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Univ in the Arts: Salon

Univ in the Arts: Salon – “Who Owns the News?”
Thursday 23 January, 2020
The Groucho Club, Mary-Lou Room, 45 Dean Street, London W1D 4QB

Please note: This Event is Now Sold Out.

Sharing ideas on power and influence in the media.

We are delighted to invite our Old Members and friends to the second Univ Salon, the event in the College’s annual Univ in the Arts programme, in which we take the opportunity to explore one specific aspect of a humanities-related issue in a uniquely interactive and informal way.

The theme “Who Owns the News?” addresses one of the most important questions facing any democratic society: what are the forces that shape the news we all consume – on television and radio, in newspapers and online, and on the social media feeds we now access as part of our daily lives? In short, who holds the real power in today’s increasingly fragmented, fake-news obsessed, financially-perilous news industry?

The Salon will take place from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on Thursday, 23 January in the Mary-Lou Room at the Groucho Club in Soho, a stylish venue in which to share ideas with our contributors and fellow guests over drinks and delicious food.

Our speakers have backgrounds in mainstream news, digital and social media, as well as communications and government.


Univ Chris BirkettChris Birkett (1979, PPE) spent more than thirty years as a journalist, news producer and executive with the BBC and Sky News, winning an Emmy Award in 2007 and a Royal Television Society Award in 2010. Having worked in senior positions both for the country’s main public service broadcaster and inside Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, Chris has first-hand experience of the powerful and often conflicting currents sweeping across the UK news industry.

Univ Daniel GilbertDaniel Gilbert (2004, History) is the Director of the London Public Affairs Team at Hanover, one of the UK’s leading communications consultancies, where he oversees the firm’s Brexit advisory practice. Daniel’s background is in government communications – he was previously a Special Advisor in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He is a Conservative councillor in Milton Keynes.

Univ Fred SpringFred Spring (2006, Philosophy and Russian) is a media entrepreneur turned consultant, with a broad range of experience in government, the media industry and consultancy. In 2016, while at Harvard Business School, Fred set-up The Daily PNut, an electronic newsletter on global affairs aimed at millennials, which was later sold to a San Francisco-based media publisher.

Univ Tewfik CassisTewfik Cassis was Fred Spring’s co-founder of The Daily PNut. With a background in venture capitalism, Tewfik now works for Facebook, the social media giant which is a member of the so-called Big Four global technology companies. Facebook also owns Whats App, Instagram and Oculus, so, not surprisingly, is considered one of the most influential players in the digital media landscape.


Given the intimate and small-scale nature of this event, places are limited and tickets are available on a first come, first served basis. Tickets cost £35 for Old Members and £15 for Young Univ members. Please book online by Monday, 13 January 2020. For any enquiries, please email rsvp@univ.ox.ac.uk

We look forward to seeing you for what promises to be a fascinating and lively evening.

Please note that audio, photographs and video footage may be taken throughout our events. These may be used by the College for marketing and publicity in our publications, on our website and in social media or in any third party publication. Please contact the event organiser if you have any concerns or if you wish to be exempted from this activity.

Image (c) Barbara Kinney/Hillary for America.

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