Today's Financial Times raised concerns over the Online Safety Bill under consideration by the UK’s Parliament. It was entitled ‘Tech sector alarmed at Patel push to monitor ‘legal but harmful’ content’ (Bradshaw et al 2022:1). Everyone in the UK should be alarmed – not simply the tech companies. The risk is that by approaching the … Continue reading Inevitable harms of UK regulation of social media
I had a quick but engaging trip to Portugal to speak with students and faculty at CIES at the University Institute of Lisbon. I have given a number of talks on my concept of the Fifth Estate, but there are always new issues emerging that enable me to help students see the transformations around the … Continue reading Talk on the politics of the Fifth Estate at University Institute of Lisbon, March 2017
In the aftermath of 49 people being killed in the June 12th 2016 Orlando nightclub massacre, Congressional Democrats struggled to vote on legislation that would control gun sales. The Republican majority refused to bring a vote to the floor of the House, and Congressional Democrats began a sit-in to force a vote. It was led … Continue reading The Fifth Estate Comes to the Floor of Congress
Americans and the world know now about the 'poisoned water' coming out of the taps in Flint, Michigan, covered well today in an exposé written by SCOTT ATKINSON, AMY HAIMERL and RICHARD PÉREZ-PEÑA for the NYT. In switching the city's water from Detroit's supply to the Flint River in April of 2014, to save money, a cascading series of … Continue reading Where was the Fifth Estate when Flint Michigan needed it?
Peter Pomerantsev, speaking about the role of the mass media in Russia, coined a valuable phrase, arguing that President Putin was not involved in an information war, as much as a ‘war on information’.* This is certainly seems to me to be an apt characterization of the Russian President’s strategy in debates over Ukraine. His … Continue reading The War on Information and the Fifth Estate
A classic study of public opinion found that while Americans generally supported abstract principles of freedom of expression, many would not support the application of these principles in concrete cases, such as permitting an extreme group to speak at a local school (McCloskey and Brill 1983). That the public can support concrete actions that undermine … Continue reading How Can Politicians Endorse Press and Internet Regulation that Compromises Freedom of the Press?