Who we are

Media lies at the heart of British life; whether through its historical embrace of the daily newspaper, the modulated tones of the BBC or its enthusiasm for voicing its opinion through Twitter, the rowdy, rambunctious, irreverent nature of British democracy is reflected in the country's love of news, views and comment.

The Media Society is a charity which exists to reflect that passion and exuberance through an exciting, diverse and engaging events programme encouraging anyone with an interest in media to get involved, listening to and questioning those at the heart of this enthralling industry.

Our membership includes journalists, broadcasters, PR folk and indeed anyone who has a connection with media. But just as media affects everyone, so our membership is open to all.

Our mission is straightforward; to surprise, provoke, inspire, educate and entertain.

So enjoy exploring our website, look at our events calendar and why not keep up-to-date by joining the Media Society?

After all, in media, it's now. Or never.

IMPORTANT

The upcoming events information is being pulled from the 'Events' page.

Please click here to edit the Upcoming Events.

Upcoming events

 

29 

SEPT

2021

RESCHEDULED: TMS  '1 on 1' event

Ritula Shah and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: In conversation

The latest 1 on 1 discussion from the Media Society.

See event trailer

 Event details

22 

SEPT

2021

Channel 4 –  sale of the century or end of an era?

In 1995 John Whittingdale, then in John Major’s Government made his first, unsuccessful attempt to privatise C4. 

He tried again in 1996 and 2015, each time with a different arguments,  and now the Government is trying again with a new argument.

Hear the arguments and the debate from key industry players in our exclusive live TMS discussion on Wednesday September 22nd at 6pm.

Event recording

 Event details

4 

AuG

2021

4TH AUGUST DATE HAS BEEN POSTPONED

NOW RESCHEDULED FOR WEDNESDAY 29TH SEPTEMBER
TMS  '1 on 1' event

Ritula Shah and Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: In conversation

 

23 

JUNE

2021

TMS  event

GB News - how's it doing, and what impact will it have?

For the latest Special Event from the Media Society, we’ll be debating the new 24-hour TV news channel, GB News.
There are many questions and issues surrounding the new channel.

See event recording

 

Our Chair

Andrea Catherwood - broadcaster, journalist, and newscaster.

Event details

10 

JUNE

2021

TMS Special Event

The Dyson Report & The BBC

History Lesson  - or future crisis for the BBC?

On 20th November 1995 the now notorious Panorama program, in which Martin Bashir interviewed Princess Diana, blew the lid off any tabloid story, magazine gossip or over the fence chatter.

On 14th May 2021 Lord Dyson published his report into the circumstances around Bashirs’s interview.

The findings were excoriating and undermined trust in the BBC’s probity along with the judgement of its then senior management.

What now for the BBC?

Event recording

Our panel:

Alan Rusbridger - former editor of The Guardian
Dorothy Byrne - former Head of News and Current Affairs at Channel 4
Damian Collins MP -Ex Chair of the House of Commons Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee
Phil Harding - former Head of Editorial Policy at the BBC

Our Chair
James Ball - the Global Editor at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. 

Event details

25 

may

2021

TMS Special Event

Following the ‘Sewell Report’ on race (Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities).

Is the UK Press racist?

Interview with Joseph Harker, deputy Opinion editor of the Guardian, has been pushing on this agenda at all levels of the organisation for two decades, and started the Guardian’s Positive Action Scheme.

See Event recording

Our interviewer for the evening:
Joanna Abeyie

Event details

28 

aPr

2021

THINK TANKS AND THE MEDIA:
HIDDEN PERSUADERS? …or Problem solvers

Who are they?
We know that they get lots of “hits” in media for their reports, their ideas and their spokespeople.
Some argue that think tanks provide an important role in carrying out policy research.

But they can be surprisingly secretive about their funding, political sympathies, and alliances. This leads some critics to call them “hidden persuaders”.

See event recording

Our Chair for the evening:
Lionel Barber

Event detai

22 

feb 

2021

The first of 1 on 1 Series for 2021
Clive Myrie: In conversation with Phil Harding

See Our Event Recording

As a regular presenter of the BBC’s News At Ten and as an award-winning correspondent ,
Clive Myrie has become one of the most recognisable faces on British television.

Our Interviewer for the evening 
Phil Harding.

Event details

28 

Jan 

2021

TMS On Line Events:
A Shot in the arm.  ‘What UK media landscape do we deserve - after the worst is over?’

We’re all learnt from the pandemic and the recession. 
What really matters and what doesn’t.
And we’ve all got ideas about how things should be in the future.

See our trailer:

Our Panel
       
Lord Vaizey , the longest-serving Minister of Culture ever under Cameron, May and Johnson.





