives in Finsbury Park with her husband and three small children.

21/10 Peter Bazalgette, TV Executive, Endemol, YouGov, National Film and Television School, ENO

Peter Bazalgette is a media consultant. From 2004 – 2007 he was Chief Creative Officer of Endemol, to whom he remains an adviser. He has personally devised several internationally successful television formats such as Ready Steady Cook and Changing Rooms. He also brought Big Brother to the UK. Peter’s book about the international business of TV formats, Billion Dollar Game, was published in 2005.

Peter is a Non-Executive Director of YouGov and a former Board member of Channel 4. He is building a portfolio of investments in digital growth companies. Peter also serves as Deputy Chairman of the National Film and Television School and on the Board of the English National Opera.

4/11 Caroline Thomson, Chief Operating Officer, BBC

Caroline Thomson is the Chief Operating Officer of the BBC. She is a member of the BBC’s Executive Board and reports to the Director-General.

Caroline has responsibility for the BBC’s Strategy, Policy, Legal, Distribution and Business Continuity functions and for all of the BBC’s property plans. As a result she is the Executive Director accountable for the BBC’s major infrastructure projects: digital switchover, the move to Salford and the development of the BBC’s two major sites in central and west London. Caroline was also responsible for leading the BBC’s bid for a successful review of its Charter and negotiating the licence fee settlement. She manages the BBC's main policies in regulatory and compliance areas and freedom of information as well as the BBC's Legal Affairs and Government Relations unit. Caroline has responsibility for strategic analysis and planning and for the distribution of BBC services and is particularly involved in the development of the BBC’s digital strategy.

Caroline began her career in broadcasting 30 years ago, joining the BBC as a journalist trainee and going on to produce a range of BBC radio and television series including BBC Radio 4’s Analysis and BBC One’s Panorama. She left the BBC to work as political assistant to Roy Jenkins, then the leader of the SDP, during the 1983 General Election campaign.

In 1984, Caroline joined Channel 4 Television as Commissioning Editor, Science, Finance & Industry and went on to start Business Daily and the Equinox series. She was subsequently appointed Head of Corporate Affairs, reporting to the Chief Executive, Michael Grade.

11/11 Samira Ahmed, Channel 4 News

Samira Ahmed is a presenter and reporter at Channel 4 News. She's reported extensively on crime, terrorism and the arts including the cases of OJ Simpson, Jill Dando and Rochelle Holness, who was murdered by a serial sex offender. She started her career as a BBC graduate trainee in 1990, going on to work as a News Correspondent, a reporter on "Today" and "Newsnight" and a presenter for BBC World and News 24. Samira was the BBC's Los Angeles Correspondent from 1996-7 and a presenter for Deutsche Welle TV in Berlin 1998. Her documentary series "Islam Unveiled" on the status of Muslim women around the world, aired on Channel 4 in 2004.

18/11 Benedict Brogan, Daily Mail

Benedict Brogan is a career political journalist, having worked at the Glasgow Herald, the Daily Telegraph, and now as Political Editor of arguably the UK’s most influential newspaper, the Daily Mail. He is well known for his widely read political blog. Ben is also a frequent political commentator on television and radio.

25/11 James Harding, Editor, The Times

James Harding was appointed Editor of The Times on Wednesday 12th December 2007.

Prior to this appointment, he was The Times Business & City Editor having taken up the position in August 2006.

Before joining The Times, James worked for the Financial Times. He was the FT’s Washington bureau chief from 2002-2004, having previously been the FT’s media editor for three years. Between 1996 and 1999, he was a correspondent in China, where he opened the Shanghai bureau for the FT – the first European newspaper to open an office in the city since the 1949 revolution. He started at the Financial Times in 1994 as a corporate reporter.

Born in London in 1969, James studied History at Trinity College, Cambridge. He then learnt Japanese and went to work as a speechwriter in the office of Koichi Kato, then Japan’s chief cabinet secretary. From 1993 to 1994, he worked in the Japan unit of the European Commission. He speaks Japanese, Chinese, French and German.

2/12 Julia Hobsbawm, : 'From 24/7 to 24 Nanosecond: What this means for the media world', PR Consultant

Julia Hobsbawm is London’s first Professor of Public Relations at the London College of Communication (University of the Arts) and a pioneer of so-called ‘integrity PR’ in the UK.

In 2005 she launched Editorial Intelligence: Bringing You the World of Comment and Opinion ( , a media analysis and networking firm which has been hailed as 'the smartest way to keep up with comment'.

