Making sense of the global economy

Ritchie Cogan
Ritchie Cogan 6th December 2013

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On the 3rd December 2013, Channel 4 co-hosted a round table discussion, chaired by Michael Crick.  It was an enlightening discussion that looked at ways of broadening economics coverage to include a wider range of voices, including those dissenting from the consensus view that economic growth is good per se, and also the need to reflect more effectively connections between actions we take in the UK and their impacts around the world. We’ll be continuing with this project in 2014.


Michael Crick, Political Correspondent, Channel 4 News (Chair)

Paul Mason, Culture and Digital Editor, Channel 4 News (Speaker)

Professor Jan Aart Scholte, University of Warwick

Dorothy Byrne, Head of News and Current Affairs, Channel 4

Paul Cook, Advocacy Director, Tearfund

Ed Conway, Economics Editor, Sky News

Martyn Evans, Chief Executive, Carnegie UK Trust

Nick Faith, Director of Communications, Policy Exchange

Raul Kharbanda, Head of Research and Consumer Insight, UKTI

Melanie Leech, Trustee Carnegie UK Trust, Director General Food and Drink Federation

Richard Miller, Executive Director, Action Aid UK

Loretta Minghella, Chief Executive, Christian Aid

Andrew Simms. New Economics Foundation

Dr Damien Tambini, Research Director, LSE

Linda Yueh, Chief Business Correspondent, BBC

Jon Zilkha, Head of Economics and Business Unit, BBC


In Attendance

Sophie Chalk, International Broadcasting Trust

Mark Galloway, International Broadcasting Trust

Douglas White, Carnegie UK Trust

Asha Tharoor, One


This joint event was organised by the International Broadcasting Trust (IBT) and the Carnegie UK Trust (CUKT). Both organisations have an interest in the UK public being engaged with issues about globalisation and economics. IBT is a media and education charity with over 40 members, including most of the UK’s main aid and development, environment and human rights organisations. It has worked for over 30 years to increase the impact and reach of international broadcasting content. CUKT seeks to improve the lives and wellbeing of people throughout the UK and Ireland through influencing public policy and demonstrating innovative practice. In 2012 the Trust published ‘Global Rules, Local Rulers’, an analysis of how connected UK citizens feel they are to international institutions that regulate trade and economic activity.


The aim of the roundtable debate was to examine whether UK television coverage of the global economy is successful in engaging with the public and ask whether there are things that can be done to engage the public more. The debate began with brief opening remarks from Paul Mason of Channel 4 News before an open discussion, chaired by Michael Crick, also of Channel 4. This discussion covered a wide range of different issues, which can broadly be categorised the under the following headings:

  • Economics is complex – the search for a narrative
  • Citizens and journalists need more economics education
  • Understanding audiences
  • The need for alternative voices
  • Solutions

This note provides a summary of the main points raised by participants in relation to each of these issues.

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