Young people and politics: Off-line social actions and digital activism

Jessica Di Paolo on the “Digital Activism” session from Polis 2015 Conference, 27 March. Speakers: Bart Cammaerts (chair), Laura Townshend, Michael Sani and  Will Moy 

Engaging young people and making them more enthusiastic about politics has been one of the main topics discussed during #GE2015. The lack of confidence in politicians and the general apathy towards UK politics have led to the rise of interactive tools that aim at making politics more appealing an connected with the real needs and voices of younger citizens.

During the panel ‘Digital activism and information project’ at the LSE Polis conference, Michael Sani, Laura Townshend and Will Moy outlined both offline strategies and digital projects to inspire young voters to participate in the political process.

What I found interesting is the idea of combining social platforms with offline social actions. As pointed out by Michael Sani – co-founder of Bite The Ballot – the internet can be a powerful tool to encourage citizens to participate but, at the same time, there remains the need for offline social actions.

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Conference 2014 Speaker Series: An Interview with Mark Watts

Mr Watts is the Editor-in-Chief of Exaro and the co-founder of the FOIA Centre, which specialises in ‘open-access law’ research. He works as a journalist, author and television presenter and previously has worked as a reporter at several national newspapers. He has been responsible for revelations about MI6 lobbying, political party funding and is the author of ‘The Fleet Street Sewer Rat’.

Interview by Emma Goodman, Meg Charlton, Asuka Kageura, and Kailey Fuller-Jackson.

Conference 2014 Speaker Series: An Interview with George Brock

George Brock is a professor and head of journalism at City University. He is the former managing editor of The Times. Professor Brock is a member of the executive board of the International Press Institute, chairman of the IPI’s British committee, and a board member of the World Editors Forum. He is the author of ‘Out of Print: Newspapers, Journalism, and the Business of News in the Digital Age’.

Interview by Emma Goodman, Meg Charlton, Kailey-Fuller Jackson, and Asuka Kageura.

Conference 2014 Speaker Series: An Interview with Eric Newton

Eric Newton is senior adviser to the president at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which funds ideas that promote quality journalism and media innovation, based on a principle that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. A former managing editor of the Oakland Tribune, he is also author of the innovative digital educational book on the history and future of news, Searchlights and Sunglasses.

He will be speaking on two panels at the 2014 Polis Journalism Conference on Friday March 28, one on the role of journalism education in the future of transparency journalism, and one on innovation in transparency, which will address how new technology is increasing transparency in journalism.

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Conference 2014 Speaker Series: An Interview with James Dean

James Dean is a business reporter for The Times, where he has carried out undercover investigative work to break stories including the Lloyds payment protection insurance (PPI) selling scandal.

He will be speaking at the 2014 Polis Journalism Conference, on a panel focused on discussing how journalists sometimes have to ‘cross the line’ in pursuit of a story to hold power to account.

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