Making News and Shaping Views; Riding the Rollercoaster of the Digital Revolution
Disseminating news used to be managed exclusively by media hierarchies. The elites had control of the organisations and crucially the means of distribution. Readers and viewers were essentially a passive audience. But, now the digital revolution has changed all of that. Producing and circulating information is available to everyone and this has led to enormous possibilities and enabled millions to report and make news. It has also led to huge problems – not least how to regulate hostile and offensive material. Meanwhile the ubiquitous platforms who have reaped the rewards are reluctant to engage with the responsibilities historically associated with publishers and also threaten to undermine forever the economic model of mainstream media. The brave new digital world has brought fantastic opportunities but unforeseen dangers – and the question remains how should we as individuals and societies manage these challenges.
Professor Suzanne Franks graduated in PPE from Oxford and was Kennedy Scholar in Harvard John F Kennedy School of Government. She has written widely and her books include Reporting Disasters: Famine, Aid, Politics and the Media; Having None of It: Women, Men and the Future of Work; and Women and Journalism. She currently leads high profile research at City, the oldest and largest Journalism School in the UK.