26 August 2011

Conference explores media and democracy

An international conference at RMIT University will examine the complex relationship between media and democracy and explore the implications for democratic processes of the growing power of media owners.

EU Centre at RMIT

The conference is hosted by the European Union Centre at RMIT.

Professor Paulo Mancini

Professor Paulo Mancini will deliver the keynote speech in a free public event on 31 August.

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Media, Communication and Democracy: Global and National Environments (31 August-2 September) is hosted by the European Union Centre at RMIT, with the School of Media and Communication (RMIT) and the Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe (MDCEE) research project at the University of Oxford, UK.

Professor Paulo Mancini, University of Perugia, will deliver the opening address in a free public event at 6pm, Wednesday, 31 August, State Library of Victoria.

RMIT EU Centre Director, Professor Bruce Wilson, said understanding complex media, and how it could be manipulated, was a key challenge for the European Union’s push to enhance democracy.

“This conference brings together several outstanding international experts on the media and its role in social and political change, whether in western, central or eastern Europe, northern Africa, or Australia,” Professor Wilson said.

“We'll have debates on the role and character of media, its ownership, use and abuse, which have rarely been aired in this country.”

Key participants in the conference include:

  • Professor Paolo Mancini, University of Perugia, Visiting Fellow with the ERC-funded project on Media and Democracy in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Associate Professor Ingrid Volkmer, University of Melbourne
  • Professor Jan Zielonka, University of Oxford
  • Professor Stephanie Hemelryk Donald, Dean, School of Media and Communication, RMIT

Professor Donald said: “The regionalisation of world politics brings specific challenges to political communications and to the study of media systems.”

The European Union Centre at RMIT is funded through a grant from the European Union and RMIT.

Media, Communication and Democracy: Global and National Environments is at Storey Hall, 342 Swanston Street, Melbourne on Wednesday, 31 August to Friday, 2 September.

Daily conference fees are $137.50 (full), $82.50 (concession). Register for the conference at events@rmit.edu.au.

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