Do we get the media we deserve or the media we are given? This was one of the topics discussed by Professor Natalie Fenton and Professor Des Freedman from Goldsmith’s college, part of the University of London.
Des Freedman is interested in the relationship between media and power, as these are understood in the context of political and economic media policymaking, regulation and media reform. Des is one of the founders of the Media Reform Coalition, and was the project lead for the inquiry into the Future of Public Service Television, which was chaired by Lord Puttnam.
Natalie Fenton’s research is concerned with the role the media plays in the formation of identities and democracies, with a focus on why and how people seek to change the world for socially progressive ends. Natalie’s starting point recognises that we live in a deeply unequal society, which is driven by profit and competition on a global scale. As a result, we have to understand what it means to live in a media dominated world, especially one with so many different ideas and identities in circulation at any one time.
They are the joint authors of the recently published Media Manifesto, along with Justin Schlosberg and Lina Dencik, in which they argue that the media system in the UK are in need of extensive reform to make them a viable and accountable part of our civic infrastructure once more. So, if the pandemic is an acceleration of change, or indeed a revolution in the way that we work, live and communicate, what’s on the top of your list of priorities for changing our media?