New research: how can social media help journalists connect to black and minority communities? (guest post)

The UK has never been more diverse than today, with all the positives and problems that go with having lots of different cultures and communities. But is that range of interests reflected in mainstream media? Is it possible that social media could help connect journalists with the full variety of audiences out there? At Polis we’ve got a new Journalistfonden […]

February 27th, 2013|Journalism, Research|1 Comment|

It was and it was not: Identity and the power of storytelling for Muslims (Guest blog)

Can a minority community use storytelling to create a new identity for itself instead of having its identity decided by majority culture? Polis Intern Paula Brito reports on a talk by US playwright and author Wajahat Ali and actor Riz Ahmed.  Who is being represented and by whom?  “We have our story told to us through others” says Wajahat Ali, […]

January 25th, 2013|Media|1 Comment|

Religion and the new News: faith and the digital media

I am interested in how institutions or civil society organisations can use new media technologies and practices to enhance their communications. In that sense I don’t think faith groups are different to other social bodies. So when I gave a speech to a conference at Cumberland Lodge on Religion and the News, I sought to set faith groups in the […]


The Jihadist style journey from the desert to Moss Bros (guest blog)

Terrorists love the Internet. Al Qeda is one of the Web’s most successful political organisations. So it is important that we pay attention to what the extremists say online. A research fellow working with Polis was watching as an Al Qeda operative made threats that sought to influence last week’s German election. What is fascinating is how they adopted their […]

September 29th, 2009|Research|0 Comments|

Unseen Gaza: did the media ban work?

Channel 4′s excellent documentary on the Israeli media blockade of Gaza was on so late last night that it was probably unseen by many people. That’s a shame because Jon Snow’s Dispatches Special was an outstanding piece of media analysis.

January 23rd, 2009|Journalism|2 Comments|

The Bin Ladens: meet the family

It is now one of the most notorious names in recent history, but the Bin Ladens are interesting for more than producing Osama, America’s No 1 Enemy. They also represent the tensions within modern Islam and especially the Saudi version of it. Pulitizer prize-winner Steve Coll has now written the most comprehensive and stimulating history of the Bin Laden clan […]


Bash the Bish: Sharia Law and Rowan Williams

Why has Archbishop Rowan Williams chosen to open up a public debate on Sharia law? The argument has provoked the usual heated comments that arise whenever Islam hits the headlines, so he must have had a good reason to stir things up.

February 8th, 2008|Journalism|1 Comment|

Taking on the telly: Newsnight and Policy Exchange

Last night’s clash between Newsnight‘s Jeremy Paxman and Dean Godson, the boss of think-tank Policy Exchange was a better contest than Ricky Hatton against Merryweather. But while the TV sparks that flew were bright, they also illuminated some darker corners of the media world we now inhabit.

December 13th, 2007|Journalism|3 Comments|

Why did the police take C4 to Ofcom?

The British broadcasting regulator Ofcom has rejected a complaint by West Midlands Police against Channel 4′s Undercover Mosque  documentary. 

November 19th, 2007|Journalism, Research|3 Comments|

"War On Terror"? Mind your language

The speech by Jonathan Evans, the new boss of MI5, attracted attention mainly for its warning about the increase in the number of Britons it has identified as people who “pose a direct threat to national security and public safety because of their support for international terrorism”. Apparently, many of those targetted are teenagers. I was interested to see what […]

November 6th, 2007|Research|1 Comment|