Scrutinising the Media: Fake News, Censorship and War

    November 04, 2018 13:00
    DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Lincoln

    ESRC Social Science Festival 2018

    Location: DoubleTree by Hilton, Brayford Wharf North, Lincoln LN1 1YW
    Date: Sunday 4 November 2018

    This event will engage the public in discussion and debate about journalistic objectivity in traditional and social media. The aim is to raise public awareness of the techniques used by the media in order to condition public opinion, particularly with respect to war, so that citizens might make better informed judgments about the news they consume.

    The event will be centred on the topical concept of ‘fake news’ and will explore how that concept is being used to legitimise censorship. Attention will be drawn to the online censorship campaign currently being waged by Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Wikipedia. The media’s role in legitimising US/UK military intervention in Syria will be explored, as will attempts by mainstream news sources to close down any challenge to the official narrative. The case of Julian Assange and its implications for free speech and liberal values will be discussed and debated.

    Speakers will include David Hughes (University of Lincoln), Piers Robinson (Sheffield University) and Julie Hyland (Deputy National Secretary of the Socialist Equality Party). David is the event organiser, Piers is a member of the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda, and Media, and Julie campaigns against internet censorship on behalf of the World Socialist Web Site.

    There will be four 45-minute sessions, each beginning on the hour, with a 15-minute interval between each session. Where possible, members of the public are asked to arrive or leave during the intervals so as to mimimise disruption. The speaker will talk for the first part of each session, then there will be an opportunity for audience members to ask questions, make comments, and further the discussion. The public’s voice will be very important to this event, which seeks to uphold the principle of free speech. Admission is free, and teas, coffees and pastries will provided during the intervals.

    Registration for the event is not required, but it would be helpful to let the organizer ([email protected]) know if you plan to attend for catering purposes.


    The 16th annual Festival of Social Science takes place from 3—10 November 2018 with over 300 free events nationwide. Run by the Economic and Social Research Council, the festival provides an opportunity for the public to meet some of the country’s leading social scientists to discover, discuss and debate how research affects their lives. With a range of creative and engaging events going on across the UK, there’s something for everyone including businesses, charities, schools and government agencies. The full programme is available at: Catch up and join in on Twitter using #esrcfestival.

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