Prof. Roger Silverstone

Me and Media

Prof. Roger Silverstone

The opportunity for self-reflection and self-awareness is a gift. That is what attracted me to the media. Studying and working in the media was an opportunity to access worlds that would have been beyond my reach financially, culturally and intellectually.

In my pursuit of rediscovery, I was drawn to finding Roger Silverstone. I wanted to understand how my learning at the University of Sussex had helped to shape my perspective and view of the world. With new awareness, I realised Dr. Silverstone helped me find the answers to my questions by opening the door to a new world; where the opportunity to learn, communicate and understand a world outside of my own was accessed through my study of the media and cultural and community studies.

It was not just the opportunity to study but it was the opportunity to study and communicate the world from my perspective. My context.

I was looking for Roger Silverstone for another opportunity to understand this world using his theory as a guide. With the wonder of the converged world Dr. Silverstone introduced me to in 1993, I was able to find Roger through a one-step Internet search.

I was surprised to see he had moved to LSE but excited to find him. As I read his profile, his theories, beliefs and work, my mind stilled. I had found the framework that made sense of the territory. My media map, in the broadest sense.

I remembered my entry interview – his warmness, his interest in my interests and his professorial ‘hairdo’. I also remember his stern chastising when my actions went against his belief in integrity and doing the right thing.

The opportunity to set up a meeting with him and show him how much I had learnt from his tutorage filled me with dopamine. I couldn’t wait to tell him how the teachings at Sussex had informed my work and life journey, and how the application of the philosophies had in turn created opportunities for others. I wanted to apologise for the rudeness of youth, and show him I had learnt.

Only thing left to do was to look for the number to call him. Unusually the number was for a course administrator very unlike his principle. But I guessed he was extremely busy with his public speaking and everything else, and as a result wouldn’t have time to respond to his emails personally. He delegated like all effective people.

As I read the top of the profile again. I noticed he had left LSE. 1945-2006. 1945. He was at Sussex in 1993. Then I realised, re-reading the top of the page. The profile was post-mortem in memory of…I haven’t seen Professor Silverstone since 1996.

It wasn’t until that moment that I realised what a profound effect he had on my life.

We are what we are because of the experience we have and the people we meet; what we choose to take from those experiences shape our stories. Professor Silverstone helped me to see the world through my eyes and understand that just like media we facilitate what we communicate and we are what we do.

Thank you Professor Silverstone.

I am the Emperor and my new clothes are fitting.