Hosted by Dr. Patrick Murphy, this talk by Dr. Des Freedman will argue that the idea of a media working in the interests of democracy has long been undermined by forces of concentration, collusion and capture. We now face a new democratic swindle in which elite interests are using the crisis posed by the decline in centrist politics to advance the need for consensual, rational, truth-telling media. Yet these are precisely the same structures that failed in their democratic duties to hold racism, Donald Trump and inequality to account. The paper argues that the task today is not to return the media to the pre- Trump era but to reimagine democracy as a set of practices in which truth-telling and communicative capacity emerge from the bottom up and not through paternalistic diktat or market exchange.
Des Freedman is professor of media and communications at Goldsmiths, University of
London and the author of titles including “The Contradictions of Media Power,” “The
Politics of Media Policy” and “Misunderstanding the Internet” (with James Curran
and Natalie Fenton). He was a founding member and former chair of the Media Reform
Coalition and project lead for the 2016 Inquiry into the Future of Public Service Television
chaired by Lord Puttnam.