How have digital platforms given activists new tools for organising themselves? When will tech giants like Facebook act to stem the spread of disinformation? And how can we contain aggressive trolling, particularly of female politicians and commentators? Guardian Australia’s Bridie Jabour gets to the heart of how social media is influencing politics with ABC’s The Drum host and Phosphorescence author Julia Baird, Hong Kong–based lawyer and City on Fire: the fight for Hong Kong author Antony Dapiran, and Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter and A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America co-author Carol Leonnig.
Julia Baird (Australian)
Julia Baird is a globally renowned author, journalist and broadcaster. She hosts The Drum on ABC TV, and writes columns for The New York Times and The Sydney Morning Herald. After her first book, Media Tarts – which was based on her PhD in history about the portrayal of female politicians – was published in 2005, she moved to the United States to take up a fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School. When she was deputy editor of Newsweek in New York, she began work on a major biography of Queen Victoria, which was published in 2016 to critical acclaim. Her most recent book is Phosphorescence: On awe, wonder and things that sustain you when the world goes dark.
Antony Dapiran (Australian)
Antony Dapiran is an Australian, Hong Kong–based writer and lawyer, and the author of two books on Hong Kong including his latest, City on Fire: the Fight for Hong Kong. Antony has written and presented extensively on Hong Kong and Chinese politics, culture and business, with his writing appearing in The Atlantic, New Statesman, Foreign Policy, Quartz, Art Asia Pacific, Mekong Review and The Guardian, among others. A fluent Mandarin speaker, Antony has resided between Hong Kong and Beijing for more than 20 years.
Carol Leonnig (International)
Carol Leonnig is a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter who has worked at The Washington Post since 2000. She won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for her work on security failures and misconduct inside the Secret Service. She was part of a Post team that was awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for revealing the US government's secret, broad surveillance of Americans through the disclosures of Edward Snowden. She is a three-time winner of the George Polk Award for investigative reporting. She reports on Donald Trump's presidency and investigates Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Along with Philip Rucker, she is the author of A Very Stable Genius. Carol is also an on-air contributor to NBC News and MSNBC.
Bridie Jabour (Australian)
Bridie Jabour is the Opinion Editor at Guardian Australia, where she has also worked as assistant news editor and a reporter. She writes social commentary and on pop culture and is a regular guest on The Drum, triple j and ABC News Breakfast. Her debut novel The Way Things Should Be was published in the UK as My Not So Functional Family.