Steve Barnett interviewed for Radio 4’s ‘The New Philosophers and the Death of the Interview’

15th May 2019

It’s more than a quarter of a century since the first internet radio talk show. Since then, podcasts and video streaming have allowed people to speak uninterrupted and directly to their audiences, bypassing traditional radio and TV interviews. So how did these new philosophers find their voice? In this programme, Financial Times assistant editor, Janine Gibson, investigates the little-known internet archive, to find out how this new breed of polemicists evolved, and whether we should be concerned by the lack of scrutiny they face. She asks BBC and commercial broadcasters, as well as CAMRI’s Steve Barnett about the rise of podcasts and their impact on political debate. During the show, Barnett argued that, while social and digital media have contributed positively to democracy by providing outlets for marginalised voices, there is a danger in the polemicists and populists who populate much of the new online political world going unchallenged. Conspiracy theory sites like Infowars, with no basis in empirical evidence, are likely to feed white supremacy movements. This raises questions about whether and how new platforms should be regulated in the internet age.

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