History and Journalism

Date / time: 18 October, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

Register for free at: https://www.history.ac.uk/events/history-and-journalism

This event will take the form of an online round-table discussion focusing on the connections between History and print Journalism and how each field can benefit from collaborating with the other. The event aims to bring together practitioners from both fields, especially those with experience of bridging the divide. Our distinguished panellists aim to address the following questions:

1. Philip L. Graham, former President and Publisher of the Washington Post said, “Journalism is the first rough draft of history.” What does this mean in practice and what similarities and differences are there between the work of the historian and the journalist?

2. History-making is a recurrent theme in today’s journalism, with frequent resort to words like ‘historic’ and ‘unprecedented’. To what extent does this suggest a genuine interaction with History, and does it risk distorting our understanding of the past?

3. Could both journalists and historians benefit from acquiring some of each other’s professional skills?

4. Journalists are increasingly drawn to so-called ‘culture war’ topics – legacies of slavery, statues, national memory/ identity, gender/ sexual identities etc: how should historians engage with this and what are the dangers of being drawn into polarised or stereotyped positions, or even becoming the target of attacks?

Chair: Philip Murphy (Director of History & Policy).

Confirmed Speakers:

Alan Rusbridger (Formerly editor-in-chief of The Guardian and Principal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, he currently serves on Meta’s Oversight Board).

Adrian Bingham (Director of Sheffield University’s Centre for the Study of Journalism and History).

Simon Heffer (Historian, journalist, author and political commentator).