Religion, Media Freedom and The Commonwealth

Religion, Media Freedom and The Commonwealth
10 March 2020, 10.00am - 6.30pm
Conference / Symposium
Mary Ward House Conference Centre, Bloomsbury, London

Following on from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s major conference on Global Media Freedom in July 2019, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, School of Advanced Study, University of London is organizing a day-long event on religion and media freedom across the Commonwealth.

This event is designed to continue the discussion of an important, controversial, but so often overlooked aspect of media reportage which was raised in a panel at the FCO’s Global Media Freedom conference in July 2019.  As an integral part of its work on challenges to media freedom, the ICWS plans to host discussion on this important contemporary challenge to ‘the fourth estate’, with its role of underpinning democratic governance across the multi-faith Commonwealth.

For the past 40 years, the annual Commonwealth multi-faith celebration in Westminster Abbey, led by HM the Queen as head of the Commonwealth, has expressly sought to draw together leaders of faith communities across the Commonwealth, to emphasize shared religious values and respect for diversity. Despite this annual act of affirmation led by the ceremonial head of the Commonwealth, across the 53-member association there are multiple examples where religious identity politics is influencing or constraining reportage on minority communities, distorting or suffocating news coverage and dissemination of important information, and needed acknowledgement of social problems and political shortcomings.

The event will highlight 5 particular Commonwealth case studies, to emphasize the complexities of the issues involved, which are not confined to single faith communities and their relationship with the media. It will be divided into three main sessions. Each panel will have one principal designated academic speaker, and be framed to allow a substantial Q&A session.

Attendance by confirmed invitation only. 

Those wishing to attend should contact the ICWS Deputy Director, Dr Sue Onslow in the first instance, as event organiser, giving position and affiliation.

Religion, Media and the Commonwealth.pdf


Olga Jimenez
020 7862 8871