20 Feb 2014
According to David Puttnam, "Those in the media set the tone and the context for much of our democratic discourse. Democracy, in order to work, requires that reasonable men and women take the time to understand and debate difficult, sometimes complex issues and they do so in an atmosphere which strives for the type of understanding that leads to, if not agreement, than at least a productive and workable compromise. Politics is about choices and within those choices politics is about priorities. It’s about reconciling conflicting preferences, wherever and whenever, possibly based on fact. But if the facts themselves are distorted, the resolutions are likely to create further conflict...The media have to decide, do they see their role as being to inflame or to inform?"
David Puttnam spent thirty years as an independent producer of award-winning films, including The Mission, The Killing Fields, Local Hero, Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone and Memphis Belle. His films have won ten Oscars, 25 Baftas and the Palme D'Or at Cannes.
He retired from film production in 1998 to focus on his work in public policy as it relates to education, the environment, and the creative and communications industries.