Professor Des Freedman

Des Freedman is interested in media and power together with media policymaking, regulation and reform.

Staff details

Professor Des Freedman


Professor of Media and Communication Studies


Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


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Des Freedman is interested in the relationship between media and power together with the political and economic contexts of media policymaking, regulation and reform. He was a founding member and recent chair of the Media Reform Coalition and was project lead for the Inquiry into the Future of Public Service Television chaired by Lord Puttnam. He is a former editor of the Sage journal 'Global Media and Communication' and has edited several strands for openDemocracy including 'Anti-austerity and media activism' (with Natalie Fenton and Gholam Khiabany), 'Liberalism in neo-liberal times' (with Gholam Khiabany, Kate Nash and Julian Petley) and 'Capitalism and universities' (with Michael Bailey). His latest books include Misunderstanding the Internet (2nd edition, Routledge 2016, with James Curran and Natalie Fenton) and The Contradictions of Media Power (Bloomsbury 2014).

Des is currently Head of Department and Co-Director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre.


Des Freedman convenes and teaches on 'Media, Modernity and Social Thought' and the spring term PhD methods course, 'Researching Media and Culture'.

Areas of supervision

Current Research Students

  • Michael Klontzas is researching the BBC's use of technology as a form of public policy delivery.

Completed Students

  • Noemie Oxley researched soldiers' videos of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Alejandro Rodriguez looked at Mexican media policies in relation to Habermasian concepts of ideal speech and the public sphere
  • Vana Goblot evaluated notions of 'quality' in relation to BBC4 and the idea of 'think television'
  • Yachi Chen explored regulatory discourses in relation to the National Communications Commission in Taiwan
  • Laurence Pawley assessed different models of citizenship in relation to the policies, programmes and performance of the BBC.
  • Kate Coyer looked at the democratic implications of local and community radio with case studies of radio stations in Los Angeles and London.
  • Eugene Gorny, an experienced web producer, researched the history of creativity in Russian cyberculture.
  • Sen-Yin Li looked at press narratives in relation to debates on GM food.
  • Thomas Chivers evaluated the power dynamics of recent media policy debates in the UK.
  • Sabrina Wilkinson used networked gatekeeping theory to examine the assumptions governing the regulation of digital intermediaries in Canada.
  • Vince Medeiros explored the possibility of business models supporting radical content in a commercial environment

Publications and research outputs


Davis, Aeron; Fenton, Natalie; Freedman, Des (D. J.) and Khiabany, Gholam. 2020. Media, Democracy and Social Change: Re-imagining Political Communications. London: SAGE Publications. ISBN 9781526456960

Fenton, Natalie; Freedman, Des (D. J.) ; Schlosberg, Justin and Dencik, Lina. 2020. The Media Manifesto. Cambridge: Polity. ISBN 9781509538065

Curran, James P.; Fenton, Natalie and Freedman, Des (D. J.) . 2017. Misunderstanding the Internet, 2nd edition (in Korean). Seoul, South Korea: Culturelook. ISBN 97-11-85521-06-0-94300

Edited Book

Freedman, Des (D. J.) , ed. 2021. Capitalism's Conscience: 200 Years of the Guardian. London: Pluto Press. ISBN 9780745343341

Freedman, Des (D. J.) and Goblot, Vana, eds. 2018. A Future for Public Service Television. London: Goldsmiths Press. ISBN 9781906897710

Titley, Gavan; Freedman, Des (D. J.) ; Khiabany, Gholam and Mondon, Aurelien, eds. 2017. After Charlie Hebdo: Terror, Racism and Free Speech. London: Zed Books. ISBN 978-1-78360-938-3 pb

Book Section

Freedman, Des (D. J.) . 2022. Reverse Media Policy: Challenging Empires, Resisting Power. In: Joan-Pedro Caranana; Eliana Herrera-Huerfano and Juana Ochoa Alamnza, eds. Communicative Justice in the Pluriverse: An International Dialogue. New York: Routledge, pp. 94-108. ISBN 9781032326894

Fenton, Natalie and Freedman, Des (D. J.) . 2022. Media Reform and the Politics of Hope. In: Joanna Zylinska, ed. The Future of Media. London: Goldsmiths Press, pp. 25-41. ISBN 9781913380144

Fenton, Natalie. 2021. Corruption in the Fourth Estate: How the Guardian exposed phone hacking and reneged on reform of press regulation. In: Des (D. J.) Freedman, ed. Capitalism's Conscience: 200 Years of the Guardian. London: Pluto Press, pp. 169-185. ISBN 9780745343341


Fenton, Natalie; Freedman, Des (D. J.) ; Khiabany, Gholam and Williamson, Milly. 2023. Critiquing the Vocabularies of the Marketized University. Media Theory, 7(1), pp. 277-298. ISSN 2557-826X

Freedman, Des (D. J.) and Schlosberg, Justin. 2020. Opening the gates: Plurality regulation and the public interest. Journal of Digital Media & Policy, 11(2), pp. 115-132. ISSN 2516-3523

Freedman, Des (D. J.) . 2020. The world is changing – it’s time our media did too. Huck Magazine,

Conference or Workshop Item

Freedman, Des (D. J.) . 2015. 'PERC Paper 2: Media Moguls and Elite Power'. In: Goldsmiths Political Economy Research Centre. London, United Kingdom 28th February 2015.


Freedman, Des (D. J.) . 2023. Local newspapers - core data.


Freedman, Des (D. J.) and Ismail, Feyzi. 2016. Trump-style universities headed for the UK.


Freedman, Des (D. J.) . 2023. Who Owns the UK Media? 2023 Report. Other. Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre, London.

Freedman, Des (D. J.) . 2016. A Future for Public Service Television: Content and Platforms in a Digital World. Project Report. Goldsmiths, University of London.

Freedman, Des (D. J.) ; Tryhorn, Chris; Goblot, Vana; Born, Georgina; Loughrey, Pat; Chitty, Andrew; Griffee, Andrew; Watson, Neil; Clayton, Sue; Normington, David; Douglas, Omega and O’Neill, Onora. 2016. A Future for Public Service Television: Content and Platforms in a Digital World. Project Report.