Communication Policy and Invisibilities (Inaugural Lecture: Prof. Maria Michalis) @ University of Westminster (Fyvie Hall)
Jun 20 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Communication Policy and Invisibilities (Inaugural Lecture: Prof. Maria Michalis) @ University of Westminster (Fyvie Hall) | England | United Kingdom

In her inaugural lecture, Professor Maria Michalis will reflect on her academic journey and how she has navigated the balance between academic research and attempts to intervene in policy.

She asks: what are the invisible communication policy issues and stakeholders, and what can we do about them?

Maria’s normative starting point is that communication policy should promote the public interest, understood primarily as democratic values, as her work on public service media illustrates. For Maria, policy is a way to explore ideas, discourses and power. Policy, like power, can be visible but also invisible. ‘Invisibilities’ refers to many things. For instance: the policy process itself can seem like a black box; policymakers prioritise certain issues and stakeholders, making these visible, whilst at the same time they overlook other issues and stakeholders, making these less visible or even invisible.

Maria’s contribution to communication policy lies mainly in researching and raising awareness of aspects that are less visible, yet central to our potential for empowerment and active citizenship. Her focus has been on the infrastructure of media and communication, on what goes on inside and behind the devices we use. What can broadly be termed as infrastructural governance (e.g., infrastructure, platforms, standards, artificial intelligence, value chains, business models and so on) is neither neutral nor merely technical but is fundamental to the cultural and informational content that we access, create and consume. Infrastructural governance has a very concrete impact on visibility, speech, democracy, and ultimately the character of our societies.

The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception, to close by 7pm.

Regulating Digital Media in the Global South: What Are the Challenges? @ University of Westminster
Jun 27 – Jun 28 all-day
Regulating Digital Media in the Global South: What Are the Challenges? @ University of Westminster | England | United Kingdom

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The last 20 years have seen an exponential increase in the production and uses of digital media content by a large and important young political generation. These digital media platforms have the potential to create positive social, cultural and economic change. However, the centralised structure of these platforms often leads to tax evasion and disregard for local laws, with countries in the global South being particularly susceptible to exploitation by such platforms which exploit long-standing colonial power structures to enhance their profits and obscure transparency.  Media regulatory laws in countries of the global South have found it difficult to contend with this new digital colonialism, and often lack the institutional capacities and frameworks for effective regulation of digital media content.

This two-day international conference, organised by the University of Westminster’s Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI), brings together media academics, media regulators, policy makers and civil society groups to discuss and debate the key challenges facing countries of the global South in regulating digital media in the age of the Internet. The conference will focus on how media regulators, civil society groups, and other public stakeholders can come together to tackle the complexities of digitalization.

The conference will include keynotes by media regulators and academics, plenaries, round tables and workshops led by experts in media regulation.


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Conference fees and registration

This two-day conference, taking place on 27-28th June 2024, will consist of keynotes from the global South, plenaries and parallel workshops. The fee for registration for all participants, including presenters, will be £150, with a concessionary rate of £50 for students, to cover all conference documentation, refreshments and administration costs.

Registration is now open

Registration for Speakers closes on: 8th April 2024

Registration for attendees closes on: 10th June 2024

UoW Staff and Students should register here.

Keynote Speakers

Professor María Soledad Segura, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC)
Keynote; “Digital rights and digital media in the Global South. Lessons from media regulation reforms and participatory communication policy institutions in Latin America”


Professor viola milton, University of South Africa

Keynote: “Networking Relational Accountability?: towards relational, pluriversal approaches to digital media governance”


Professor Paola Ricaurte Quijano, TECNOLÓGICO DE MONTERREY, Mexico  

Keynote; “Algorithmic Governmentality: A Latin American Perspective.” 


Professor Naomi Sakr, University of Westminster, UK

Keynote: “Who prevails? Resistance to Arab cybercrime laws amid global ambiguity on cybersecurity”


Professor Winston Mano, University of Westminster, UK

Workshop: Regulating Tech in Africa: Emerging Trends, Issues and Concerns


Dr Andrea Medrado, University of Westminster, UK

Workshop: “Applying Latin American Participatory Action Research (PAR) to Critical Data and AI Studies”


 Tim Davies, Connected by Data, UK 

Workshop: “Public voice and the governance of data and AI in the global south: exploring narratives and potential practice?”


Professor Guy Berger, Rhodes University, South Africa

Keynote: “The question is who is to be master — that’s all”.  Applying Humpty Dumpty’s dictum to digital governance in the Global South. 




Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]