Julia Hobsbawm co-authored Penguin’s Cosmopolitan Guide to Working in PR & Advertising in 1996, and edited the highly praised collection of essays on PR and Journalism entitled ‘Where the Truth Lies: Trust & Morality in PR and Journalism, published by Atlantic Books in 2007. In 2009 her book on work-life balance, entitled The See-Saw will be published.

Julia broadcasts regularly on the BBC and Sky about the media.

Each session is at 5pm at the LSE. Please email us to reserve a seat.


Fifth Anniversary Conference: Media Communication
Location: London School of Economics Date: 21 Sep, 2008

In celebration of its’ fifth anniversary year, the LSE’s Media and Communication’s Department held a conference in September about how the media and communications environment is implicated in shaping perceptions of the human condition and increasingly mediating human values, actions and social relations. The conference was focused on the following five areas: Communication and Difference; Democracy, Politics and Journalism Ethics; Globalization and Comparative Studies; Innovation, Governance and Policy; and Media and New Media Literary Studies. To read  the Fifith Anniversary Conference Report , please click here.


PSB: Ofcom Option Debate
Location: Box, London School of Economics Date: 10 Sep, 2008

To read all about the POLIS/Ofcome public service broadcasting review options debate held last week, please click here.


Media for Development
Location: Embassy of Brazil, 32 Green Street, London W1K 7AT Date: 26 Jun, 2008

The Role of the Press in Political and Social Change

The Embassy of Brazil, The London School of Economics and Political Science and The University of East London cordially invite you to the seminar on the role of media in development with specific focus on its role in Brazil.

In an era of increasing commercialization of the media worldwide and rise of cynicism in politics, can the press still have a role in strengthening democracy and can it contribute to wider political change? This seminar will compare media systems from different countries and the impact on the democratic process.


  • Carolina Matos, LSE Fellow in Political Communications. Author of Journalism and Political Democracy in Brazil (Lexington 2008)
  • Charlie Beckett, Director of POLIS, LSE. Author of SuperMedia: Saving Journalism So It Can Save The World.
  • Ashwani Sharma, Principal Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies and Programme Leader of the MA in Global Media, UEL.


Robin Mansell, Head of Media and Communications Department at the London School of Economics

The debate will be followed by a reception and the launch of Journalism and Political Democracy in Brazil by Carolina Matos.

The event is free, but booking is essential at .


The Edges of Humour: Alistair Beaton
Location: Podium Lecture Theatre, London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SB Date: 05 Jun, 2008

...the struggle to ask meaningful questions, call governments to account and explore the ‘nerve-endings’ of the culture should be integral to television today...

Writer Alistair Beaton, whose television credits include Spitting image, Drop the Dead Donkey and The Trial of Tony Blair, investigates the role of humour in drama and questions the prevailing norms of good and bad taste, and makes a plea for comedy with a social purpose.

Booking essential as space is limited. Please RSVP to:
Sandra Borley

Tel: 020 7514 6806

The seminars are hosted by Pratap Rughani, Course Director for the MA in Documentary Research for Film & Television.

Drinks reception to follow.


The Future of Public Broadcasting – the Last Debate?
Location: Shaw Library, Level 6, Old Building, LSE Date: 03 Jun, 2008

The Ofcom review of Public Service Broadcasting closes its public consultation phase on June 19th. Join us on June 3rd for a last chance to hear from Ofcom and put your views to them direct. Senior Ofcom executive Steward Purvis will be on a panel with Patrick Barwise from the London Business School.

The VLV (Voice of the Listener and Viewer) have teamed up with Polis, the media think-tank at the London School of Economics to provide this forum. Please email us at for further information and to
reserve a place as seats are limited. A reception will follow afterwards.

Relevant links:

  • Ofcom: Review of Public Service Broadcasting
  • PSB Review: Interactive Executive Summary
  • Voice of the Listener & Viewer

The Future of the Creative Industries
Location: London College of Communication Date: 02 Jun, 2008

On June 2nd the London College of Communication will hold a debate on the future of the creative industries set to be poised for rapid growth. The focus of the debate will be on the recent Government strategy document ‘Creative Britain’, to make a difference and help turn talent into jobs. The debate will be chaired by Julia Hobsbawn, visiting professor at the LCC, with a key note speech by Estelle Morris, Former Secretary of State for Education and Skills and current Minister for the Arts.

