The Media and the European Union Debate: Bystanders or Ringleaders?

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It has become a widely-shared trope that the media is broadly Eurosceptic and that they have helped to shape public opinion on the EU in a marked way. However, whilst it is quite clear that the British print media has lived up to its famously vociferous reputation, it is not so clear whether they can take credit, or be blamed, for the British public’s view on the EU. This event is not intended to revisit the heavily-trodden territory of the benefits and costs of our EU membership, but instead question what role the media has played in shaping the ground leading up to the referendum, and what role they now have as we approach the referendum date of 23rd June.

With figures from across the political and media spectrum, as well as the regulatory bodies, RUSI will host a wide-ranging discussion and try to cut through some of the mythology surrounding the media’s influence. The event will be chaired by Sir Christopher Meyer, former chairman of the Press Complaints Commission, and he will be joined by the following journalists:

Professor Roy Greenslade, City University London

Peter Preston, The Guardian

Tim Montgomerie, The Times

If would like to attend, please click on the 'Register Now' button. For any queries, please contact Nathan Mathiot at


Sir Christopher Meyer is a former British Ambassador to the United States (1997–2003), former Ambassador to Germany (1997) and the former chairman of the Press Complaints Commission (2003–2009). He was also press secretary to Prime Minister Sir John Major, press secretary to Foreign Secretary Sir Geoffrey, later Lord, Howe, and speech writer to three Foreign Secretaries, James Callaghan, Anthony Crosland and David Owen. Sir Christopher is now a regular television, radio and newspaper commentator on international affairs and the media. He is also the author of DC Confidential (2005), Getting Our Way (2009) and Only Child (2013). Finally, Sir Christopher is a Senior Associate Fellow of RUSI.

Professor Roy Greenslade is a senior media teacher at City University London. He is also a commentator and columnist on the media, and currently blogs for The Guardian. As a journalist he worked at publications including The Sun and the Sunday Times, and held the editorship of the Daily Mirror. Roy is the author of Press Gang: How Newspapers make Profits from Propaganda (Macmillan, 2003), Maxwell's Fall (Simon & Schuster, 1992), and Goodbye to the Working Class (Marion Boyars, 1976).

Peter Preston is a columnist for the Guardian and the Observer. He was previously editor of the Guardian for 20 years, from 1975 to 1995, and has written two books, Bess (1999) and The 51st State (1998)

Tim Montgomerie is a British political activist, blogger, and columnist and former comment editor for The Times. He is best known as the co-founder of the Centre for Social Justice and as creator of the ConservativeHome website.

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