WMS research seminar: 'Communication industries in the era of fake news: Between organised lying and professional legitimacy'

Date Monday 9 September 2019
Time 2pm - 3pm
Location MSB.4.02, Level 4, Waikato Management School, Hillcrest Road, Hamilton
Presenter Assoc Professor Lee Edwards (London School of Economics and Political Science)
Cost Free

Waikato Management School will host a research seminar on Monday, 9 September by Assoc Professor Lee Edwards (London School of Economics and Political Science) on the topic of 'Communication industries in the era of fake news: Between organised lying and professional legitimacy'.

Everyone is welcome to attend, however please be aware that seats are limited.

The role of the public relations (PR) industry in the disinformation debate has been largely overlooked, says Dr Edwards, while an overwhelming emphasis has been put on the responsibilities of platforms, media and audiences to monitor content and eliminate fake news.

She argues that disinformation and fake news are well-established tools in PR and are implicated in the current crisis.

Drawing on an empirical study from the UK, Dr Edwards will explain how the PR industry has facilitated its own disappearing act from public debate through professional narratives that position ‘good’ PR practitioners as the journalist’s/citizen's friend, while simultaneously ‘othering’ dubious practices.

This strategy protects the PR industry's professional legitimacy by normalising organised lying in neoliberal democratic environments. The fight against disinformation must engage with the toxic manifestations of persuasion in promotional culture, if it is to be effective, she says.

Dr Edwards works in the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She also serves as Programme Director for the MSc Strategic Communications.

Her research is focused on critical socio-cultural perspectives of public relations and strategic communication, and she is widely regarded as a pioneer in this field.

In addition to numerous articles in top international journals, she has authored or edited several influential books, including Public Relations, Society and the Generative Power of History (Routledge, 2019); Understanding Public Relations: Theory, Culture and Society (Sage, 2018); Understanding Copyright (Sage, 2015); Power, Diversity and Public Relations (Routledge, 2014); and Public Relations, Society and Culture: Theoretical and Empirical Explorations (Routledge, 2011).

RSVP is not required, just come along on the day.