To attend please email: . RSVP is essential.

To find out more about the event please click here.


The Edges of Drama: Peter Kosminsky
Location: Podium Lecture Theatre, London College of Communication, Elephant & Castle, London SE1 6SB Date: 29 May, 2008

...the struggle to ask meaningful questions, call governments to account and explore the ‘nerve-endings’ of the culture should be integral to television today...

Peter Kosminsky is a singular voice in television drama and documentary; asking difficult questions with films including Britz (two films about being second generation Muslim in Britain today), The Government Inspector (the Dr David Kelly drama for Channel 4) and Warriors (on peace-keeping). All have won BAFTA awards. Clips from these dramas will be screened at the seminar.

Booking essential as space is limited. Please RSVP to:
Sandra Borley

Tel: 020 7514 6806

The seminars are hosted by Pratap Rughani, Course Director for the MA in Documentary Research for Film & Television.

Drinks reception to follow.

Charlie Beckett, Innovation Forum, BOX, LSE Innovation Forum at Box

The New New Journalism
Location: BOX, 5th Floor, Tower Three, London School of Economics Date: 22 May, 2008

Innovation Forum logoIn collaboration with the LSE Media Group and Innovation Forum Future Media series, POLIS will hold an event on the New new journalism, addressing the changing position of journalism in society and the new possibilities presented by technology and design with, Director of POLIS, Charlie Beckett speaking.

The event will focus on informal debate and discussion, and the participation of attendees will be critical.

As participation is restricted to 50 people, please book early if you want to take part. To book a ticket or to find out more information please click here.


Charlie Beckett, Founding Director, POLIS

Charlie Beckett is the founding director of POLIS , the thinktank for research and debate into international journalism and society, a joint initiative between the LSE Media and Communications Department and the London College of Communication. POLIS hosts public lectures and seminars for journalists and the public. It runs Fellowship and Research programmes, and publishes reports on a range of topics including new media and journalism, media and development, financial journalism, and public service broadcasting. Becket has been a programme editor at ITN’s Channel 4 News, and a film-maker and programme editor at BBC News and Current affairs. He was also a Reuters Fellow at Oxford University, where he wrote a field-work based paper on New Technology and Journalism in Uganda. Beckett’s book SuperMedia: Saving Journalism So It Can Save the World is published by Blackwell on 20 May. It describes the crisis facing mainstream journalism and argues that ‘professional’ journalism must be transformed through the integration of the public into the production and dissemination of news.


Tessa Mayes, Campaigning investigative journalist

Tessa Mayes is a campaigning investigative journalist based in London and New York. Her investigations cover subjects ranging from pressures on illegal immigrants in prostitution to problems with the UK criminal justice system. Mayes’s reports have been broadcast on or appeared in: BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Five, the Spectator, The Sunday Times, the Guardian and spiked-online. She has written and spoken on legal, political and media issues and appears on CNN as a commentator. Mayes also campaigns in favour of free speech.


Bill Thompson, Journalist, commentator and technology critic

New media pioneer Bill Thompson is a journalist, commentator and technology critic based in Cambridge. He has been working in, on and around the Internet since 1984. He currently writes a weekly column for the technology section of the BBC News site, and contributes to other publications, both on and off-line, including the Guardian, The Register and the New Statesman. He writes a monthly column for new ’net users for BBC WebWise, and a technology column for Focus magazine. Bill appears weekly on Digital Planet (formerly Go Digital) on the BBC World Service and occasionally on other BBC radio and television programmes. Bill is a visiting lecturer at City University where he teaches Online Journalism in the Journalism and Publishing department, and is an external editor for 


Julia Whitney, Head of Design & User Experience, Journalism, BBC Future Media & Technology

Julia Whitney is responsible for the design and user experience for BBC News, Sport and Weather on digital platforms. Before joining the BBC Julia was Director of Interactive Design at WGBH in Boston, a national producer of public service media for PBS. She received a BA in Mathematics from Brown University and an MFA in Graphic Design from Yale University, where she later taught graduate level interaction design.

Source: Innovation Forum


Misha Glenny, McMafia: Crime Without Frontiers
Location: Old Theatre, Houghton Street, LSE Date: 12 May, 2008

Chaired by LSE Professor. Mary Kaldor. Award–winning international journalist Misha Glenny will talk about his intrepid investigations into the world of transnational organised crime in his new book, McMafia: Crime without frontiers. It reveals how conventional policing cannot cope with globalised crime corrupting governments and how it is fuelling human rights abuses. Glenny offers an insight into the pitfalls of a globalisation where the rules dividing the legal from the illegal are often far from clear.

