Research Seminar: Media Freedom, Platform Power and Democratic Legitimacy

The concepts of ‘Press Freedom’ and ‘Media Freedom’ have long been points of principled consensus, and practical confusion.

This lecture examines the historical, legal and philosophical background to the current debate about media freedom including current debates about hate speech, disinformation and appropriate use of social networks.

As former President Trump remains banned from some of the most influential social media platforms, and the UK and the EU consider legislation to transform regulation of those platforms, Dr Tambini sets out a framework for a ‘positive rights’ approach to media freedom as a long term response to the current crisis of democratic legitimacy.

About Dr Tambini

Dr Damian Tambini is Distinguished Policy Fellow, and Associate Professor in the Department of Media and Communications at LSE, where he also serves as Programme Director for the MSc Media and Communications (Governance). He is the author of “Media Freedom”. (2021).  

Dr Tambini is an expert in media and communications regulation and policy, and active in policymaking as well as academic research. He is frequently called to give evidence to parliamentary committees and provide formal and informal policy advice to government and international organisations.

From 2014-2015 he served on the UK Government Expert Panel advising on the value of electromagnetic spectrum. He was called to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry in 2012, and from 2009-2010 he served on the Communications Consumer Panel, a non-executive role at the communications regulator Ofcom. He has advised the European Commission and served on several expert groups for the Council of Europe. 

Dr Tambini was inaugural Director of the LSE Media Policy Project between 2010 and 2018. From June 2002-August 2006 Dr Tambini was Head of the Programme in Comparative Media Law and Policy at Oxford University. Before that he was director of the IPPR Media Policy Project (1999-2002), Postdoctoral Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford (1998). Lecturer, Humboldt University, Berlin (1997-8), and researcher at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy (PhD 1996). 

Research and publications

Dr Tambini’s research interests include media and telecommunications policy and democratic communication. He is the author of many articles on media and communications regulation and policy and author/ editor of several books.

His most recent book is ‘Media Freedom’ published by Polity Press in 2021, which was described as ‘essential reading’ by European Commissioner Jourova in summer 2022.

He co-edited 'Regulating Big Tech. Policy Responses to Digital Dominance' (Oxford University Press 2021) and ‘Digital Dominance: The Power of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple.’ (Oxford University Press 2018).

He co-wrote ‘Codifying Cyberspace' (Routledge, 2008), co-edited 'Cyberdemocracy' (Routledge 1998) and 'Citizenship, Markets, and the State' (Oxford University Press 2000).

Other publications include: 'Nationalism in Italian Politics' (Routledge 2001), 'Collective Identities in Action: Theories of Ethnic Conflict' (Ashgate, September 2002); 'New News: Impartial Broadcasting in the Digital Age' (2002) and 'Privacy and the Media' (2003).