Claire Enders
, of Enders Analysis, is the doyenne of UK media analysts.

Tom Mills, leading light of the Media Reform Coalition, whose critique of our media ecology he will present.




Our Chair for the evening:



James Ball, the Global Editor at The Bureau of Investigative Journalism. 

Event details

19 

Jan 

2021

TMS Special Events: The Role of Media in the Capitol Riot

On January the 6th, the world saw a murderous mob invade The Capitol, the symbolic home of American democracy. Many saw it in real time, through the prescience and courage of TV cameramen and commentators who covered it live.

Our panel of US media professionals and journalists includes:

Ben Smith:  is the controversial media editor of The New York Times.
Sarah Baxter:  US correspondent for The Sunday Times
Others to follow.

Our Chair for the evening is:
Jonathan Freedland of the Guardian.

 

Event details

7&8 

DeC 

2020

British Broadcasting in Crisis -Steve Hewlett Scholarship Event

Two online events with star-studded casts to support the Steve Hewlett Scholarship for Media Students.

Participants include two former BBC Director Generals - Greg Dyke and Mark Thompson.
Plus Sir Peter Bazalgette, Executive Chairman ITV and Alex Mahon, CEO Channel Four.

 

Event details

DeC 

2020

Conspiracy Theories - A threat to democracy?

Dangerous online conspiracy theories have led to mass shootings, anti-vaccination refusal protests, and death threats to politicians and celebrities around the Western World.

Our Chair for the evening

James Ball
Having worked for the Guardian and Buzz Feed, James is now, Global Editor, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and a columnist for The New European.

Our expert Panel:

John Naughton - Observer columnist and academic

James O'Brien - LBC Talk Show presenter and writer

Marianna Spring - Specialist Disinformation and Social Media Reporter at BBC News

Bronte Lord - CNN producer (live from New York)

Please note:  ZOOM-log in at 5.45pm for 6.00pm start

Event details

Nov 

2020

Out Foxing the BBC:  The future of broadcasting in Britain.

For some time now, the government has been threatening to ‘whack’ the BBC and bring Channel Four to heel.  Stories and rumours abound: Charles Moore or George Osborne to run the BBC, Paul Dacre to head up Ofcom, Andrew Neil to lead a Fox News -style comment channel. 
 
But does the BBC in fact need major reform? Does it too often show a metropolitan liberal bias? Are the critics right? Is Channel Four News too left-wing?  And in this multi-channel world should we still be required to pay a BBC licence fee? 

Our Chair for the evening

Anne McElvoy 
Senior Editor at The Economist and Head of Economist Radio.

Our expert Panel:

Greg Dyke
Greg was BBC Director-General 2000-2004 where he famously promised to ‘cut the crap’ and described the Corporation as ‘hideously white’. 

Patrick Barwise 
Co Author of the forthcoming book, 'The War Against the BBC’.

Philip Davies MP 
A member of the DCMS Select committee, Philip Davies is a sharp critic of the BBC, calling it out of touch and too worried about political correctness.

Frank Langfitt 
The London Correspondent of the US network National Public Radio. As someone with a foot in media on both sides of the Atlantic.

 

Please note: This is a free ZOOM Event. ZOOM-log in at 5.45pm for 6.00pm start

Event details

15 

SEPT 

2020

Live from Downing Street: The Battle for the News

This autumn will see a revolution in the way that Boris Johnson’s government handles its communications with the media and with the public. For the first time there will be regular Downing Street on the record on- camera briefings fronted by an official government spokesperson. What impact will the introduction of these White House style press conferences have on the way politics is reported in this country?

This latest move comes after the blacklisting of some tv and radio programmes for ministerial interviews and with journalists and photographers being denied access to ministerial visits.
Newsdesks are  instead sent official videos and photographs.

Is this all just the usual daily tussle over the news agenda or is something more fundamental going on?

Our Panel:
 Pippa Crerar - Daily Mirror Political Editor . chair of the Parliamentary Press Gallery and the journalist who broke the Dominic Cummings/Barnard Castle story.
 
Will Walden - respected Westminster journalist now Senior Counsel for strategic communications at global PR firm Edelman. Formerly Boris Johnson’s spokesman, press secretary and communications director, he remains a confidant of the PM.
 
Mark Mardell, has reported on high-level politics on both sides of the Atlantic.  Before returning to London to his current role as presenter of the World This Weekend he was BBC North America Editor, based in Washington, and before that Political Editor of Newsnight and BBC Chief Political Correspondent.  

