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The Media and the European Union Referendum: Bystanders or Ringleaders?

08 June 2016, 12:30
RUSI Whitehall
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RUSI hosted a panel discussion with senior journalists, chaired by Sir Christopher Meyer, on the impact of the media on the EU referendum.

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Chaired by Sir Christopher Meyer, speakers Peter Preston, former editor of the Guardian, and Tim Montgomerie, former comment editor for The Times and co-founder of the Centre for Social Justice, debated the role of the media in the upcoming EU Referendum debate.

After reiterating the importance of the mainstream media despite increasingly lessening reader figures, the debate moved on to discuss how the media – in particular national newspapers - had let down the general public through the use of scaremongering tactics. The discussion also featured the opinions of both speakers on the influence national newspapers have on their respective readerships and how that may or may influence the way people vote in the referendum on June 23. Speaker Biographies

Sir Christopher Meyer is a former British Ambassador to the United States (1997–2003), former Ambassador to Germany (1997) and the former chairman of the Press Complaints Commission (2003–2009). He was also press secretary to Prime Minister Sir John Major, press secretary to Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey, later Lord, Howe, and speech writer to three Foreign Secretaries, James Callaghan, Anthony Crossland and David Owen.

Sir Christopher is now a regular television, radio and newspaper commentator on international affairs and the media. He is also the author of DC Confidential (2005), Getting Our Way (2009) and Only Child (2013). Finally, Sir Christopher is a Senior Associate Fellow of RUSI.

Professor Roy Greenslade is a senior media teacher at City University London. He is also a commentator and columnist on the media, and currently blogs for The Guardian. As a journalist he worked at publications including The Sun and the Sunday Times, and held the editorship of the Daily Mirror. Roy is the author of Press Gang: How Newspapers make Profits from Propaganda (Macmillan, 2003), Maxwell's Fall (Simon & Schuster, 1992), and Goodbye to the Working Class (Marion Boyars, 1976).

Peter Preston is a columnist for the Guardian and the Observer. He was previously editor of the Guardian for 20 years, from 1975 to 1995, and has written two books, Bess (1999) and The 51st State (1998)

Tim Montgomerie is a British political activist, blogger, and columnist and former comment editor for The Times. He is best known as the co-founder of the Centre for Social Justice and as creator of the ConservativeHome website.

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