Bookshop Barnie: John Lloyd on The Power and the Story

Sunday 14 October, 16:0017:15, Free StageFestival Attractions

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Writing about the Brexit campaign, former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger condemned ‘influential editors (who) decided their job was to advocate not inform’. His article featured in pro-Remain newspaper The New European… and the irony was not missed on readers. However, Rusbridger’s contention that journalism has become discredited is nothing to joke about.

This special Bookshop Barnie asks John Lloyd, renowned author and co-founder of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford to explain what has happened to the mainstream media. When does critical journalism become propaganda? When does bias become fake news?

According to opinion polls, only 25 per cent of the UK population believes what they read through social media. However, distrust of mainstream media is also growing and 20 per cent of the UK public says that it avoids the news entirely.

Is journalism in jeopardy from social media? Has Twitter usurped the broadsheet? If only six per cent of UK adults describe themselves as ‘informed’, is there an even bigger problem than just the means of news dissemination? Are we really in a post-truth age where the reliability of news itself in crisis?

In The Power and the Story: the global battle for news and information, John Lloyd answers these questions and more in a panoramic survey of the global news media. Journeying from Putin’s Russia to Trump’s America, from Saudi Arabia to Israel, from Mexico to China, Lloyd shows how the power of investigative journalism matters now more than ever.

Lloyd argues that the responsibility – the duty – of journalism is truly to hold power to account. Now is a heroic moment for journalism to prove itself. How’s it doing?

John Lloyd is in conversation with Austin Williams