The medium, says McLuhan, is the message, but when the media are in a state of constant evolution, are we in danger of losing sight of that message? The 2016 referendum, and the general election of 2017, saw what appeared to be a seismic shift in the consumption and distribution of political discussion; the mainstream news media were largely ignored, and likes and shares emerged as the new arbiters of truth.
What, then, is the future for the sharing of knowledge via the media? When the journalistic consensus moves increasingly into the hands of the public, how can we ensure that the facts get through? Is it a matter of seizing control of the narrative, of simply finding a way to shout louder than the special interest groups and echo chambers dominating the popular discourse? Is there a war to be fought against un-checked facts and deliberate deception, and if so, where are the battle lines to be drawn, and what are the weapons available?
Speakers and Chair:
Chaired by David Adam, Author and Editor, Nature
Ronan Harris, MD of Google UK and Ireland, Google
Shelina Janmohamed, Author, commentator and journalist
David Olusoga, Historian, broadcaster and BAFTA award-winning presenter and filmmaker
Eleanor Mills, Editorial Director, The Sunday Times and Editor, Sunday Times Magazine