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Black-E Theatre

Occupy Fleet Street: How to Democratise the British Media

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Our media is in crisis and transition. There is a crisis of funding, working conditions, quality, trust and accountability in British journalism. Google and Facebook have rapidly acquired extraordinary power over what we see and read online. The BBC’s culture and output have been transformed by four decades of neoliberal hegemony. Yet Labour has never before had a comprehensive socialist programme of media reform. Jeremy Corbyn’s recent lecture offers the first glimpse of one. How would it work in practice? Where can we go further? How can we win over media workers to our proposals? This panel offers some answers.

Press coverage
Write-ups and recordings

Occupy Fleet Street by Wendy Liu. A write-up of the session + Wendy's opening remarks. (2018-11-23)
The Guardian
'Propaganda of privilege': how Labour went to war with the media by Jim Waterson and Peter Walker. (2018-09-27)
The World Transformed
Abridged transcript by Angela Phillips. (2018-10-14)
Partial session recording by The World Transformed. The first two speakers were not recorded due to logistical problems. (2018-09-23)


Tom Mills
Aston University

Lecturer at Aston University, the author of ‘The BBC: Myth of a Public Service’ and the co-presenter of the Media Democracy podcast. His academic work is centrally concerned with the ideas and practices of powerful groups and actors, and the social networks that influence policy making

Laura Basu

Author of Media Amnesia and co-editor of The Media & Austerity, both out earlier this year. She is interested in media democracy as well as the wider question of how to create more democratic societies.

Leo Watkins
Media Reform Coalition

Masters student at Queen Mary, University of London, member of the Media Reform Coalition co-ordinating committee, and former media analyst. He was involved in the successful campaign to prevent Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox acquiring control of Sky News, and is currently developing a proposal for new publicly funded and democratically controlled news media.

Dan Hind

Independent publisher and republican whose work focuses on the relationship between states and the communications regimes in which they are embedded. Dan is a fellow at the Democracy Collaborative, which recently published his paper “The Constitutional Turn: Liberty and the Co-operative State”. He also co-presents the Media Democracy podcast with Tom Mills.

Angela Phillips

Professor of Journalism at Goldsmiths, University of London and the co-author of Misunderstanding News Audiences, Seven Myths of the Social Media Era (2018) which considers the impact of news personalisation on media consumption and democracy.

Wendy Liu
Writer // New Socialist

Economics co-editor at New Socialist