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Charlie Beckett

September 14th, 2010

Polis Media Dialogues: What Is Media For? (New Talks Series)

1 comment

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Charlie Beckett

September 14th, 2010

Polis Media Dialogues: What Is Media For? (New Talks Series)

1 comment

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

This is the schedule for our series of free lectures this autumn: it features a former punk, a celebrity editor, international correspondents, pollsters, politicians, Internet revolutionaries and top media executives.

The theme this year is What Is Media For? Why do we make it and why do we use it?

The series kicks off on October 5th with Aleks Krotoski. Each lecturer will have someone replying, usually from the LSE’s Media and Communications Department and then the audience is encouraged to join in the debate.

They all take place in the New Theatre, Houghton Street, LSE on Tuesdays at 5pm.  If you want to attend please let us know via

What Is Media For?

October 5th – ‘Media is for Networking’.

Chair: Dr Damian Tambini

Speaker: Dr Aleks Krotoski, BBC Virtual Revolution

Respondent: Charlie Beckett

Dr Krotoski will be arguing that the current digital revolution brings with it both dark threats as well as huge opportunities. An academic and journalist, Dr Krotoski specialises in technology and interactivity. She presented the BBC 2 series, Virtual Revolution, which investigated the impact that the Internet has on politics, power, business and its users, and even, how we think.

She also writes for The Guardian and Observer newspapers and hosts their technology podcast, Tech Weekly. Her work has also been featured in BBC Technology, The Telegraph, New Statesman and MIT Technology Journal.

October 12th – ‘Media is for Peace, Love and Understanding’.

Chair: Dr Damian Tambini

Speakers: Amit Segal, Channel 2 News and

Faisal J Abbas

As a correspondent with Israel’s Channel 2 News, Amit Segal has reported on the Knesset and Israeli politics for almost a decade. His investigative reporting has focused on corruption and unethical behaviour in the Israeli political sphere. At Polis, Amit will talk of how his own identity and his journalistic values influence his coverage of issues of conflict and corruption in the Middle East. Amit has a strong belief in the value of the freedom of the press and impartiality in journalism and last year was awarded a Chevening Scholarship to study for a MSc in Global Media and Political Science at UCL.

Faisal J. Abbas is an award winning journalist, blogger and social commentator. He has been writing for the Huffington Post since 2008 and has worked previously as the media editor for the London based pan-Arab daily, Asharq Al Awsat, a reporter for Al Hayat newspaper and Future Television of Lebanon. He holds a Masters in Marketing Communications (2009) from the University of Westminster.

October 19th – ‘Media is for the Culture Industry’.

Chair: Dr Damian Tambini

Speaker: Feargal Sharkey, UK Music

Respondent: Dr Bart Cammaerts

Feargal Sharkey found fame as lead vocalist of legendary pop punk band, The Undertones, who rose to stardom with their hit first single ‘Teenage Kicks’ in 1978. After a decade of world tours and hit albums he embarked on an exciting solo career, and after enjoying the world-wide success of his breakout single, ‘A Good Heart’, the singer turned his back on the spotlight.

In his role as chief executive of UK Music Feargal works to represent the collective interests of the UK’s commercial music industry, from artists, musicians, songwriters and composers, to major and independent record labels, managers, music publishers, studio producers and collecting societies.  He will discuss the challenges facing the music industry today, and in particular, how problems of file sharing and intellectual property look from the perspective of the artist.

October 26th – ‘Media is for Mobility’.

Chair: Charlie Beckett

Speaker: Dr Mike Short, O2 Europe

Respondent: Dr Damian Tambini

Dr Mike Short is Vice President of Research and Development of Telefonica O2 Europe where he is directing the next phase of innovative mobile development. Dr Short will talk about current trends in mobile development, content interactivity and the atlas of adoption – using applications, anywhere, anytime, when he comes to Polis in October.

An early director of Cellnet, which is now O2 UK, in 1989, Dr Short was responsible for negotiating the idea of roaming, allowing customers to use their mobile phones when overseas. He also established Cellnet’s GSM service and now puts his energies into developing 3G technology and research into public sector use of mobile technology.

November 2nd – ‘Media is for Free Speech’.

Chair: Dr Damian Tambini

Speaker: Susan Morgan, Global Network Initiative

Respondent: Alison Powell

Susan Morgan works to protect and advance freedom of expression and privacy in information and communications technologies, in her role as Executive Director of Global Network Initiative. She will introduce, to Polis, the new global multi-stakeholder group of companies, civil society organisations, investors and academics that work together to protect and maximise free expression and privacy in the ICT sector.

Global Network Initiative provides guidance to the ICT industry on how to respect user rights, including when faced with government demands for censorship and disclosure of users’ personal information.

Susan previously worked in corporate responsibility for British Telecom (BT). In addition, she has worked in the not-for-profit sector, with The Work Foundation, a UK-based organisation which campaigns to improve the working world.

November 9th – ‘It’s for shrinking the world’.

Chair: Charlie Beckett

Speaker: Elizabeth Ford, The Guardian

Elizabeth Ford is the editor of the Guardian’s Katine website, a unique three-year project which reports on development in the Ugandan village of Katine in an attempt to utilise new media platforms to bring African issues to a global, online audience.

Elizabeth will tell Polis how through the Katine website, readers follow the progress of efforts in education, health, water, governance and the livelihood of the people and discover how £2.5 million in funding (donated by Guardian and Observer readers and Barclays bank) is being spent, all at the click of a mouse.

Aiming to reach readers on interactive platforms, the website also features historical and political commentary, a number of films and a virtual tour of Katine as development continues.

November 16th – ‘Media is for Campaigning’.

Chair: Charlie Beckett

Speakers:  Stella Creasy, Labour MP

Deborah Mattinson, Former Labour Pollster and Author.

Respondent: Nick Anstead

London School of Economics alumnus and Labour MP for Walthamstow, Stella Creasy and former Labour pollster and now, author, Deborah Mattinson, will talk to Polis about how politicians should use communications to campaign, and the potential to enhance democracy through media, on November 16th.

Dr Creasy has previously been involved with the Labour party on a number of levels; as branch secretary in Walthamstow, as a local councillor and as a speech writer and researcher to three Labour ministers.

Deborah Mattinson was a Labour pollster under Gordon Brown before she turned to writing and recently published ‘Talking to a brick wall’, in which she details the rise and fall of New Labour.

November 23rd – ‘Media is for celebrating celebrity’.

Chair: Charlie Beckett

Speaker: Sam Delaney, Heat Magazine

Respondent: Shaku Banaji

Is celebrity a commercial ghetto or is there real value in turning real life into a soap opera? Heat magazine editor, Sam Delaney, will deliver his verdict in the concluding Polis Dialogue on November 23rd.

Sam’s career has spanned stints as a news reporter for ITN, a documentary maker and presenter for BBC Three and perhaps, most surprisingly, a period as a political researcher for Labour’s Harriet Harman. In addition to being the editor at Heat magazine, Sam has also recently published his second book, ‘Night of the Living Dad’, a memoir about fatherhood and his own childhood.

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Charlie Beckett

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