Edinburgh Festival of Politics 2011
On 25 August 2011, the European Parliament and the European Movement hosted an event at the Edinburgh Festival of Politics entitled "Reporting Europe in the Age of the New Media".
The sell-out event was a discussion debate with an invited panel of experts and members of the public. The format was slightly unusual: instead of a panel of politicians chaired by a journalist, our event featured a panel of journalists chaired by MEP Catherine Stihler MEP. The panellists were: Iain Macwhirter (Sunday Herald), David Eyre (BBC Alba), Malcolm Harvey (Co-editor of the Better Nation political blog) and Udo Seiwert-Fauti (a German journalist with many years' experience of reporting Europe and Scotland).
The Chairman and each member of the panel provided an introduction, each addressing the theme of how far the rise of new media had impacted on reporting on European affairs in Scotland, and the floor was then opened to questions. Several speakers expressed scepticism that new media would be able to provide the in-depth and expert analysis of politics that mainstream media has traditionally provided. However, it was equally recognised that the changing media landscape meant that newspapers in particular would find it increasingly difficult to afford to provide such coverage in future. As might be expected, there was something of a 'generation gap' among audience members in their responses to new and traditional forms of media. There was widespread agreement that coverage of EU affairs in Scottish media was too limited, although explanations for why this is the case differed. And there was a heated debate about the value of Twitter!
The Better Nation blog reviewed the event here. A full podcast of the event will be available shortly.