Des Freedman - Far right populism: a failure of media policy? - 29/03/2018

About the lecture

Far right populist politicians and movements have secured high levels of visibility in Europe and the US thanks to often compliant media outlets and unregulated digital platforms. Today, the pursuit of media coverage and the communication of rage is no longer incidental but essential to the growth of reactionary populisms. Yet, while prominent liberal media outlets are ‘aghast’ at events such as the election of Donald Trump, the Brexit vote and the rise of parties like the AfD in Germany, little attention has been paid to the structural conditions and policy frameworks that have facilitated the circulation of clickbait and misinformation, together with the incessant coverage of their leaders, that have been exploited by far right movements. This presentation focuses on the ‘policy failures’ that have nurtured highly skewed media environments and concludes by calling for a new policy paradigm based around redistribution that aims that to reconstruct media systems in order to undermine the appeal of populist forces on the far right.

About the speaker

Prof. Des Freedman (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK) is interested in the relationship between media and power together with the political and economic contexts of media policymaking, regulation and reform. He was a founding member and recent chair of the Media Reform Coalition and was project lead for the Inquiry into the Future of Public Service Television chaired by Lord Puttnam. He is a former editor of the Sage journal 'Global Media and Communication' and has edited several strands for openDemocracy including 'Anti-austerity and media activism' (with Natalie Fenton and Gholam Khiabany), 'Liberalism in neo-liberal times' (with Gholam Khiabany, Kate Nash and Julian Petley) and 'Capitalism and universities' (with Michael Bailey). His latest books include Misunderstanding the Internet (2nd edition, Routledge 2016, with James Curran and Natalie Fenton) and The Contradictions of Media Power (Bloomsbury 2014).


Thursday 29 March 2018, 13 - 15 'o clock, aula M.005

Participation is free, but online registration is mandatory.