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Academics and the Media: Friends or Foes?

Rana Mitter hosts a debate at 2010's Free Thinking festival, entitled Academics and the Media: Friends or Foes? Is the media really the opportunity for scholars to reach millions?

Rana Mitter hosts a debate at Radio 3's Free Thinking festival: Academics and the Media: Friends or Foes?

BBC Radio 3 and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) are joining forces to find the next generation of public intellectuals. Together they're launching New Generation Thinkers, a talent scheme for emerging academics with a passion for communicating the excitement of modern scholarship to a wider audience. The selected researchers will benefit from a unique opportunity to develop their own programme for BBC Radio 3 and appear on air in special New Generation Thinkers debates.

To get the New Generation Thinkers search underway, Rana Mitter, Night Waves presenter and Professor of the History of Modern China joins Professor Rick Rylance, head of the AHRC, and a panel that includes former Channel 4 commissioning editor Tim Kirby and the historian of academics on TV Jon Conlin to debate this tricky relationship.

Is the media really the fabled opportunity for academics to reach millions beyond the lecture hall that it is meant to be? Or, in reality, does it involve compromises that reduce scholarship to little more than glorified story-telling? Are academics and the media, friends or foes?

Recorded in front of an audience at the Sage Gateshead as part of Radio 3's Free Thinking festival of ideas.

Producer: Kirsty Pope.

Available now

45 minutes


Free Thinking

Free Thinking

Radio 3’s new home for arts and ideas.