In the chair: Phil Harding, former Editor of the BBC Today programme

Please note: This is a free ZOOM Event. ZOOM-log in at 5.45pm for 6.00pm start

Event details

 

 

2020

Highlights of our Autumn/Winter Events Schedule 

Our events will be held over Zoom until further notice.  
We’re longing to go back to The Groucho and The University Women’s Club and see all of you - but not just yet.

Media Land After Covid
How To Stop Conspiracy Theories Running Riot
How to Save Journalism and Journalists
Extreme News Management from No.10 ?

Panelists and date to be announced.
Please note: This is a free ZOOM Event. ZOOM-log in at 5.45pm for 6.00pm start

Event details

Covering Covid-19. The biggest story for 100 years.

Has the media's coverage served us well? How seriously did they take it during the early weeks?
Were they fast enough with the facts? Did the right people speak truth to power?
Were we given 'news we could use'?

Chair:
James Ball
Global Editor, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and
a columnist for The New European.
The panel:
Louisa Compton
The head of news, current affairs, and sport for Channel 4.
John Burn-Murdoch
Senior data visualisation journalist at the Financial Times.
Tom Phillips
Editor of FullFact, the independent fact-checking charity.

Please note: This is a free ZOOM Event. ZOOM-log in at 5.45pm for 6.00pm start

Event details

6

Arpil

2020

PLEASE NOTE
THIS EVENT HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

Westminster from the outside looking in: Press access under Boris Johnson's government

In common with all events involving people meeting together, this event has been postponed due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic.

We WILL be going ahead with it as soon as normal service is resumed - we hope at the end of the summer - possibly earlier. We shall keep ticket holders advised and update this site when we have more specific information. 

Please note: This event is postponed

Event details

2

March

2020

Carrie Gracie In Conversation with Phil Harding

In Conversation with one of her former bosses, Phil Harding, Carrie talks about her time as China Editor, about her fight at the BBC and about what women, men and employers can do to achieve equality.

Please note: Starts at 7.00pm

Event details

18

FEB

2020

The Art of the Television Reporter
A TRIBUTE TO RICHARD LINDLEY

Richard Lindley sadly died in November. He was an outstanding television reporter for ITN and BBC’s Panorama; a former President of the Media Society and a much loved media figure. Leading journalists will be paying tribute to Richard, looking back at his work and discussing the challenges facing television reporters today.
Among those taking part:-
Lindsey Hilsum, Channel 4 News International Editor; Michael Cockerell, leading BBC documentary maker; Richard Tait, former Editor Newsnight, Editor-in-Chief ITN and BBC Trustee; Anja Popp, Channel 4 News Reporter, Winner RTS 2019 Young Talent Award; 
Peter Taylor, award winning Panorama reporter; Roger Bolton, Presenter Radio 4's Feedback and Richard Lindley's Editor at Panorama and This Week.
Please note: Starts at 6.30 for 7.00pm.

Event details

 

IMPORTANT

The latest news information is being pulled from the 'News' page.

Please click here to edit the Latest News.

Latest News

 

Remembering Katharine Whitehorn:

1928 - 2021

We at TMS were saddened to hear that Katharine Whitehorn, the great Observer columnist, had died.
She was a supporter and friend to TMS and to Geraldine Sharpe Newton, our former president.

Geraldine has written a tribute to Katharine.

Monday 11 JANUARY 2020

 

Read more 

 

 

Remembering Harold Evans: 1928 - 2020

Harry Evans was the founding president of the Media Society and was honoured with its annual award in 2013 when many of the UK's key media players gathered to pay tribute to the legendary newspaper editor.

Monday 28 September 2020

 

Read more 

 

 

Lock down update 

We are developing a series of virtual events dealing with the unprecedented media issues we now face.

Monday 4 MAy 2020

Covering Covid-19. Register now.
Our first event is on Monday 18th May 2020 at 6.30pm.
There's never been a better time to join The Media Society.

Do that today and the rest of this year is free.
Why not join today?

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Read more 

 

 

Corona virus 19 notice

We are aware of the current risks the Corona virus presents so we are following Government guidance.

Monday 16 MARCH 2020

We are postponing our events until further notice.

We are planing some interim activity which we will deliver on-line.
Of course we will inform you when we resume out events as soon as practical.
Thank you for your ongoing support.

Read more 

 

 

Lionel Barber Media Society Honouree 2017:

A Tribute by Geraldine Sharpe-Newton - Former Media Society  President

Monday 20 January 2020

Lionel Barber always appeared to have stepped outside the traditional descriptions of a newspaper editor.  His calm, energetic enthusiasm, generated a very different style of leadership.

Read more 

 

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