SNF Dialogues joins iMEdD International Journalism Forum

SNF Dialogues: Spectators or citizens?

A live discussion on media, citizenship, and democracy

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, once said that the press is the best instrument for enlightening the mind of people, and improving them as a rational, moral, and social being. In today's complex media landscape, how does this statement hold true? The next SNF Dialogues event aims to explore this multifaceted relationship between media and citizenship in a live discussion titled “Spectators or Citizens”, scheduled for Wednesday, September 27, at 19:00, at Peiraios 260. This discussion will serve as a precursor to the iMEdD International Journalism Forum (#iMEdDIJF23), where relevant topics will be further explored and discussed.

The SNF Dialogues, curated and moderated by Anna-Kynthia Bousdoukou (iMEdD Managing Director, SNF Dialogues Executive Director and journalist), will feature esteemed panelists Dr. Laurie Ouellette, Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Minnesota, Dr. Darren Lilleker, Professor of Political Communication at Bournemouth University, and Timothy J. Shaffer, Director of the SNF Ithaca Initiative and Chair of the Policy Dialogue Department at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

In an era where news is omnipresent yet often disengaging, the discussion will delve into the role of media in shaping or eroding democratic values and civic participation. It will question whether we have transitioned from being active citizens to mere spectators or consumers of news, thereby affecting our engagement in civic and political life.

Key topics to be covered include the transformation of media from a public good to a commercial entity, the rise of “infotainment” and its impact on public opinion, the phenomenon of “media malaise” and news avoidance, and the emergence of “tele-citizens” in the age of social media. The event will also explore the potential of the media to empower citizens and promote positive public debates.

As we navigate through a world where media conglomerates control most news outlets and where the line between news and entertainment blurs, this discussion is more relevant than ever; it aims to foster a dialogue that could lead to a reimagined media landscape, one that serves an engaged citizenry capable of shaping their collective future.

For more information and to register for the event, visit