Collegereeks ‘Media en Politiek’ in huis met ProDemos

The lecture series Media and Politics examines a free and independent press for democracy. From this perspective, we look at the interconnectedness of politics and media. The four lectures focus on the diversity of the media landscape, image formation and being in your own bubble, on influencing versus independence, and on reliability and fake news.

Investigative journalism as control mechanism

The exposure of the Watergate scandal by journalists from The Washington Post and the unavoidable resignation of President Nixon in the 1970s, is a fine example of independent investigative journalism. It shows how important it is that people in powerful positions dare to speak to the media on administrative abuse. By following and investigating politics, the media provides an important control mechanism for democracy.  

Today’s social media

The rise of social media has led to a huge diversity of media. This new type of media has expanded our view on the world and brings news faster and closer. However, there’s also a downside. Any person with a smartphone can write a news report, resulting in more incorrect information and fake news. This is harmful to democracy. Foreign powers, for example, can influence power over elections in other countries via hackers and fake news. How do distinguish between different types of media and news sources? 

Politicians need the media to voice their viewpoints and to reach a large audience. Campaigns focus on media attention. Politicians also carefully choose which audience they reach via which medium. They try to use media that reaches their constituency or target group.

The lectures

The lecture series Media and Politics examines the interconnectedness between politics and the media. How does this influence our democracy? The four lectures focus on the following themes:

  • 16 December 2019: Mark Deuze, bij Beeld en Geluid Den Haag
    The current media landscape: control mechanism of the democracy?
    The first lecture focuses on the media’s role as control mechanism for democracy. Has the arrival of new media caused any changes? And if so, how? How does it contribute to a better functioning democracy?
  • 13 January 2020: Hans Laroes, at ProDemos
    One news fact – ten different stories
    Every medium brings the news differently; how objective is our news? We discuss what impact the media has on its own grass roots. Do the media express their own opinions and does this influence the news? Do paying customers determine what is published in the paper?
  • 20 January 2020: Nel Ruigrok, at ProDemos
    Creating and destroying power
    The media can make or break political careers. But politicians also use the media to promote themselves and speak to their electorate. How does this mutual interdependence work?
  • 27 January 2020: Sanne Kruikemeier, at Sound and Vision The Hague
    Media wisdom: how to distinguish opinion from fact?
    How do you distinguish between what is true and not true? Because of the enormous range of available media, separating fact from fiction can be difficult. Anyone can publish what they want without it being checked. Can society be protected against fake news?

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