Debate on Free Speech: Christina Patterson, Professor Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Professor Kurt Barling, Law Professor, Eric Heinze

24th of March, Debate on Free Speech, Christina Patterson, Yasmin Alibhai Brown, Kurt Barling and Law Professor Eric Heinze

On Tuesday 24th March we are joined by some of the front runners in the on-going debate surrounding Free Speech. We will be joined by multi-award winning Journalists, Broadcasters and even Law will be represented on this panel, as we attempt to have a balanced discussion on Free Speech. Join Christina Patterson, Professor of Professional Practice Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Professor of Journalism Kurt Barling and Law Professor Eric Heinze, on Middlesex University’s Hendon Campus at 3:30pm.

Christina Patterson

Christina PattersonBritish freelance journalist who was formally a writer and columnist at The Independent. After graduating in English at Durham University, Christina had initially worked in publishing. Her role included organizing events at the Southbank Center such as the Poetry Society’s National Lottery poetry places scheme, which enabled poetry residencies and placements.

Christina then joined The Independent in 2003 writing on politics, society, culture, books, travel and the arts. She was responsible for the papers weekly Arts interview, and had periods there as deputy literary editor and assistant comment editor. Unfortunately, after 10 years she took redundancy as a result of cuts in its editorial budget.

In 2013, Christina was shortlisted for the Orwell Prize in journalism for her investigative work on nursing after she found the profession uncaring, following her experience of numerous operations from breast cancer. Now, Christina is a regular participant on the BBC Two show, The Review Show as a member of its panel. She is also a supporter of the British Humanist Association and is a member of team at the Nottingham Trent University’s “Writers for the Future” programme.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown 

Yasmin Alibhai-BrownA Ugandan-born British Journalist, Author, Professor and Broadcaster, Yasmin is often described as a leftie liberal, anti-racist and feminist. She has broken through many glass ceilings to get where she is – becoming the first person from an ethnic minority to be appointed as a section editor of a national publication, at New Society and then New Statesman, she was the also the first to get a weekly column on the main comment pages of a national newspaper – and even today she is the only Asian, female, Muslim weekly columnist.

Having worked for a number of years as a journalist writing for The Guardian, Observer, The New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, The Evening Standard, The Mail. Yasmin has gained a reputation for standing up for those from ethnic minority backgrounds. She is also a radio and television broadcaster and author of several books, such as ‘Imagining the New Britain‘ and most recently ‘Refusing The Veil‘. Yasmin has won many awards, including the George Orwell Prize for political journalism in 2002 and the EMMA award for Journalism in 2004. In 2005, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was voted the 10th most influential black/Asian woman in the country in a poll.

Kurt Barling

Kurt BarlingAn Investigative Journalist and currently a Professor of Journalism at Middlesex University, having been there since 2012. He speaks 3 languages; French, German, as well as English. He was inspired to become a journalist after witnessing the Broadwater Farm estate riot in 1985. Before he embarked on his journalism career, Barling was a Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics.

Kurt is perhaps best known for reporting for BBC London, having been a leading broadcaster for the Television service for 25 years, since 1989.he has worked on the most prestigious news and current affairs programmes including Across BBC News, The Money Programme, Assignment, Correspondent, Black Britain, Today, the World Tonight and From Our Own Correspondent. Kurt has also worked on Radio 4’s Money Box and Inside Money.  He has covered stories from all over the world, been undercover, and in war zones, proving how dedicated he is to his Journalistic career. He has made dozens of primetime documentaries and has won numerous industry awards for his journalism, film-making and writing.

In 1996 he won his first reporter of the year award and subsequently more Commission for Race Equality media awards for his reporting and documentaries in 1997, 2003, 2005, 2006, more than any other British journalist. In 2010 he was awarded a Justice Link award by the UK Attorney General. In 2011 he won a Best Writer Online, Media Award from the Press Association.

Eric Heinze 

Professor Eric HeinzeProfessor Heinze has taught Professor Heinze has taught undergraduate and post-graduate courses in Jurisprudence and Legal Theory, Public International Law, International Human Rights Laws, and US Constitutional Law. His awards and fellowships have included a Fulbright Fellowship, a French Government (Chateaubriand) Fellowship, a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) fellowship, a Nuffield Foundation Grant, and various Harvard University Fellowships.

Eric has also worked with the International Commission of Jurists and UN Sub-Commission on Human Rights, in Geneva, and on private litigation before the United Nations Administrative Tribunal in New York. He is a member of the Bars of New York and Massachusetts, and has also advised NGOs on human rights, including Liberty, Amnesty International and the Media Diversity Institute. He currently co-ordinates Queen Mary’s Inter-Departmental Philosophy Programme. His articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, and other publications. He serves on the Editorial Board of the ‘International Journal of Human Rights’ and the ‘British Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies’.

A prolific author, a few of Professor Heinze’s books include The Concept of Injustice’, ‘The Logic of Constitutional Rights’, ‘The Logic of Liberal Rights’, ‘The Logic of Equality’ and many more. He has also contributed chapters to anthologies and is currently co-authoring a book with Gavin Phillipson, entitled ‘Debating Hate Speech’.


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North London Literary Festival 2015 looks forward to hosting Christina Patterson, Professor Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Professor Kurt Barling and Professor Eric Heinze, as they discuss the on-going debates and developments in relation to the media and Free-Speech. Why not come hear them speak at the North London Literary Festival? You can also get involved by tweeting us any questions you would like to put to the panel, as our very own North London Literary Festival Twitter account @NorthLdnLitFest or by using the hashtag #NLLF15

All festival events are free and open to all: students, staff and the public.

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