Thematic Dialogue #3

The importance of professional journalism for society and democracy in an age of populism, polarization and misinformation and the challenges faced by, and experiences of, journalists and policy makers internationally.

Thursday February 25th 2021,
15:30 - 17:30 GMT

Panel 1

  • Noel Curran, European Broadcasting Union
  • Paul Farrell, Virgin Media TV
  • Amanda Ade, the 'Black and Irish Podcast'

Panel 2
  • John Purcell, Independent Broadcasters of Ireland
  • Alan Esslemont, TG4
  • Conn McCarrick , National Youth Council of Ireland

Panel 3
  • Susan Kirby, Screen Producers Ireland
  • Kevin Doyle, Newsbrands
  • Daráine Mulvihill, journalist and broadcaster

Playback of Proceedings


15:30    Introductions. Prof. Brian MacCraith, Chair, Future of Media Commission

15:35 - 16:15    Panel 1 - What’s driving the increase in misinformation?
Contributions by panellists, followed by questions and answers.

16:15 - 16:55    Panel 2 - How should policy makers nationally and Internationally, Public Service Media, and Public Service Content Providers respond to the challenge of misinformation?
Contributions by panellists, followed by questions and answers.

16:55 - 17:35    Panel 3 - How will international affairs be reported in future? How will Europe be reported in Ireland after Brexit?
Contributions by panellists, followed by questions and answers.

17:35    Conclusion

Prof. Brian MacCraith, Chair Photograph of Brian MacCraith

Brian MacCraith held the position of President of Dublin City University (DCU) from July 2010 to July 2020, during which time DCU grew significantly in terms of scale, footprint, and reputation. During that period, DCU was Ireland’s fastest growing university) and added 3 new campuses (DCU St. Patrick’s Campus, DCU All Hallows Campus, and DCU Alpha, the University’s Innovation Campus) to its original base in Glasnevin.

During his Presidency, DCU developed a significant international profile, with major academic and research partnerships across the globe and a strong reputation for innovation. The university is ranked consistently as one of the world’s top young universities and is in the top 20 globally for its graduate employment rate. Brian MacCraith is a member of the Royal Irish Academy (RIA), an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Physics, an Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Engineers Ireland, and a Fellow of the Irish Academy of Engineers.

Panel 1
15:35 - 16:15
What’s driving the increase in misinformation?

Panel Chair: Alan Rusbridger, Chair of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism


  • Scott Ruston
  • Catherine Fieschi
  • Emily Bell

Alan Rusbridger, Panel Chair

Photograph of Alan Rusbridger
Alan Rusbridger is currently Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, and Chair of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. He was Editor in Chief of the Guardian from 1995-2015. During his time at the Guardian, both he and the paper won numerous awards, including the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service Journalism. He is the co-author of the BBC drama Fields of Gold. He is a keen amateur musician and the author of Play it Again. His memoir of journalism and its future, Breaking News, was published in 2018. A further book, News and How to Use it, was published in November 2020. He is a member of the Facebook Oversight Board.

Scott Ruston, Arizona State University, Global Security Initiative

Photograph of Scott Ruston
Scott W. Ruston, PhD, is a Research Professor with Arizona State University’s Global Security Initiative, a university-wide interdisciplinary hub for researching complex challenges in the global security arena, where he directs the Center on Narrative, Disinformation & Strategic Influence. Dr. Ruston’s research applies his expertise in narrative theory and media studies to the analysis of disinformation and propaganda, mapping and interdicting malign influence campaigns; and other strategic communication contexts. He is co-author of Narrative Landmines: Rumors, Islamist Extremism and the Struggle for Strategic Influence (Rutgers University Press, 2012), and leads ASU’s Disinformation Working Group

Catherine Fieschi, Director of Counterpoint UK

Photograph of Catherine Fieschi
Catherine Fieschi is a leading European politics expert whose main focus is on populism and other contemporary forms of mobilisation and protest. She is the Director of Counterpoint, a London-based research and advisory group that provides businesses, governments and NGOs with strategic insights on how to manage new forms of social and political risk. She is also Senior Adviser to the London-based macro-advisory firm MAP, and a Senior Advisor to the Pew Research Center. Prior to founding Counterpoint, Catherine was Director of the London think tank, Demos (2004-2008). Catherine is a longstanding adviser to European political leaders and campaigns; she is widely published across academia and the media, and is the author of Populocracy (Agenda, 2019). A native speaker of French, Italian and English, she holds a PhD in Comparative Politics from McGill University.

Professor Emily Bell, Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism; Director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism

Photograph of Emily Bell
Emily Bell is Founding Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia Journalism School, and a leading thinker, commentator and strategist on digital journalism. The majority of Emily’s career was spent at Guardian News and Media in London working as an award-winning writer and editor both in print and online. She is co-author of Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present (2012) with C.W. Anderson and Clay Shirky. Emily is a trustee on the board of the Scott Trust, the owners of The Guardian, a member of Columbia Journalism Review’s board of overseers, an adviser to Tamedia Group in Switzerland, chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Advisory Council on social media, and a member of Poynter’s National Advisory Board.

Panel 2
16:15 - 16:55
How should policy makers nationally and Internationally, Public Service Media, and Public Service Content Providers respond to the challenge of misinformation?

Panel Chair: Gillian Doyle, Professor of Media Economics at the University of Glasgow


  • Anthony Nakache
  • Claire Wardle
  • Miguel Maduro

Professor Gillian Doyle, Panel Chair

Photograph of Gillian Doyle

Gillian Doyle is Professor of Media Economics in the Centre for Cultural Policy Research (CCPR) at the University of Glasgow. She has carried out, supervised and contributed to a number of studies on media economics and media policy funded by bodies including the UK Research Councils, the European Commission, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Council of Europe.
Gillian is currently Principal Investigator of a major project funded by the UK Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) on ‘Television Production in Transition: Independence, Scale and Sustainability’ and a Co-Investigator of the Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC). Gillian is a former President of the Association for Cultural Economics International (ACEI).

Anthony Nakache, Google, Director, Online Partnerships Group, EMEA

Photograph of Anthony Nakache
Anthony Nakache joined Google over 12 years ago and is currently the head of the Online Partnerships Group in EMEA and a member of the core leadership team in Dublin, Google’s EMEA HQ. His team helps publishers and developers across the region make the most out of Google’s monetization solutions. Prior to this, Anthony has had a few different roles, leading Sales and Account Management for strategic partners, initiating a cross Google partnership approach with the gaming industry and helping develop Google's relationships with media agencies in France and SEEMEA (Southern & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa). Before joining Google, Anthony worked in the IT consulting industry. He holds an MBA from INSEAD and an Engineering degree in Telecommunications.

Dr. Claire Wardle, Co-Founder and Leader of First Draft

Photograph of Claire Wardle
Dr. Claire Wardle is a leading expert on user generated content, verification and misinformation. She is co-founder and director of First Draft, the world’s foremost non-profit focused on research and practice to address mis- and disinformation. In 2017 she co-authored a report for the Council of Europe entitled, Information Disorder: Toward an interdisciplinary framework for research and policymaking.

Professor Miguel Maduro, Chair of the European Digital Media Observatory (EDMO)

Photograph of Miguel Maduro
Miguel Poiares Maduro holds the Vieira de Almeida Chair at the Global Law School of Universidade Católica Portuguesa. He is also the Director of the Future Forum at the Gulbenkian Foundation and the Chair of the Executive Board of the European Digital Media Observatory. He was until the summer of 2020 Professor and Director of the School of Transnational Governance at the European University Institute where he continues to be a Visiting Professor. From 2013 to 2015 he was Minister Adjunct to the Prime Minister and Minister for Regional Development in Portugal. Until October 2009 he was Advocate General at the European Court of Justice. He is a Doctor of Laws by the European University Institute (Florence) and was winner of the best PhD thesis and best researcher of the Law Department at the EUI. He has been a regular Visiting Professor at Yale Law School, the Centro de Estudios Constitucionales (Madrid), the Chicago Law School and London School of Economics, He is also teaching at the Universidade Católica and the College of Europe. From July 2016 to May 2017 he was Chairman of the Governance and Review Committee of FIFA. He has been honoured by the President of the Portuguese Republic with the Order of Sant'Iago da Espada for literary, scientific and artistic merit. In 2010 he was awarded the Gulbenkian Science Prize. His more recent book is Democracy in Times of Pandemic (with Paul Kahn).

Panel 3
16:55 - 17:35
How will international affairs be reported in future? How will Europe be reported in Ireland after Brexit?

Panel Chair: Michael Collins, Director General, Institute for International and European Affairs


  • Simon Kuper
  • Shona Murray
  • Sir Julian King

Michael Collins, Panel Chair

Photograph of Michael Collins

Michael Collins assumed his position as Director General of the IIEA in November 2019. He served at the highest level in the Irish diplomatic service during a 45-year career. Prior to his retirement from the diplomatic service, Michael served as Irish Ambassador to Germany from 2013 to 2019 and before that, he served as Ambassador to the United States from 2007 to 2013. In 2001, he was appointed Second Secretary General in the Department of An Taoiseach with responsibility for the Northern Ireland peace process, Anglo-Irish issues and EU and international issues. On retirement, he became the longest-serving diplomat in the history of the Irish foreign service.

Simon Kuper, Columnist with the Financial Times

Photograph of Simon Kuper
Simon Kuper (born in Kampala, Uganda in 1969) was educated at Oxford University and Harvard. He has been working for the Financial Times since 1994, and now writes a general column for the newspaper. He is British but lives with his wife and three children in Paris. He is the author of several books on football. The Happy Traitor, his biography of the double agent George Blake, was published in February 2021. Awards for his journalism range from the Manuel Vázquez Montalbán prize for sports writing in 2008 to the British Society of Magazine Editors’ prize for Columnist of the Year in 2016 and 2020.

Shona Murray, Europe Correspondent, Euronews

Photograph of Shona Murray
Shona Murray is Europe correspondent with Euronews. Previously she was Political Correspondent with the Irish Independent, and Foreign Affairs correspondent with Newstalk. She’s specialized in Brexit and has reported from dozens of countries such as Israel/Gaza, Iraq, Turkey/Syria border, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Haiti and Guantanamo Bay. She holds an M.Phil in International Peace and an LL.M in international law - both from Trinity College Dublin. She is alum of the US State Department Edward R. Murrow programme for journalists.

Sir Julian King, Distinguished Fellow, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)/Former European Commissioner for the Security Union

Photograph of Sir Julian King
Sir Julian King was EU Commissioner for the Security Union from 2016-2019, with responsibility for counter terrorism, cyber security, tackling hybrid threats, disinformation, and securing critical digital infrastructure. He joined the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1985. He has held various positions, including UK Ambassador to France (2016); Director General Economic & Consular (2014); DG of the Northern Ireland Office London and Belfast (2011); UK Ambassador to Ireland (2009); EU Commission Chef de Cabinet to Commissioner for Trade (2008); UK Representative on EU Political and Security Committee, (2004). Sir Julian is a graduate of Oxford University and the Ecole Nationale d’Administration, Paris.