Breaking the News exhibition to look at the media

A Scots library is playing host from today (Thursday 24 February) to a pop-up British Library exhibition about the role news plays in our society.

Aberdeen City Library is one of 30 venues across the UK featuring the British Library’s Living Knowledge Network displays up until Saturday 20 August which are complemented by online and in-person displays of resources from Aberdeen City Libraries’ own selection.

Over the coming months, there will also be a programme of events and activities for people to attend and get involved with over the summer, including a look at how the Typhoid outbreak of 1964 was covered by the local news.

Councillor Marie Boulton, Aberdeen City Council’s Culture spokeswoman, said: ‘The landscape of modern journalism has changed so much over the last couple of decades, particularly in the ways people report, obtain and consume the news. With the proliferation of social media and “fake news”, now, more than ever, it is important to examine the role that news plays in our society and this exhibition is the perfect launch pad for those discussions”.

Launched with a public event at Leeds Central Library, journalist and broadcaster Fatima Manji, artist and activist Rachel Horne, editor James Mitchinson and writer Roger Lytollis, it will celebrate regional news and its significance at the heart of communities.

Inspired by the British Library’s upcoming Breaking the News exhibition (22 April–21 August 2022), supported by Newsworks, the pop-up displays will explore what makes an event news, press freedom and issues of trust through a selection of news stories spanning 500 years of news production in Britain.

Liz White, Head of Public Libraries and Community Engagement at the British Library, said: ‘We are thrilled to be collaborating with over 30 public libraries across the UK – from Aberdeen and Exeter to Bournemouth and Belfast – to kick-start a nationwide conversation about the role news plays in our society, ahead of Breaking the News opening in London this spring.’

Jo Allan, Newsworks CEO, said: ‘“These localised exhibitions will celebrate 500 years of news by showcasing some of the most important local stories while examining the value of news, free speech and the ongoing importance of local journalism to their communities. This network of activity across local libraries is a brilliant initiative and will be a great way to lead into the launch of the British Library’s Breaking the News exhibition in April, which we are delighted to be supporting.’

The British Library is home to the UK’s news collections with British and overseas newspapers dating back to the 1600s and growing collections of radio, television and web news. Each week the library acquires more than 3,500 different news publications in print, digital and audio-visual formats.