In this interview, Des Freedman discusses his work as an activist in the Media Reform movement, as a critic of media policy, and as a theorist of media power. Freedman explains his approach to media power as a material and relational property, distinguishing it from liberal pluralist, cultural studies and political-economic approaches. Discussing media power in the context of the recent BBC charter review process and the earlier Leveson Inquiry into the ethics of the British press, Freedman clarifies his proposal for a research focus on ‘non-decisionmaking’ in the policy field. Ultimately, he explains how guiding principles, programmes of action, and an understanding of the contradictory nature of media power are all necessary to bring about revolutionary reform.
Available open access here: http://ojs.meccsa.org.uk/index.php/netknow/article/view/461
This brief rapid response article considers the French media framing of the Charlie Hebdo attack in terms of ‘Republican values’ such as free speech, and critiques the post-political and moralistic reduction of debate to ‘right and wrong’ arguments, as well as the fetishisation of the right to offend and the depoliticisation of the right to be offended.
Published in Sociological Research Online (20.3 August 2015): http://www.socresonline.org.uk/20/3/3.html
N.B. This article is available free of charge to private individuals using a commercial IP address. However, for institutions such as universities, an annual subscription to the journal is required to gain access. An Open Access version will also be available on this site after an embargo of one year.
The right to offend, which the French secular republic with its long tradition of anti-clericalist satire holds particularly dear, is in everyday conflict with the values of the republic’s second largest religion.
This essay was published on the openDemocracy site on 21
Debates over what limits to free speech are acceptable are entirely valid – whether or not we approve of Charlie Hebdo images, or their mass republication.
This essay was published on the openDemocracy site on
Here’s my review of Andrew Pettegree’s The Invention of News: How the World Came to Know about Itself, published in Media History in September 2014.