I am the director of POLIS, a think-tank set up at the London School of Economics largely thanks to the vision of the Professor of Media and Communications at the LSE, Roger Silverstone.
Last weekend Roger died suddenly while in hospital for surgery. I leave it to the obituaries in the press to outline just how important his career was for journalism studies, and just how admired and loved he was as a family man, a colleague and a friend.
I knew Roger for six months and he changed the direction of my life. With great intellectual clarity and moral passion he persuaded me that I should come and lead POLIS and abandon a thriving and lengthy career at the heart of one of Britain’s best newsrooms at Channel 4 News.
Now Roger is gone and I am left with the potential that is POLIS. Our programme of lectures and seminars starting this autumn is looking very exciting. We have some really fascinating ideas for research, teaching and special events. I’m convinced that POLIS can make a difference, not just in the study of journalism but in helping to sustain the best that journalism can offer society.
No-one can replace Roger, but I hope that POLIS becomes a living testament to his values and his vibrant sense of the possibilities of intellectual and journalistic endeavour.