Mark Mardell’s keynote speech on UK and the EU

Mark Mardell’s keynote speech on UK and the EU

Mark Mardell was the keynote speaker at a conference organized by ‘The UK in a Changing Europe’ (ukandeu.ac.uk), a project involving UEA’s Professor Hussein Kassim, on 8 February provided a rare occasion for leading journalists, broadcasters and academics to exchange experiences and views on how the EU is reported in the UK and the challenges of reporting EU news.

Mark Mardell, presenter of the BBC’s ‘The World This Weekend’, underlined how important EU news has become due to the referendum, the Greek crisis, and migration, but pointed to the difficulties of reporting the EU to an audience that lacks knowledge of European politics and that is divided on UK membership. Referring to ‘the elephant of objectivity in a room full of passion’, he commented on how fulfilling the BBC’s duty to cover the full range of arguments and opinions on the EU draws constant criticism because emotions run so high on the issue. Comparing his experiences as BBC editor in both places, Mr Mardell discussed how language and cultural differences made reporting ‘Europe’ far more challenging than North America.

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