Past Events

The City Circle is an open circle for open minds

Fake news and false representation

Date: Friday 21 April 2017

Time: 18.45 - 20.30

Venue: Abrar House, 45 Crawford Place, London W1H 4LP

Speakers: Stephen Colegrave (Chair), Peter Jukes and Hardeep Singh Kohli


Brexit and the 2016 US presidential elections brought the perils of fake news and "alternative facts" to the fore.

The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee is currently investigating the problem of fake news and its consequences for the quality of our democratic life. The concern is that the proliferation of fake news and click-bait journalism is undermining trust in public institutions and threatening the vitality and veracity of public discourse.

This event will examine why those of us who care about cohesion and participatory democracy need to get involved and how we can do so. Our panellists - both active in the British media themselves - will discuss:

  • The portrayal of Muslims and other minority groups such as migrants and asylum seekers, and how this is influencing public perceptions.
  • The financial climate affecting the media, whether the current model of the media is "broken", and how fake news is merely symptomatic of much deeper problems.
  • What can and should be done to challenge some of the most important developments engulfing the British press.
  • How all of us can play our part - as citizens, writers and bloggers.

The event will also be an opportunity to learn about the forthcoming Byline Festival: the UK's first festival for independent journalism which will present workshops and practical skills for tackling fake news and false representation.


Chair: Stephen Colegrave, Co-director of Byline

Stephen started his a career in a successful music band, then became International Marketing director of Saatchi & Saatchi. After writing a bestselling book, 'Punk- a life apart', he produced feature films with David Bowie, Rik Mayal and Jane Horrocks. He is co-director of Byline with Peter Jukes and also co-founder of Byline Festival. He is a trustee of UpRising and the Young Actor's Theatre, a fellow of the British American Project and on the board of the Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine.

Peter Jukes, journalist and screenwriter

As a journalist Peter writes regularly for newspapers and magazines including Newsweek, New Statesman, The Daily Beast, Politico and The New Republic. He was nominated for several awards for his coverage of the phone hacking trial, recounted in his book Beyond Contempt. His previous books have included The Fall of the House of Murdoch. Peter's television credits include devising and writing In Deep, and episodes of Waking The Dead and Sea Of Souls.

Hardeep Singh Kohli, broadcaster, comedian and writer.

In addition to being a BBC Radio 4 favourite, Hardeep's broadcast credits include shows ranging from Question Time and This Week to Celebrity Masterchef and The One Show. He has also won a BAFTA for his work as a director and his stand up shows are a sell out. He has written for the Guardian and the Independent and has strong views about Brexit, Scottish nationalism and the freedom of the press.



Additional details

Free entrance. All welcome. Prayer space available. Street parking free from 18:30. Doors open at 18:45 and the talk begins at 19:00. If you have any questions, please contact the event organiser: