Events from the Centre in 2014.


Liberalism in Neo-Liberal Times

Des FreedmanGholam KhiabanyKate Nash and Julian Petley are curating strands in the 'Liberalism in Neo-Liberal Times' organised through the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy, and appearing in the webjournal Open Democracy.


Streets to Screens: Mediating Conflict Through Digital Networks

7th November 2014, 09:30 - 17:30, Professor Stuart Hall Building, LG01, Goldsmiths, University of London

From Gaza to Ukraine, Afghanistan to Syria, social media is being used by people within conflict zones to organise, document and communicate their lives and struggles from the streets to our screens. As these pieces of content travel through time and space, they come into contact with various actors – from activists, to NGOs, news agencies, and global audiences – who attempt to claim purchase on the narrative of those events as they unfold. Over the course of the last decade, we have seen the emergence of forms of reportage that seek to navigate the diverse and fractured media ecology. These mediations are said to challenge the ways in which the mainstream media cover conflicts and global publics are invited to bear witness.
This one-day symposium will explore a number of key issues in mediating conflicts today, and will address some of the following questions: 

  • What role do networked eyewitnesses, activists and citizen journalists play in conflict communication today?
  • What are the challenges faced by those mediating conflict online?
  • In what ways are social media content produced within the zone of conflict shaping the coverage produced by news organisations?
  • What are the implications of these forms of reportage for eyewitnesses, activists, citizen journalists, perpetrators, NGOs, journalists, news media, audiences and global publics? 

A selection of the best papers will be published in a special issue of the journal Information, Communication and Society

Speakers Include:

  • Stuart Allan, Cardiff University
  • Malachy Browne, Storyful
  • Lilie Chouliaraki, LSE
  • Andrew Hoskins, University of Glasgow
  • Ben O'Loughlin, Royal Holloway
  • Sam Gregory, WITNESS
  • Liam Stack, New York Times
  • Claire Wardle, UNHCR

And many more! 

Tickets are FREE but registration is required. For more information please visit:

For more information, please contact Holly Steel at


Misrepresenting Faith: Media Crises, Controversies and Conspiracies

4th November 2014, 10:00 - 17:00, Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre, Goldsmiths, University of London

From #creepingsharia Twitter storms to headlines about women Bishops, questions of faith, religion and belief are a constant feature of the contemporary media landscape. What these media messages say, how they circulate, and what is done with them by whom, are critical issues. How do media and political elites engage with faith and identity? What messages and misrepresentations result? And what are the challenges and opportunities at a time when the under 30s are more likely to encounter news on Facebook than in a newspaper? 

Bringing together academics from media and communications, sociology, anthropology and religious studies, practitioners and campaigners we will explore the role of media in a plethora of crises, controversies and conspiracies concerning faith in Britain today and discuss practical steps towards building a positive media environment around identities of religion and belief.

Book your place here.


Q&A on the ABC of Media Power with John Pilger and Des Freedman to launch 'The Contradictions of Media Power'

18th November 2014, 18:00 - 20:00, Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre, Goldsmiths, University of London

Media power is a crucial, although often taken for granted, concept. We assume, for example, that the media are 'powerful'; if they were not, why would there be so many controversies over the regulation, control and impact of communicative institutions and processes? Further, we assume that this 'power' is somehow problematic; audiences are often treated as highly susceptible to media influence and too much 'power' in the hands of one organization or individual is seen as risky and potentially dangerous. These concerns have been at the heart of recent controversies involving the relationships between media moguls and political elites, the consequences of phone hacking in the UK, and the emerging influence of social media as vital gatekeepers. 

Yet it is still not clear what we mean by media power or how effective it is. 'The Contradictions of Media Power' evaluates contrasting definitions of media power and looks at the key sites in which power is negotiated, concentrated and resisted - politically, technologically and economically. 

Combining an evaluation of both previous literature and new research, the book seeks to establish an understanding of media power which does justice to the complexities and contradictions of the contemporary social world. 

Join us to celebrate the launch of Des Freedman's 'The Contradictions of Media Power', with a Q&A with John Pilger on the ABC of Media Power. 

John Pilger is an award-winning broadcaster and journalist whose most recent film, Utopia, was screened nationally in cinemas and shown on ITV in 2013. 

Des Freedman is Professor of Media and Communications in the Dept of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths and chair of the Media Reform Coalition. 