To reserve a seat, please email

We're also hosting private seminars and conferences on a number of different issues including credibility and the media, politics and the media in South East Europe and the future of consumer publishing in Europe. If you're interested in any of these themes please contact us.


Prelude to a Theory of Obscenity
Location: U8, Tower One, LSE Date: 03 Apr, 2008

In the light of the recent revival of the cartoons controversy in Denmark and Western Europe, this talk will be addressing issues of free speech and the public-private divide through the question of images. The aim is to philosophize the twin and perhaps irreconcilable problems of free expression and moral degradation.

Women and the media_2

Women and the Media: What Do We Want?
Location: London School of Economics Date: 04 Mar, 2008

This debate, in partnership with the Gender Institute, will ask why, despite the increased number of women in the profession, many still accuse the media of not getting the gender balance right. As women become increasingly powerful in the news media, is journalism ‘female friendly’ or are women still repressed by the press? Confirmed speakers: Rosalind Gill, Professor of Social Psychology and Cultural Theory at the Open University and Samira Ahmed, Channel 4 News presenter.

Sir Jon Tusa2

Critical State: Is Arts Journalism Undermining Culture?
Location: Main Lecture Theatre, London College of Communication Date: 03 Mar, 2008

Sir John Tusa is the Chairman of the University of the Arts of London. As Managing Director of the Barbican he revolutionised its arts programme. He had a long and distinguished career prior to that as a BBC presenter and Managing Director of the BBC World Service. He is a passionate defender of publicly-supported arts:

"Why is the demand for justification of the arts so often accompanied by the implied slur that those in the arts are engaged in a selfish activity? All the evidence points to widespread use made of the arts, the overwhelming support for their funding and the enjoyment that they bring. Why is so much overt public debate founded apparently on … wilfully false assumptions?" (The Times, April 17 th)


The McCanns and the Media
Location: - Date: 30 Jan, 2008

Panellists including PR expert Justine McGuiness, McCanns spokesperson Clarence Mitchell, media commentator Roy Greenslade, McCanns documentary maker David Mills, Dispatches Executive Producer Roger Graef and former Sun Editor Kelvin MacKenzie discussed their views on the McCanns story and the media phenomenon that surrounds it. The debate was chaired by columnist and broadcaster Steve Hewlett.

A podcast is available by clicking here.

Croydon + Murder + Blonde: Reporting Women as Victims; Women as Killers
Date: 29 Jan, 2008


Children's Media: More Harm than Good?
Date: 24 Jan, 2008

The LSE's Professor Sonia Livingstone gave a recent lecture on the impact of children's media. To read her speech.

click here. To listen to the podcast click here.

Media Freedom in China
Date: 26 Nov, 2007

Debate in partnership with the BBC Chinese Service. The event - held primarily in Chinese - was webcast via the BBC Chinese Service: for more details click here.


Future of Broadcasting
Date: 21 Nov, 2007

Head of Ofcom Ed Richards spoke on the Future of Broadcasting, in conversation with Damian Tambini.
To listen to the podcast of this event, click here.


Intelligence and the Media
Date: 31 Oct, 2007

Intelligence and the media - can we trust journalists with public security? Drawing on his experience as Head of SIS during 9/11 and the intervention in Iraq, Sir Richard Dearlove will examine the relationship between the intelligence services and the media: can we trust journalists with our safety and security?

Dearlove made headlines on the Today programme, BBC News, the Guardian, the Times, and the Mirror.

Media and Democracy in Post-Putin Russia
Date: 28 Oct, 2007

Media and democracy in post-Putin Russia - has the death of press freedom been exaggerated? A year on from Anna Politkovskaya's death, this debate asked who is to blame for the current state of the Russian media? Can press freedom be revived? The debate was chaired by Margot Light (LSE), with panellists including Edward Lucas (The Economist), OSCE Freedom of the Media representative Miklos Haraszti, Russian news agency Novosti's Pavel Andreev and Russia Today's Darya Pushkova.

The debate was highly controversial. If you missed it, click here for the podcast. To read what POLIS thought click here. Edward Lucas continued the debate on the Guardian's Comment is Free and Pavel Andreev blogged for The Telegraph. Nick Cohen also covered the event for The Observer.

