Brian Winston

Member, International Advisory Board

The Lincoln Professor, University of Lincoln, UK

Brian Winston is The Lincoln Professor, University of Lincoln, UK. His primary areas of interest are freedom of speech, journalism history, media technology and documentary film, all of which he teaches. He is the founding chair of British Association of Film, Television and Media Studies and has been a governor of the BFI. Winston sits on the editorial board of British Journalism Review. He is a Guest Professor at Beijing Normal University.

Prof Winston has been involved with media since he joined Granada UK’s World In Action in 1963. He has written for magazines and newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic and his television work in documentary was awarded in 1985 with a US prime-time Emmy (for WNET, New York). In 2012, a feature-length documentary on Robert Flaherty – A Boatload of Wild Irishmen – which he wrote and co-produced won a Special Jury prize from the British University Council for Film and Video.

Winston was the founding director of the Glasgow (University) Media Group whose pioneering studies of television news, Bad News (1976) and More Bad News ((1980), have been re-issued as a classic of media sociology. He has written 16 other books and contributed over 40 chapters to books across the field of communications. With Media Technology and Society (1998) he established the concepts of ‘supervening social necessity’ and ‘suppression of radical potential’ as factors in technological change. His writing on the documentary includes editing The BFI Documentary Companion (2013). On free expression his last book was A Right to Offend (2012).