Media on Trial - London 2017

What should we expect from the mainstream media? Accurate reporting? Impartial analysis? Speaking truth to power? At times of proposed war or foreign intervention the public has a right to expect all these.

Establishment media tends to be dismissive of independent journalism. With its greater size and influence the mainstream media (MSM) has avoided critical questions about its own reporting and journalistic standards and deflects calls for corroboration, verification and independent analysis.

The leviathan that is the mainstream media has formed the narrative and stifled dissent, but that’s going to change. Our panel of experts will be applying the scrutiny to mainstream media reporting that we should all demand, given its power to sway opinion when our government is seeking consent for war.

Specific instances of falsehoods which have led to disastrous and deadly geopolitical campaigns will be highlighted with fact based evidence. Examples of insidious propagandist lobbying for war will be analysed. 

It’s time to hear ‘the other side’ – the one that the mainstream media censors from the airwaves and print media.

Around 500 people attended the Media on Trial event held on 19 October 2017 at Bloomsbury Central Baptist Church in London.

Professor Piers Robinson

Professor Piers Robinson is Chair of Politics, Society and Political Journalism at Sheffield University. He has written the Handbook of Media, Conflict and Security, discussed media manipulation in television appearances and written articles on the deployment of propaganda in the media. 

Robert Stuart

Robert Stuart is an independent researcher whose presentation on the ‘irregularities’ in the BBC Panorama episode ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ encouraged film producer and writer Victor Lewis-Smith to tear up his BBC contract in disgust.

Professor Tim Hayward

Professor Tim Hayward is Professor of Environmental Political Theory and Director of the Just World Institute at the University of Edinburgh. Tim has written extensively on human rights and ecological concerns, and he is currently completing a book on Global Justice and Finance. He has published articles calling into question media reporting – particularly that of Channel 4 News, as well as the BBC Panorama episode ‘Saving Syria’s Children’.

Peter Ford

Peter Ford was the UK's ambassador to Bahrain from 1999–2003 and to Syria from 2003–2006. Following his retirement from the Foreign Office, he became Representative of the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in the Arab world. In February 2017 Ford became a Director of the British Syrian Society.

Patrick Henningsen

American journalist and broadcaster Patrick Henningsen is the founder of 21st Century Wire, which consistently provides a platform to those reporting from on the ground in conflict zones and who often calls into question, or directly disproves, the narrative of the mainstream media pundits.

Vanessa Beeley

International investigative journalist and photographer Vanessa Beeley has reported from inside Syria, Egypt and Palestine including liberated East Aleppo and has exposed the true Al Qaeda pedigree of the mainstream media darling – the White Helmets – in exhaustive and highly lauded investigations.