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The University of Southampton
Interdisciplinary Research Excellence

The Condition of England: the Press, Politics and Power Event

18:00 - 19:00
9 May 2012
Avenue Campus, Building 65, Lecture Theatre A

Event details

You are cordially invited to a lecture by University of Southampton alumnus and editor of the New Statesman, Jason Cowley. The Condition of England: the Press, Politics and Power.


When I graduated from Southampton in the summer of 1989 it felt to me as if there were boundless opportunities, especially in the media where I wanted to work. New newspapers were being launched; existing newspapers were launching new cultural sections and magazines. There were jobs. More generally, the Cold War was coming to an end; communist totalitarianism was collapsing. The mood was one of Western triumphalism; the whole world would soon embrace democracy, free markets and the rule of law. Today, after the global financial crisis and the great recession that followed it, the mood is much sombre and sceptical, especially in the West. The traditional print media are suffering a great contraction as newspapers struggle to survive as the internet and social media transform the way we read, think and communicate.

Meanwhile, in Britain, more than one million young people aged between 16 and 24 are unemployed: the so-called lost generation. Anyone graduating from Southampton today will have no guarantee that they will be better off than their parents. We are entering the long age of austerity, with the West in decline and a new world order taking shape around us. In addition, people are losing faith in public institutions and in authority -- our politics and print media have been tainted by the MPs' expenses and the phone-hacking scandals. And the banking crisis has left many idealistic young people asking the same question: who or what can we trust?

Jason Cowley is a journalist, magazine editor and writer.

He became editor of the New Statesman in October 2008. Before that, he was editor of Granta magazine and of the award-winning Observer Sport Monthly, and a staff writer on The Times. He was a Booker Prize judge in 1997 and is a founding member of the council of the Caine Prize for African Writing, which he judged in 2001 and 2002.

He is the author of a novel, Unknown Pleasures (Faber & Faber, 2000), and his second book, a memoir called The Last Game: Love, Death and Football, was published by Simon & Schuster in hardback in 2009 and in paperback in 2010.

In 2009 and 2011 he was voted editor of the year, current affairs and newspaper magazines, in the British Society of Magazine Editors' awards. He has just been shortlisted for the most coveted award in the magazine industry, as Editor of the Year (consumer magazines) in the 2012 PPA (Professional Publishers Association) Awards.

RSVP If you wish to attend this event please email Tracy Storey

Places for this event will be limited so ensure you register as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

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