The Forum to be held on April 10, 2017 under the title "Democratic Resilience and the Media: The Effects of Policy and Communication Strategies on Community Cohesion in Times of Threat" will discuss how the media empower or exclude different citizen groups at times of crisis and what this implies for democratic resilience. Policies that protect freedom of expression, freedom of religious practice and freedom from hate speech all draw from the Declaration of Human Rights. Yet, the freedom to practice any one of these rights entails restrictions on practising any other, and thus engages aspects of policy. Social trust in the media’s ability to balance competing claims through distributed empowerment is a hallmark of democratic practice during periods of peace. However, when society is threatened, in what ways does the media’s balance waver, and in so doing, how does it erode democratic practice?
This Forum, based on research produced by the University of Cambridge-Al Jazeera Media Project over the past three years, will interrogate the relationship of media to policy, and the implications on community culture, social cohesion, and citizen fear in the UK.
The workshop will include scholars at the University of Cambridge, policymakers, media professionals, and representatives of faith communities. The Forum will also be part of the annual Philomathia Symposium in November 2017 (http://www.ssrp.cshss.cam.ac.uk/).