The Faltering Link between News & Democracy: Ex-Guardian Editor

Alan Rusbridger, famous ex-Editor of The Guardian, Chair of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, Principal of Lady Margaret Hall and well renowned pioneering journalist and author, will be speaking in a very topical and well timed event to The Oxford Guild at 5.30pm on Wednesday 15th May. The venue will be announced in the coming days. He will be speaking about ‘The Faltering Link between News and Democracy’ and discussing some very fascinating topical issues and sharing his extensive insights from from a hugely successful career which included collaborating with NSA contractor Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on blockbuster stories drawn from secret government documents. Also during his tenure as Editor of The Guardian, while many newspapers at the time were establishing paywalls, The Guardian created an economic model in which online users were asked — but not required — to pay for the newspaper’s content. This model appears to be working at time when print media appears to be dying as The Guardian recorded an operating profit (£0.8m) for the first time in 20 years. His most recent book is ‘Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now’. Are the media’s political communications causing growing tensions between our ideals and the performance of democratic institutions? In this talk, Alan Rusbridger will explain the democratic responsibility of the media and assess its recent performance in fulfilling civic duties. According to Columbia University Professor of Journalism Michael Schudson, journalism’s information, investigation, analysis, social empathy, public forum, mobilisation, and democratic education all facilitate representative democracy. Many actors make a modern democracy function, and the news has until recent times played a crucial role in the diversity of views that it offers. But how adequate are journalistic values and professions to serve this role today? In an era where ‘fake news’ is so prevalent and has been weaponised/manipulated, this promises to be a fascinating discussion, and there will also be the chance to ask questions in a Q&A session. This will undoubtedly be a very TOPICAL AND EXCITING EVENT and a truly unique opportunity to hear from such an interesting, high profile speaker who will be sharing his vast range of experiences and insights over an extensive career at the very top of journalism. The event is 100% FREE AND OPEN TO ALL and is NOT TO BE MISSED! REGISTER YOUR INTEREST HERE ASAP:

After reading English at Cambridge, Alan Rusbridger moved across the city to work on the local evening newspaper. He learned the craft of reporting there before moving to the Guardian in 1979. Alan Rusbridger had two spells at The Guardian: first, as a reporter, columnist, and feature writer. He was then invited to move to The Observer to take over from Clive James and Julian Barnes as the paper’s television critic. He discovered that he disliked writing about television and jumped at an offer to work in America. The paper he was working for closed – not, he hoped, as a result of its US coverage – and then began his second spell at the Guardian. He moved into editing, launching the weekend magazine and the G2 section; and being appointed editor in 1995. It was apparent, even in the mid-90s, that new digital forms of distribution and communication were destined to have an immense impact on the future of newspapers. Hence, much his editorship was preoccupied with making sure that The Guardian would have a thriving digital incarnation, while also maintaining the print edition.

The international readership grew and what had been the 9th biggest paper in the UK had, by the time he left, become the largest serious English language newspaper in the world. The Guardian was being read by more than 8m unique browsers a day. The paper also won a global reputation for its investigative reporting, culminating in the Wikileaks, phone hacking, and Snowden revelations. The last story won the Guardian a Pulitzer Prize for public service journalism. In late 2014, the Lady Margaret Hall Fellows elected him to be their Principal, succeeding Dame Frances Lannon, starting in October 2015.

Away from journalism, Alan Rusbridger is a keen amateur musician and wrote a book, Play it Again, about learning a difficult piece of Chopin piano music in the middle of journalistic storms. He was chair of the National Youth Orchestra for eight years and also play the clarinet. He is a former chair of the Photographers’ Gallery in London and is now chair the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and sits on the board of the Royal National Theatre in London. He has been a visiting professor or fellow at Queen Mary’s College, London; Cardiff University; the Asian College of Journalism; and Nuffield College, Oxford. He has honours from the University of Oslo; Harvard University; Columbia Journalism School; Kingston University; the Open University, Lincoln University and City University of New York. In 2014, he received the Right Livelihood Award in Stockholm, the European Press Prize and the Ortega y Gasset Award in Madrid.

This will be a very interactive event with the opportunity for you to ask questions and it promises to be a very exciting evening. If you would like to ballot for the chance to meet Alan and speak to him directly and take photos in a private reception at the end of the event (schedule permitting) please email ASAP.


WHEN: 5.30pm Wednesday 15th May
WHERE: To be announced in the next few days
REGISTER your interest here ASAP: