The future of media
This book is going to press at a time when speculations about the future – not just the future of media, be it ‘traditional’ or ‘new’, but also of the many other aspects of our socio-political life such as communication platforms, political frameworks or, indeed, the world itself – are rife with existential anxieties. We are in the middle of a global pandemic caused by the Covid-19 virus; the most vulnerable groups in our society are experiencing significant threats to their lives and livelihoods; the rise of populism, nationalism and totalitarianism across the globe is threatening to undermine the working of democracy; the post-Brexit UK is looking with uncertainty at its future relationship with the European Union; the university as a place of research, learning and encounter has been converted into an online service provider; while the ice extent on the Arctic is at a record low. Given the protracted timeline of the publication process, by the time this book reaches its readers some of the specific events of late 2020 and early 2021 will have no doubt receded into a distant memory, but their wider global underpinnings and consequences are likely to be with us for a long time: inequality, racism and sexism; the weakening of democracy; progressing automation and surveillance of life and labour; the health and mental health crisis; the looming climate catastrophe. It is against this horizon that the present collection is set.
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