MDI’s Executive Director on BBC Weekend

Date: 28 April 2018

Country: London, UK

IMG_4740Milica Pesic, MDI’s Executive Director, was a guest on BBC Weekend on 28 April. On the show a variety of topics were discussed, including recent developments in the Korean Peninsula, the current political situation in Armenia and the ‘bromance’ between Trump and Macron on his recent visit to the Unites States.

She was joined on the program by Giles Fraser, priest-in-charge at St Mary’s Newington Church and former cannon chancellor at St Paul’s Cathedral, who also writes a column for UnHerd.

One of the first topics of discussion during the program was the concept of New Power, a term coined by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms in their book with the same title. Commenting on the power of social media and the internet, Pesic said: “I think that social media, the internet; it’s just another new technology which can be used for bad or good purposes. We were very pleased, in the Media Diversity Institute, with the whole concept of internet, because we saw it as a space for people to voice, so democratisation of public space.” She further elaborated that while the internet and social media is no doubt powerful, old fashioned methods such as street protests are also still extremely effective, as can be seen in Armenia. Pesic noted that in these cases, social media acts as a great tool to connect people.

On the subject of Armenia, and the recent heavy protests taking place there, Pesic commented on the media’s role in the country now and during the elections: “It is important for the international community to keep an eye, to make sure the elections are free, and that the media are free. And they are not right now; they are very partisan, party-oriented media. But there are independent media that should be supported.”

The declining rate of press freedom in Europe, and in the world, was discussed during the program as well. Commenting on recent studies on the topic, Pesic commented: “It goes together with the rise in populism, strengthening of the far right, with nativism.”

You can listen to the full episode in three parts on the BBC website: part 1, part 2 & part 3.