RTS Wales: Annual Lecture 2017
‘Facebook, The Media and Democracy’
(Drinks Reception: 6.15pm – 7pm)
In association with the National Assembly For Wales, Bethan Jenkins AM,
Chair of Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee,
presents the RTS Wales Annual Lecture, given this year by Leighton Andrews,
Professor of Practice in Public Service Leadership and Innovation at Cardiff Business School.
The lecture will be introduced by Judith Winnan, Chair, RTS Wales.
Events during 2016 brought specific focus to the question of ‘fake news’ and the role of internet intermediaries such as Facebook, targeted heavily by Fake News creators and ‘bots’ used by hostile countries to spread disinformation. Facebook is also one of the principal beneficiaries of online and particularly mobile advertising. It is a major platform for news distribution and dominates access to numerous mobile apps. Facebook’s algorithms are designed to maximize the time people spend within it, to encourage personal adherence to its platform and to dominate the ‘attention economy’, with the reproduction and re-circulation of content likely to reinforce personal convictions. But Facebook also provides a platform for personal, familial, community, civic and political mobilization within its ‘space’. Meanwhile, established mainstream news organisations have felt the need to strike deals with sites such as Facebook to promote distribution of their content, even though their news may be re-branded to suit the particular platform, and even at a significant loss of advertising revenue. Ofcom acknowledges that Facebook is a ‘media organisation’ – yet it lies outside the scope of media regulation. Should it?
Leighton was Formerly Minister for Education and Skills and Minister for Public Services in Carwyn Jones's Welsh Labour Governments from 2009-16, a Deputy Minister in Rhodri Morgan's One Wales Government from 2007-9 and Assembly Member for the Rhondda from 2003-16. Prior to his election to the National Assembly in 2003, Leighton had had a successful career in the private, public and voluntary sectors. He was the BBC's Head of Public Affairs in London from 1993-1996 during its Charter Renewal campaign. He ran a number of businesses in the public relations field and set up his own business after leaving the BBC. He has chaired the Digital News Taskforce for the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly since November 2016. He is a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Public Affairs.
Welsh/English Translation will be provided for the Q&A session following the lecture.
Places are limited. Please register via Eventbrite: