Roger Silverstone

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The inspiration behind Polis.[1]

In his last, posthumously published, book Mediapolis:

the influences of Silverstone’s Jewish background are most evident... It is also his most political book, and in it he was influenced by such Jewish thinkers such as Hannah Arendt, Isaiah Berlin and Emmanuel Levinas. Adapting Arendt’s idea of the “polis” as a space of political dialogue, he developed the concept of the “mediapolis” to explore the reality and potential of global communication. He saw the media as the primary frame for people’s understanding of the world, with huge moral significance for how the “other” is treated.[2]

Polis and the decline of independent journalism

John Lloyd and Julia Hobsbawm were involved in the discussion leading to the formation of a new journalism think tank at the LSE/LCC. Called ‘Polis’, a key inspiration was the academic Roger Silverstone whose work on the media and morality chimed well with Hobsbawm and Lloyd’s distaste for independent journalism. In his last – posthumously published – book Silverstone refers to the ‘trashing of trust’ in which the media are held to have a central role[3] Silverstone also proposed the importance of media literacy as a means to ensure ‘media justice’. He puts this clearly at one point: ‘The slogan? Let’s say “Education, not regulation!”’[4] – a slogan which is music to the ears of corporate lobbyists everywhere. He also notes that ‘it would be good’ to reduce ‘conflict, repression, discord’.Cite error: Closing </ref> missing for <ref> tag

References and Resources



  • R. Silverstone, Television and Everyday Life, Routledge, 1994.
  • R. Silverstone, Visions of Surburbia, Routledge, 1996.
  • R. Silverstone, Communication by Design: The Politics of Information and Communication Technologies, Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • R. Silverstone, Why Study the Media?, SAGE Publications 1999.
  • Raymond Williams, (introduction by R. Silverstone), Television: Technology and Cultural Form, Routledge Classics, 2003.
  • R. Silverstone, Media and Morality: On the Rise of the Mediapolis, Polity Press 2006 (1st Edition). Book used in a course organized by Polis [5]


  1. Nick Couldry, 'Professor Roger Silverstone, Media studies pioneer at the LSE', The Independent, Published: 20 July 2006
  2. From The Times August 11, 2006, Professor Roger Silverstone Influential writer and theoretician in media studies, June 15, 1945 - July 16, 2006
  3. R. Silverstone, Media and Morality: On the Rise of the Mediapolis, Polity Press 2006: 163
  4. R. Silverstone, Media and Morality: On the Rise of the Mediapolis, Polity Press 2006:185
  5. [1]