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About Des Freedman

Des Freedman (@lazebnicis Professor of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of ‘The Contradictions of Media Power’ (2014) and co-author (with James Curran and Natalie Fenton) of ‘Misunderstanding the Internet’ (2nd edition, 2016).

Articles by Des Freedman

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

In defence of (some) conspiracy theory

Of course powerful people organise together. Dismissing everyone who challenges them as "conspiracy theorists" is dangerous

'Fake news’ and Facebook: symptoms not causes of democratic decline

Westminster's Fake News Inquiry has some good recommendations, but provides too many scapegoats for our failing politics.

Big media and big money in 2017 - from Disney/Murdoch to Net Neutrality

This week’s events have shown that the new digital media landscape is every bit as monopolistic as the old one. And what’s Murdoch up to now?

Media and twenty first century fake democracy

The ‘real’ fake news is not an exception to but the logical result of a market economy that privileges short-term rewards and commercial impact.

What Corbyn’s debate victory tells us about bias in the British media

What are the lessons to be learned from Corbyn’s performance on Monday night?

Trump-style universities headed for the UK

Britain's Higher Education Bill paves the way for dodgy universities in the UK.

Media attacks on Corbyn show he’s a threat, not an irrelevance

Recent Panorama and Dispatches episodes confirm: the media has never been so biased against a Labour leader.

Jeremy Corbyn, impartiality and media misrepresentation

Another academic study has found systemic bias against Jeremy Corbyn in the British media.

If dissensus is the new normal in Britain, we need a new media

An inquiry into the future of public service broadcasting in Britain launched its report days after the Brexit vote. It holds important clues to how we deal with the current breakdown of consensus.

The press didn’t divide us – we were already divided…

Britain's divisions weren't invented by the media.

New series: Anti-Austerity and Media Activism

Today we launch a new series, the latest collaboration between Goldsmiths and openDemocracyUK, exploring the role of media in both supporting austerity and empowering its opponents.

Decoding the BBC White Paper

Apocalyptic rumours followed by a row-back and relief. It's an age-old strategy, but what's the reality behind the government's BBC proposals?

This isn’t public policy: the prelude to the BBC White Paper

Debate about the BBC’s Charter Review has been dominated by leaks and rumours that ultimately play into the hands of commercial lobbyists. Where are the voices of licence-fee payers? 

Be the media, know the media, change the media

We need to think bigger if we are to achieve the sort of media that the public want and need.

The growing gap between private and public in European broadcasting

We’re told the BBC is ‘too big’. Yet Britain is part of a Europe-wide trend where funding for public service is shrinking, while commercial revenue grows.

A family that plays together stays together: a happy holiday season for the UK’s political-media elite

Murdoch, Cameron, Osborne, Brooks - all the old gang met up for a heartwarming Christmas get together.

Paris and Beirut: journalism’s selective compassion

Is it editors, journalists or audiences to blame?

Corbyn can afford to sidestep the media but not their power

Corbyn needs a strategy to take on the media.

A guided tour through our series on 'liberalism in neoliberal times'

We started the series with the proposition that liberalism is far too important to be left to the ‘liberals'. 38 articles later, what did we find?

Was it ‘the Sun wot won it’? Lessons from the 1992 and 2015 elections

Labour abandoned its pledge to tackle media concentration after its 1992 defeat. It should resist the urge to do so now.

Can we afford to ignore what Katie Hopkins says about migrants drowning in the Med?

The Sun columnist's violent words about the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean are indefensible. They should be condemned as hate speech. 

Break big media monopolies and help new journalism projects—poll

Amid saturation media coverage of the coming UK general election, corporate control of big news organisations goes unquestioned. Yet if the public could vote on that, they'd change it.

The wider significance of Oborne’s resignation

Oborne's resigation raises multiple issues concerning journalistic integrity at a time when public trust in institutions is virtually non-existent. Will any of the big parties pledge serious media reform in their manifestos?

Charlie Hebdo tragedy: free speech and its broader contexts

This was a specific attack designed to sow division. We musn't let it.

Five reasons why Ed Miliband’s flirtation with the Sun was a disaster

Ed Miliband's decision to pose with the Sun was a strategic blunder.

Media ownership: the elephant in the room

The recent tabloid attacks on foodbanks shows once again why urgent reform of the media is so urgent.

Lords report does little to weaken media barons

Despite some positive noises the Lords Communications Committee's recent report does not go nearly far enough to address Britain's dysfunctional media.

Why the universities strikes are about more than just a ‘measly’ pay offer

It's not just the money, it's the direction our marketised universities are taking - enormous rewards at the top combined with a race to the bottom approach for all other staff, and a system of fees that is exacerbating inequality. It's wrong and we oppose it.

The press can't decide if they're for press freedom or against it

The same press attacking the Guardian for 'treason' are still raging against the press reform charter for encroaching on "press freedom". The hypocrisy aside, the British press should accept the will of parliament, the public and the press' victims.

A tale of two British summers: phone hacking and a royal baby

The royal birth is set to be the face of the 2013 summer, but to what extent does this reveal how little the media has changed since the phone hacking scandal in 2011? What happened to media reform?

Media corporations: too big to fail?

As with the banking system, Britain needs to shake up the way its media works as a whole: nothing less can tackle the unaccountable power of the industry giants.

Murdoch and the UK culture secretary: we shouldn't be surprised, we should be angry

James Murdoch's appearance before the Leveson Inquiry has revealed the complicity between the government and the media empire in pushing for the takeover of satellite broadcaster BSkyB. Independence was thrown to the wind in the gleeful rush towards de-regulation.

If the Sun hates attacks on press freedom, how must it despise itself!

The highest-selling daily paper in the UK is under arrest - or at least mounting numbers of its journalists and contacts are. But after colluding for decades in the assault on press freedom and independence, the Sun is in no position to play the victim.

Still hacked off with the media? Come join the campaign for UK media reform

The hacking scandal exposed corruption, illegality and immorality at the heart of the British media. A new committee, formed to push for wide-ranging media reform in the wake of the scandal, holds its first public meeting this week.
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