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POLIS is a journalism and society think-tank attached to two communications/journalism departments: the London College of Communications (part of the University of the Arts) and the Department of Media and Communciation at the London School of Economics. It is billed as "a series of news journalism and news media focused teaching and research programmes and events to start in 2006."

The proposal, called POLIS, is based around three core activities:

  • Public lectures, "Chatham House" style seminars, and open debates on the changing role of news media and the challenges that they face, leading to a series of publications reporting on the debates and making specific policy interventions
  • Postgraduate teaching and short term courses based at LCC, including a jointly taught Master's programme geared towards mid-career UK and international journalists
  • Media research, with POLIS researchers based at LSE, and working with LCC faculty and practicing journalists in London and worldwide.[1]


Advisory board



Guest Speakers

  • Charles Clarke – gave inaugural lecture at the LSE on 24 April 2006.



POLIS have organised a series of events from June to December 2007 these are:

  • 27 June: Development, Governance and the Media: Launch of POLIS report on the role of the media in building African society
  • 5 July: Muslims and Extremism: Seminar to bring together journalists to debate reporting of public security and community cohesion
  • 16 July: Iraq: what will the story be? :Panel debate in association with the Foreign Policy Centre and Channel 4's Iraq Commission to discuss news coverage of the Iraq war to date and in future.
  • 8 October: A year on from Anna Politkovskaya’s death: is press freedom in Russia in irreversible decline?: Panel debate on freedom of expression in Russia
  • 17 October: Reporting risk: Seminar to bring together chief scientists and journalists to examine reporting of issues such as climate change, avian flu and MMR.
  • 22 October: Denied – this bit of truth: Documentary film and discussion about Zimbabwe with LSE alumnus Shrenik Rao
  • 31 October: Richard Dearlove: Will speak on the relationship between intelligence agencies and the media
  • 14 November: Hate speech in the Balkans: Launch of Newsroom Fellow Polly Billington’s (BBC) report on handling hate speech in the Balkans
  • 7 November Impartiality: Debate on BBC impartiality in partnership with the BBC College of Journalism
  • 21 November: Ed Richards in conversation with Damian Tambini Will speak on media regulation
  • December (date TBC): Networked Journalism: Launch of report by Charlie Beckett on networked journalism, with panel debate

Contact, References and Resources


London School of Economics
Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
tel: 020 7107 5249
email: Polis@lse.ac.uk
Website: www.lse.ac.uk/collections/polis
POLIS Blog (run by Charlie Beckett): www.charliebeckett.org



  • Development, Governance and the Media (This report was launched at a conference titled "Development, Governance and the Media: The Role of the Media in Building African Society" which was held on 27 June 2007. "The report follows a high-level POLIS conference on the subject, held in partnership with the BBC World Service Trust, Open University, Concern, Panos, Communication for Social Change Consortium, UNESCO UK and DFID."[4]