European election debate held at BU


Prospective MEP candidates from seven political parties gathered to debate key topics in preparation for the upcoming European elections.

The hustings, hosted at Bournemouth University, was organised by students from BU’s Media School, who also filmed proceedings as a part of their coverage of the European elections.

Candidates were faced with pre-prepared questions, followed by audience responses to their comments during the Question Time-style debate, chaired by BU academic Dr Dan Jackson. At times the debate became heated as candidates from opposing sides positioned themselves with polarised thoughts on important political topics.

Topics discussed by the candidates included Britain’s future in Europe, Britain and Europe’s response to the situation in the Crimea and the immigration issues facing the UK.

Audience participation was excellent, with debate encouraged amongst the crowd; students, staff members and members of the public engaged in the debate with comments, and applause was offered for particularly strong points from the prospective MEPs.

Jay Risbridger, a prospective MEP candidate for the Liberal Democrat party, said after the event, “Its important [to have events such as this at universities] as students will become the future voters who will participate in the EU. I think this generation, more than any other, their jobs and future prosperity will depend on what goes on in the EU rather than what goes on in the UK government.”

Jay also offered a message to students who will be voting in next week’s European elections, saying, “Think about what you are going to be doing and where you are going to be working in the future and be mindful that you may not be working in the UK in the future but in the EU!”

Students from a number of Media School courses came together to deliver the debate. Television production student Edward Lawrence organised the event and said, “I’m a big fan of these political debate shows, which give audiences a platform to ask the questions that matter with politicians they are going to be voting for. I am proud that we have provided that platform and am proud of the students that covered the event, I think they are a credit to Bournemouth University.”

Douglas Tham, a student studying Politics and Media at BU, also helped to run the event on the night and added, “It really shows that students do care about politics and it’s great that we have the European elections coming up next week and we have students here asking questions, talking about it and learning about it.”

Other candidates to take part in the debate included current Conservative MEP Ashley Fox, UKIP prospective MEP Dr Julia Reid, Green Party Prospective MEP Mark Chivers, Labour Prospective MEP Clare Moody, An Independence from Europe Party Prospective MEP David Smith and English Democrats Prospective MEP Amanda Hopwood.

BU event provides insight into media reform post-Leveson


Academics, media industry experts and journalists all joined together at Bournemouth University to discuss media reform through a post–Leveson lens.

The address, given by Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party, set the scene for the conference before other guest speakers, including Professor James Curran of Goldsmiths University, gave their views.

The event, called ‘Opportunities for Media Reform post–Leveson’, provided analysis of the current media climate and provoked discussion on the ways in which the sector needs to change and adapt so as to align itself with the Leveson Report while maintaining its core ethics.

Topics included discussion on the use of technology in media, the financial restrictions placed on media organisations and the failure of the British press to reform in the past. Each guest speaker spoke on a different facet of media reform to give thought provoking insight into what the Leveson Report could mean for the future of the British press.

As a part of her address, Natalie Bennett said, “We have got technological advances, issues with the local media and, of course, huge commercial pressures. But the risk is that all of those pressures are only going to make the dark side of the press worse, unless we take some action.”

Stephen Jukes, Dean of BU’s Media School and former journalist, opened the conference by saying, “I’m the first to admit that the ethical standards across the media have fallen to an all–time low. There are already a whole range of laws out there – I say reform them and use them.”

For more information about the event you can visit the conference website.