Is the power of the mainstream media slowly waning, while the influence of the alternative and hyperlocal online press grows? This is just one of the questions a public meeting will aim to debate, while a few hundred yards away the Tory Party Conference gushes on, with the party backed by the most of the billionaire press barons.
The Media for the Many, not the Few event, at The People's Event Marquee in Piccadilly Gardens, takes its theme from Jeremy Corbyn's catchphrase...
"Six months ago, the media landscape in Britain seemed to be locked up by a handful of moguls and monopolies whose relentless attacks on Corbyn's Labour threatened to condemn progressive politics to the digital wilderness" state the organisers "But the 2017 election was hailed as a defeat for the 'billionaire' press; Grenfell an awakening of the long ignored voice of the progressive 'many'; and Murdoch's second attempt to take over Sky remains mired in political heat, despite widespread expectations to the contrary.
"Are we witnessing a historic transformation towards a genuinely more diverse, democratic and accountable media in Britain or is media power consolidating in more complex and less visible ways?" they ask "Can the BBC regain the trust of viewers alienated by its coverage of Brexit and Labour over the last two years? Will emergent hyperlocal and alternative left press online provide a sufficient counterweight to the dominance of corporate media and the Conservative press?"
It's a huge subject but attempting to shed light on it all are speakers Julie Hesmonhalgh, actress, activist Labour Party member and patron of Trans Media Watch and Manchester People's Assembly; Tom Mills, a lecturer in sociology and policy at Aston University and author of The BBC: Myth of a Public Service; Steve Sweeney, Morning Star journalist; Milly Williamson, media researcher and programme convenor for the MA Media and Public Relations at Brunel University; Stephen Kingston, Salford Star editor, and Justin Schlosberg senior lecturer in journalism and media at Birkbeck, University of London, and current chair of the Media Reform Coalition.
Media for the Many, not the Few
Monday, October 2nd 2pm-4pm
The People's Event Marquee
Piccadilly Gardens free
For further details see the Facebook event page – click here
For the full list of Take Back Manchester Festival events - click here