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Talk by Matt Prodger: “The Post-Truth World”

As part of the Speakers for Schools programme, ex-BBC journalist and communications consultant, Matt Prodger, gave a talk on the “Post-Truth World” on Wednesday 8th February. Mr Prodger spoke at length on the uses and abuses of the modern media and the internet. An elite group of some of our most academically able students opted to attend and many asked questions about the ‘fake news’ phenomenon, the traditional print media, Trump and Putin. Students discussed with our speaker the problems caused by social media news filters which push certain news stories via complex algorithms.  This serves to reinforce an  unquestioning view of the world, it was argued, and poses a challenge to the legitimacy of traditional news outlets and even the democratic process itself. Mr Prodger talked about the need for individuals to take responsibility for weighing up the veracity of news stories, wherever possible, and for the media to continue to play its role in calling out the blatant lies of certain websites, political parties and international regimes where the evidence clearly points in the opposite direction. Students and staff alike found the talk an interesting and useful reminder of the need for cautious scepticism in the way we view stories in the media.

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