The event is organised by the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy in association with theMedia Reform Coalition

Book your place here.


'The Act of Killing' and Q&A with Joram ten Brink

4th December 2014, 17:00 - 20:00, Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre, Goldsmiths, University of London

In this award winning film we see the mass killing in Indonesia during the height of anti-communism in the 1960s through the eyes of some of the people who were doing the killing – even including their own re-enactment of what they had done. The film is an exploration of what human rights atrocities meant to those who carried them out, and at the same time a meditation on representations of violence in the cinema.


Build transnational solidarity to end rape!

‌Thursday February 13th 5-7pm
Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre

Kavita Krishnan, Secretary of the All-India Progressive Women’s Association
Kalpana Wilson, Gender Institute, LSE

Everyone welcome


Get hundreds of thousands of people to sign a petition!

Thursday May 15th 5-7
Ben Pimlott Lecture Theatre

Becky Jarvis from 38 degrees (e-petition organisation)
Discussant: Anastasia Kavada, University of Westminster

Everyone welcome – please just come along.  There will be a reception after each event at which we can continue our discussions.


Radicalism & Reform in Latin America

Monday 12 May
RHB Cinema, Goldsmiths (Richard Hoggart Building)


The 'pink tise' in Latin America is an opportunity to learn about the relationship between radicalism and reform - which tends to be neglected in debates over anarchism on the one hand, and the technocratic governance of globalisation on the other.   ‌

This conference is being ran by the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy

Everyone welcome

Programme of Events:

In recent years movements like Occupy have caught the radical imagination in Europe and the US – movements that resist neo-liberalism from outside the state, both politically and socio-economically.  A much more minor theme in the study of politics (developed especially in relation to global governance), is ‘mainstreaming’ (gender, human rights, humanitarianism), its advantages and pitfalls.  What is missing is debate on the relationship between radical, grassroots mobilisations and the possibilities of transforming access to and control over state resources of force and legitimacy. 

In this conference we focus on Latin America where the ‘pink tide’ offers many opportunities to learn about the relationship between radicalism and reform.  It is surely a mixed picture.  The way in which radical movements can be co-opted once they begin to work with state officials and politicians is a possibility that has been realised in at least some cases (the Workers’ Party in Brazil for example).  But in principle radical movements may also alter how ‘the centre’ is conceived and positioned (the Chilean students’ movement may be unfolding in this way). Social movements and their relationships to parties, NGOs and the state; the role of different forms of media in facilitating mobilisations, in acting as a ‘fourth estate’ and in changing ‘common sense’; reform of government policy; and reform of state-society relations through constitution-making and the judiciary - all these aspects of radicalism and reform will be on the agenda for this conference.  

11.00-12.15pm Radicalism, reform, and the ‘pink tide’
Joe Foweraker, Oxford – Mobilization and Constitutional Reform in Latin America. Silvio Waisbord, George Washington University – National politics and media policies in Latin America: Challenges to the “global turn” in media studies  

12.15-1.15pm Media concentration and protest
Carla Moscoso – The Chilean student movement: between the criminalisation of the media and the institutionalisation of a new 'common sense’ Alvaro Sanchez, Charge d’Affaires, Embassy of Venezuela – Telesur: an Alternative to Media Concentration and the Project to Integrate Latin America

1.15-2.15 Lunch

2.15-3.30 Movements and rights

Roberto Gargarella, Buenos Aires - Freedom of Expression and Social Protest

Discussant: Par Engstrom, UCL
Oscar Guardiola-Ribera, Birkbeck - Amerindian Perspectivism and Post-human Rights: From Philosophy to a Praxis of Protest.

3.30-4.00pm coffee 

4.00-5.00pm Movements and parties
Hilary Wainwright, Red Pepper and Sue Brandford - Comparing the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) and the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) Juan Pablo Ferrero, Bath - Social protest and the reconfiguration of political discourse

5.00-6.00 Roundtable


The Muslims Are Coming!: Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror

Wednesday 12 March, 5pm
NAB 302 (new academic building)

Join Arun Kundnani as he presents his groundbreaking new critique of the War on Terror and resulting discriminatory surveillance.

In this talk, New York-based scholar Arun Kundnani introduces his new book The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, Extremism, and the Domestic War on Terror, publishing in March. Based on several years of research and reportage from Texas and New York to Yorkshire, it is the first comprehensive critique of counter-radicalization strategies.

Hosted by the Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy.