Critical communication matters. In a world where information sometimes substitutes for reality and at other times is at its very core, we need to understand the increasingly central role of communication media. We all use media, in various different ways. Media are central to individual well-being as well as to the quality of democratic public life. Media can increase dialogue and understanding within and across cultures. Unchecked, they can also do the opposite. We use media to seek, to receive and to impart information. We use media to communicate, and we communicate through media.
Media@McGill, which we are launching today, will scrutinize media matters through an array of exciting activities that are described on the various pages of this new web site. Our approach is based on the conviction that media content and technologies do not operate in some private space of their own, but result from the action and interaction of a vast range of players, including governments, corporations, artists, journalists, inventors and political activists of all stripes. Our bottom line is that understanding – and influencing – how media operate and the processes through which they evolve is an essential undertaking in the 21st century. As academics, we propose to contribute to these processes through critical research and scholarship, in concert, where appropriate, with other actors. This is why public outreach will be a central aspect of Media@McGill. We hope that you will visit this web site frequently, to discover what we are doing and how, where possible, you can get involved in critical communication matters.
Beaverbrook Chair in Ethics, Media and Communications