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Newsreader speculates on future of an independent media at North East public lecture

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 13.25.53One of Britain’s longest serving male newsreaders will be debating the pressures facing an independent media as part of the University of Sunderland’s popular Public Lecture Series 2015/16.

ITV’s News Correspondent Alastair Stewart OBE will give his talk on Tuesday, January 26, from 6pm, in Murray Library, City Campus.

The lecture: An independent media, under pressure from within and without, debates whetherpeople’s expectation of an impartial, authoritative flow of information is under more pressure than ever.

Alastair Stewart, who will speculate on his hopes and fears for the industry, says: “Newspapers have always gone their own sweet way – or that of their proprietors.

“But today, partisanship is creeping into broadcast media; sprightly new media pumps stuff out in an arena where all players were once assumed to play by the same rules: but Buzzfeed and Vice aren’t the BBC or ITV.

“Where will it end up?”

Tickets for the lecture are free but must be booked at http://onlinestore.sunderland.ac.uk

Alastair is probably best known as presenter of ITV News at Ten. He started his career working for Southern Television in 1976 as a reporter, industrial correspondent, presenter and documentary maker.

He joined News at Ten in May 1989 as the network’s Washington Correspondent and went on to cover the Gulf War in the 1990s.

He was also the first British television reporter to broadcast live from the liberated Kuwait City during the War, and has presented many of ITN’s landmark programmes, including the Royal Weddings of the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of York.

Alastair moderated the first ever British live TV debate between the main Party Leaders ahead of the General Election in 2010.  He is one of the few people who has presented all of ITN’s main news programmes.

Alastair Stewart is Vice President of both Action for Children and Homestart. He is also a Patron of the Lord Mayor Treloar College for disabled students; the charity Scope and the mental health charity Sane.

In 2012 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Sunderland in recognition of his outstanding contribution to news broadcasting and his commitment to charitable causes.

The University of Sunderland’s Public Lecture Series is now in its fourth year as part of the institution’s civic focus. All speakers are internationally recognised for their expertise and talent, and include Lord David Puttnam CBE and Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England.

For more information or to book your place contact: events@sunderland.ac.uk or call 0191 515 3265.

2015/16 Public Lecture Series

 January 26 Alastair Stewart OBE – An independent media, under pressure from within and without

 February 24 Sir Peter Bazalgette – Why we invest public money in arts and culture, and what is the role of universities in this?

 March 15 Lord David Puttnam CBE – My life in film

 April 29 James Wharton MP – The Northern Powerhouse

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