We hold a lot of contradictory ideas about the media in our heads at the same time. They are wonderful (you can find out anything, buy everything, talk to everybody); and they are also terrible (they fake news, pour out hate, pollute the planet and destroy brains - especially of the young). In fact, when they are not promising a technological paradise, the media themselves cause a moral panic.
In this talk, Brian Winston argues, counter to these received understandings - good and bad - that we need not be impotent in the face of these technologies. We just need to understand them better: to know the history of their development and more critically evaluate their supposed impact - positive or negative. Rather than seeing this technology as an unstoppable force, let's instead understand it as being shaped by our society - less our master and more our creature.
The talk will revisit Winston's classic work, Media Technology and Society, bringing historical examples into dialogue with the most recent media developments.
Biography: Since he joined World in Action in 1963, Brian Winston has been involved with the media as a producer/director/journalist/academic. He has an Emmy for documentary script writing and a prize for work defending free speech. Winston has written 19 books, 50 chapters and 49 scholarly journal articles. His book Media Technology and Society is much cited. Currently he is the Lincoln Professor at the University of Lincoln and a visiting professor at the Digital Culture Research Centre at UWE and the North East Normal University, Changchun.
Presented in partnership with the Digital Cultures Research Centre.