Denied - this Bit of Truth
Location: 6.30 - 8.00pm Date: 22 Oct, 2007

Former LSE student Shrenik Rao launched his new documentary giving the inside story on Zimbabwe. The screening was followed by a panel debate on freedom of expression and human rights in Zimbabwe. For more information on Shrenik Rao, click here. The podcast of the event is now available here. click here to see the video

New Theatre, LSE
Location: LSE Date: 25 Sep, 2007

Can we still trust TV? The box in the dock. Speakers: Former chief executive of Channel Five David Elstein, media lawyer Mark Stephens, former controller of editorial policy at the BBC Stephen Whittle, documentary maker Paul Watson, Daily Telegraph TV Editor Neil Midgley and former BBC controller of editorial policy Phil Harding. Chair: Roger Bolton, presenter of Sunday and Feedback on Radio 4.

This event was held in partnership with the Media Society and the LSE Media Group. For more details click here.

To download the podcast of the debate click here.

The Future of Impartiality
Date: 08 Sep, 2007

The Future of Impartiality - is the public service ethos doomed? BBC critic Richard D North, The Guardian's Emily Bell, and the BBC's Economic Editor Evan Davis joined Roger Bolton to debate whether it is possible to regulate for impartiality in a post- 2012 world. For the podcast, click here.

This event is being held in partnership with the BBC College of Journalism.


The Iraq Commission: the Press and Public Response
Date: 24 Jul, 2007

The Iraq Commission: the Press and Public response. POLIS hosted the first public and press debate on the findings of the Iraq Commission, the independent cross-party body that will produce recommendations on the future of Britain's role in Iraq, run by Channel 4 and the Foreign Policy Centre. A recording will be made available via the LSE Event podcasts website.

Reporting Muslims and Extremism
Date: 05 Jul, 2007

Reporting Muslims and Extremism. The latest POLIS seminar, with leading Muslim figures, to debate how the media reports issues around public security and community cohesion. Click here for the report.

Development Governance and the Media
Date: 27 Jun, 2007

Development Governance and the Media: The role of the media in building African society. POLIS launched the report of the March conference with a panel debate and drinks reception at the LSE. Podcast available here.

Future of News Seminars
Date: 23 May, 2007

Future of News Seminars - last of four private seminars bringing together leading New Media thinkers with high-level media executives to brainstorm the future of journalism. Click here to read the report.

Press freedom
Date: 03 May, 2007

Charlie Beckett delivered a presentation on press freedom at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day debate.

Future of News Seminars
Date: 28 Mar, 2007

Future of News Seminars - Third of four private seminars bringing together leading New Media thinkers with high-level media executives to brainstorm the future of journalism. Click here to read the report.


Development Governance and the Media
Date: 22 Mar, 2007

Development Governance and the Media: The role of the media in building African society. POLIS held a high-level conference bringing together academics, policy makers, donors and media practitioners to explore the role of the media in the DfID ‘Making Governance Work for the Poor’ agenda, in light of the July 2006 white paper.

Ethnicity and the Media
Date: 31 Jan, 2007

Charlie Beckett delivered a presentation on Ethnicity and the Media at the Westminster Media Forum Seminar. Click here to read what was said.

Future of News Seminars
Date: 24 Jan, 2007

Second of four private seminars bringing together leading New Media thinkers with high-level media executives to brainstorm the future of journalism.


The Annual Hugh Cudlipp lecture
Date: 22 Jan, 2007

The Annual Hugh Cudlipp lecture at the London College of Communication - Paul Dacre, Editor in Chief, Associated Newspapers

Media and the Rwandan Genocide, by Allan Thompson

Allan Thompson
Date: 17 Jan, 2007

Allan Thompson launched his latest book on The Media and the Rwandan Genocide, the first book to explore both the international and local dimensions of the media equation. Allan Thompson's presentation was followed by a panel debate with James Putzel, LSE, Linda Melvern, author and investigative journalist, and Richard Dowden, Director of the Royal African Society.

This event was held in partnership with the Crisis States Research Centre.

A full transcript is now available.

Analysis documentary on reporting Muslims in Britain.
Date: 28 Dec, 2006

POLIS Director Charlie Beckett presented a BBC Radio 4 Analysis documentary on reporting Muslims in Britain. You can view the transcript here and listen via Radio 4's website. And we always welcome your feedback - contact us .

Future of News Seminars
Date: 29 Nov, 2006

First of four private seminars bringing together leading New Media thinkers with high-level media executives to brainstorm the future of journalism.


