The liberal media has greatly influenced how we remember and understand the 20th century. From anti-apartheid demonstrations in South Africa and UK-wide worker strikes in the 1970s, to broader issues related to globalisation, immigration, racism and gender inequality, the liberal press has been critical in reflecting our social, political and economic realities. Photographs have played a critical role in communicating many of the issues are addressed and in building narrative.
In her accompanying essay for the exhibition The Picture Library, author and Guardian columnist Nesrine Malik questions “the moral certainty of sound politics” within the framework of a libertarian self-image. This panel discussion, with contributions from Luke Dodd (Guardian Foundation and The Picture Library co-curator) and Natalie Fenton (Goldsmiths), considers how contemporary and historical narratives have been shaped by the adoption of progressive positions in media outlets like The Guardian and asks to what degree the liberal press has enabled the ingrained practices it purports to criticise.
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Watch Live from Wed 15 Sep at 18.30 BST
Luke Dodd is a graduate of Trinity College, Dublin and the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, New York. His projects include the establishment of The National Museum of the 1840s Irish Famine, Strokestown Park, County Roscommon; the establishment of The Guardian and Observer Archive; several books and a film relating to the work of the legendary Observer photographer, Jane Bown; curating Easter Rising 1916 - Sexton Collection (2016) at The Photographers' Gallery.
Natalie Fenton is a Professor in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is Co-Director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre and Co-Director of Goldsmiths Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy. Her most recent books include Media, Democracy and Social Change: Re-imagining Political Communications co-authored with Des Freedman, Gholam Khiabany and Aeron Davis (Sage, 2020) and The Media Manifesto co-authored with Des Freedman and Justin Schlosberg and Lina Dencik (Polity, 2020). She is on the Board of Directors of the campaign group Hacked Off and a founding member of the Media Reform Coalition.
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