Conference Report – Public Debates in Turbulent Times: Academia and Media

Check out our event summary with pictures, program details and short information about the participants: Public Debates in Turbulent Times: Academia and Media, March 19 – 20, 2019 Victoria, BC.

This was the second event that the EUCAnet team organized for the MSEUCA project. While the first event focused on questions surrounding “Expert Knowledge in the Age of Declining Trust in the Media” in Toronto at the ECSA-C Biennial 2018, our second event in Victoria, BC, featured a series of dialogues with public, city representatives, communications experts, and media representatives.

The first day of the event put the relationship between the scholarly world and media into a broader social and political context. During a live-streamed public event at a state-of the-art studio in Victoria, some high profile experts from Canada and Europe discussed the changing world of communication and mass media, the challenges that expert knowledge faces with the proliferation of ‘fake news’, and the ability of university experts to contribute to public debates in a meaningful and effective way. The starting point of the discussion was the assumption that the access to and critical debate of information in the public realm is a key component of contemporary democratic life.

The second day was dedicated to media networking and shifted the focus to more concrete strategies designed to facilitate the exchange between scholars and media. For this purpose, MSEUCA invited key stakeholders from the university, media and government to a brainstorming and networking session. The objective of this second day was to work collectively and across professional fields towards effective modes of media engagement and to build local networks supporting the exchange between the media and scholars.

The event was co-financed by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria and the generous award of the Stream of Consciousness, a digital media company based in Victoria, BC.