The News We Deserve Lecture Series
Date: 13 Nov, 2006

The News We Deserve Lecture Series - Sir Christopher Meyer, Chairman, Press Complaints Commission: Protecting the Press or the People?

For details of what was said refer to our press release.
For the POLIS Director's reaction check out the weblog.
Here is what The Guardian had to say about the lecture.
A podcast is also now available. And you can watch the video highlights too.


The News We Deserve Lecture Series
Date: 18 Oct, 2006

The News We Deserve Lecture Series - David Lammy MP, Culture Minister: Diversity in the Media

David Lammy's speech is available here. The podcast is also now available.

This event was covered by The Guardian and the Press Gazette.


Roger Silverstone Memorial Panel
Date: 16 Oct, 2006

A panel of leading academics and journalists will discussed before a public audience the ideas and implications for journalism and media studies of the posthumously published Media and Morality by the late Professor Roger Silverstone. Charlie Beckett, Professor Lilie Chouliaraki, Professor Stan Cohen, Daniel Dayan, Richard Sambrook, Robin Mansell (Chair): Morality and Media in the 21st Century

Charlie Beckett's speech is available here, and please click here for a full podcast of the event.


The News We Deserve Lecture Series - Yosri Fouda
Date: 02 Oct, 2006

The News We Deserve Lecture Series - Yosri Fouda, Chief Investigative Correspondent, Al Jazeera: Al Jazeera - A Different Voice in the World?

For Charlie Beckett's reaction, go to the Director's weblog.

Here is the transcript for Yosri Fouda's lecture. We hope that a podcast will be available shortly.

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Reporting Seminar - Killing Journalism conference
Date: 29 Sep, 2006

Reporting Seminar - Killing Journalism conference on journalist safety in conflict zones followed by a public debate on Reporting War. Sir Malcolm Rifkind MP, Adrian Wells (Sky News), David Loyn (BBC), Charlie Beckett (Chair): Killing Journalism?

For Charlie Beckett's reaction, go to the Director's weblog.

To listen to the lecture download our podcast. For the moment this is just a partial version, but we are working on it - and hope to supply full podcasts for future events.

The public debate was covered by the Press Gazette and The Guardian.

Charles Clarke

Inaugural POLIS lecture at the LSE
Date: 24 Apr, 2006

Charles Clarke gave the inaugural POLIS lecture at the LSE. See POLIS lecture - Charles Clarke to speak at LSE for details of his speech and the reaction in the press.

Prof. Stan Cohen

Humanitarian Communications in a Global media Age: Media Ethics and Humanitarianism
Date: 30 Oct, 2005

Humanitarian communication is a unique form of communication: it aims at making us care about people we have never known and will never meet. How humanitarian campaigns choose to confront us with distant others and how they justify and legitimise their calls to action about suffering is crucial. This panel discussed the broader issues of ethics, persuasion and commitment that are thrown into relief as various forms of humanitarian campaigns are striving, on the one hand, to attract sponsors and create their own market niche and, on the other, to define conceptions of justice, citizenship and responsibility– ultimately, the very nature of humanity.

Invited Participants: Prof. Paul Gilroy, LSE; Prof. Jean Seaton, University of Westminster; Prof. Stan Cohen, LSE

POLIS @ The Party Conferences 2008
Date: 22 Sep, 1996

The first debate, ‘Who Calls the Shots – Politicians or Journalists?, at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, will be debated on Monday 22nd September at 12.45pm in the Midland Hotel Derby Room.
Carole Stone is in the chair and the panellists are The Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP, Former Secretary of State and MP for Norwich South; The Rt Hon Dr Denis Macshane MP, MP for Rotherham; Andrew Gilligan, Columnist and Reporter, The Evening Standard; and John Lloyd, Contributing Editor, The Financial Times and Director of Journalism, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Oxford University.

The second debate, ‘Leadership - Has Style Overtaken Substance?', will take place in Birmingham at the Conservative Party Conference at 12.45pm on Monday 29th September at the Copthorne Hotel Jubilee Suite.
The panel consists of Jeremy Hunt MP, MP for South West Surrey and Shadow Culture Secretary; Benedict Brogan, Political Editor, The Daily Mail; Priti Patel, Director, Weber Shandwick Communications and Conservative Candidate for Witham, and Andrew Gilligan of The Evening Standard.

These are first-come first-served and further details can be found in the Fringe Handbooks or by contacting