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UNBELIEVABLE! How to Address the Global Crisis of Trust in Reliable, Accurate Source of News and Information

There is a global crisis of trust in reliable, accurate sources of news and information. This has serious real-world consequences and undermines trust in democratic governments, elections and institutions. State and non-state actors spread malicious disinformation, misinformation and conspiracy theories, amplified by social media and AI-driven deep fake digital technology and data manipulation. Mendacious politicians tell “big lies” that credulous audiences believe, fueled by partisan media funded by shadowy donors with hidden agendas. Many states censor legitimate news channels. How should we tackle the crisis of trust in reliable, accurate sources of news and ensure access to trustworthy news and information, to protect democracy?

  • 14th December 2023 - 14th December 2023
  • 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

According to a CNN poll as reported by Forbes conducted 8th to 12th March 2023 among 1,045 Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents, 63% of respondents believe that President Biden did not legitimately win the 2020 election, while 37% believe he did. Yet according to the US Government’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, “The election was the most secure in American history”.

AI-driven deep fake technology, distributed over social channels and combined with sophisticated data manipulation, threatens to crowd out trustworthy sources of news and information. Disinformation travels at the speed of light. What are the consequences of this for democracies? What needs to be done?

This interactive, online Sinews of Development series event will be held by the Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development (the CRSD) at the University of Cambridge.

It is free to attend (when you register) and open to all, wherever you are. Please join us with a panel of leading experts, chaired by The Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, the UK’s Minister for Development and Africa in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, and a panel of leading experts.

Please don’t miss this important and illuminating event.

Register now!


Simon Bishop, CEO BBC Media Action

Simon Bishop is CEO of the BBC’s international charity, BBC Media Action.

He is also Co-Chair of United Against Malnutrition and Hunger (UAMH), Chair of the Coalition for Global Prosperity and a Trustee of the John Lewis & Partners Foundation.

He was previously CEO of The Power of Nutrition, Deputy CEO at Plan International UK, and Special Adviser to the UK Secretary of State for International Development. He has also been an adviser to The Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation and worked for The Shell Foundation and The United Nations Foundation on global energy access issues.

His early career included working for the BBC as their Chicago/Midwest correspondent, UNHCR in Ethiopia, the European Commission’s Humanitarian Office (ECHO) in Brussels and the United Nations Secretariat in New York. He also stood in the 2019 UK general election as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the constituency of Folkestone and Hythe, where he grew up.

In 2000 he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Columbia University in New York where he completed Masters in International Relations and Journalism. He also has a Masters in Economics and Geography from Edinburgh University.

Madhav Chinappa, Media consultant and former Director of News Ecosystem Development at Google

Madhav is a media consultant and is the former Director of News Ecosystem Development at Google. He was previously Head of Business Development & Rights at BBC News and Group Development Manager at United Business Media. Madhav’s early career was at Associated Press Television News. He is an Advisory Board member of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, based at the University of Oxford.

Dr Kerry McInerney

Research Fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence, where she researches anti-Asian racism and AI and Asian diasporic approaches to AI ethics. She is also a Research Fellow at the AI NOW Institute and is represented by the Speakers Corner agency. Previously, she was a Christina Gaw postdoctoral researcher in Gender and Technology at the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies. Her work uses feminist and critical race theory to examine how histories of race and gender shape contemporary technologies, with a specific focus on artificial intelligence. Her scholarship on this topic has appeared in journals such as Feminist Review, Public Understanding of Science and Philosophy and Technology. Her work on AI-powered hiring tools has also been covered by media outlets like the BBC, BBC Today, Forbes, the Register, and the Daily Mail, among other international outlets. She is the co-editor of the upcoming collection Feminist AI with Oxford University Press, the co-host of The Good Robot podcast on feminism and technology, and the co-founder of the Race Talks seminar series. She has appeared on popular shows such as The Guilty Feminist and the Radical AI Podcast, has been recognised as one of the 100 Brilliant Women in AI Ethics 2022, and has been shortlisted for the Champion of Women – Champion of Innovation (2022), Women of the Future – Technology and Digital (2022), and Women in Tech Excellence – Rising Star (2022) awards.


Steve McCauley

Senior Fellow, The Centre for Resilience and Sustainable Development


Did you know?

First World War poet Rupert Brooke studied at King’s College, Cambridge, and spent time living in Grantchester. He was so enamoured with the Cambridgeshire village he penned one of his most famous works, The Old Vicarage, about his home there.