A UNIVERSITY of Worcester lecturer has shared her research on the impact of Internet ‘trolls’ on journalism and democracy for a new academic book.
Anti-social Media? The impact on Journalism and Society includes a chapter by Claire Wolfe, principal lecturer at the University, based on interviews with journalists and students publishing material online.
Contributors included other leading academics and industry experts like Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chairman of ITV plc, Baroness Chakrabarti, Shadow Attorney General and former Director of Liberty and Phil Harding, former editor of BBC Radio Four’s Today.
Claire, also a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy, said: “There is a danger, unless we prepare our students to cope with the challenges of engaging with the public through social media, they will become fearful of expressing themselves freely.”
She has devised a guide for students to help prepare them for work in the media and to provide them with the tools to help them develop good practice when involved in online discourse. She is developing another version for those working in the media.
Speaking at the London launch was Gina Miller, who suffered a barrage of online abuse after winning a court action when challenging the Government over its right to implement Brexit without parliamentary authority. She has also added a postscript in the book.
The book, published by Abramis academic publishing, was launched at the Frontline Club in London, a hub for those involved in international affairs and independent journalism.
During the launch, Claire also presented a paper on the same theme at the club, the venue for the annual conference of the Institute of Communication Ethics Annual Conference.
She teaches on the BA(Hons) Journalism course, which has strong industry links and achieved a 100 per cent employment rate for students graduating in 2017.