Media Freedom

Hosted by the Department of Media and Communications

Online public event


Professor David Kaye

Professor David Kaye

Alan Rusbridger

Alan Rusbridger

Professor Jean Seaton

Professor Jean Seaton

Dr Damian Tambini

Dr Damian Tambini


Professor Lee Edwards

Professor Lee Edwards

Join us for the launch of Damian Tambini’s new book, Media Freedom, where we'll be joined by media experts to discuss media freedom and international human rights law standards in media governance today.

The contentious role of social media in recent elections and referendums has brought to the fore once again the fundamental question of media freedom and the extent to which, and the way in which, the media should be regulated in a modern democratic society. In Media Freedom, Dr Damian Tambini surveys the history of media in the US, the UK and Europe in order to develop a new theory of media freedom that is capable of resolving current controversies about how best to regulate the media, including the internet and social media. Tambini argues that democratic regulation of the media must build upon - and learn from - the long history of accommodation between the press, broadcasting, the state and corporate power. By attending to this history, we can see that media freedom is not absolute but rather conditional, taking the form of a social contract of privileges and connected duties. 

Meet our speakers and chair

David Kaye (@davidakaye) is a clinical professor of law at the University of California, Irvine, and the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression (2014-2020). His 2019 book, Speech Police: The Global Struggle to Govern the Internet, explores the ways in which companies, governments and activists struggle to define the rules for online expression.

Alan Rusbridger (@arusbridger) was Editor in Chief of the Guardian from 1995-2015. He is currently Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and Chair of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. During his time at the Guardian, both he and the paper won numerous awards, including the 2014 Pulitzter Prize for Public Service Journalism. His memoir of journalism and its future, Breaking News, was published in 2018, and his latest book, News and How to Use it, was published in 2020.

Jean Seaton is Professor of Media History at the University of Westminster, an Official Historian of the BBC and Director of the Orwell Foundation. She is the author of Carnage and the Media: the Making and Breaking of News about ViolencePower Without Responsibility: the Press and Broadcasting in Britain and Pinkoes and Traitors: the BBC and the nation 1974-1987. She has written and broadcasted widely on the history and role of the media and historical, political and cultural matters.

Damian Tambini (@damiantambini) is Distinguished Policy Fellow and Associate Professor at the Department of Media and Communications at LSE. He is an expert in media and communications regulation and policy, and active in policymaking and academic research. Dr Tambini is frequently called to give evidence to parliamentary committees and provide formal and informal policy advice to government and served on the Communications Consumer Panel, a non-executive role at the communications regulator Ofcom.

Lee Edwards (@leemoya) is Professor of Strategic Communications and Public Engagement in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE, where she also serves as Director of Graduate Studies and Programme Director for the MSc Strategic Communications. 

More about this event

The Department of Media and Communications (@MediaLSE) is a world-leading centre for education and research in communication and media studies at the heart of LSE’s academic community in central London. The Department is ranked #1 in the UK and #3 globally in the field of media and communications (2021 QS World University Rankings).

You can order the book, Media Freedom, (UK delivery only) from our official LSE Events independent book shop, Pages of Hackney.

This event forms part of LSE’s Shaping the Post-COVID World initiative, a series imagining what the world could look like after the crisis, and how we get there.

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEMediaFreedom

Podcast & Video

A podcast of this event is available to download from Media Freedom.

A video of this event is available to watch at Media Freedom.

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.

Live captions

Automated live captions will be available at this webinar. Once you join the Zoom webinar, you will be able to show or hide the subtitles by clicking on the “Live Transcript - CC” button, from where you can also change the font size and choose to view the full transcript. Please note that this feature uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) technology, or machine generated transcription, and is not 100% accurate.

Social Media

Follow LSE public events on Twitter for notification on the availability of an event podcast, the posting of transcripts and videos, the announcement of new events and other important event updates. Event updates and other information about what’s happening at LSE can be found on the LSE's Facebook page and for live photos from events and around campus, follow us on Instagram. For live webcasts and archive video of lectures, follow us on YouTube

LSE in Pictures is a selection of images taken by the school photographer.

From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend that if you plan to attend this event you check back on this listing on the day of the event.