Journalist Jon Sopel reflects on the era of Trump and Putin.
This free event takes place in the British Library Theatre and will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person (physical), or to watch on our platform (online) either live or within 48 hours on catch up. Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.
The online version of this event will be live captioned.
On January 6, 2021, American democracy stared into the abyss as rioters took over Congress, fired up by the 45th president, Donald Trump.
In this lecture, Jon Sopel, fresh back from seven years as the BBC’s North America Editor, argues that Donald Trump’s baseless allegations of a ‘stolen election’ took US democracy to the brink. The role of populist leaders, social media, algorithms, bad actors - and in some places a highly partisan media - will come under the microscope as Jon argues that there has never been a more challenging or difficult time to be reporting the news. But never a more important time either. As Putin exercises the power of disinformation and propaganda to shape the domestic Russian narrative about the invasion of Ukraine, Jon reflects that the values that we cherish in a liberal democracy – free speech, the peaceful transfer of power, due process, free and fair elections, an independent judiciary – are at stake.
Jon Sopel has spent his life at the BBC, mostly recently serving 7 years in Washington DC as North America Editor, where he wrote a number of books and co-presented the popular ‘Americast’ podcast. He has recently joined media group Global where he will host a new regular podcast with fellow former BBC journalist Emily Maitlis.
This event is organised by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library. The Eccles Centre exists to support and promote creative research and lifelong learning about the Americas, through the world-class collections of the British Library.
Image caption: President Donald J. Trump and President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation, 16 July 2018 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead, Public Domain)
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