GSF/OMN March 2023 event II: ‘Broadcast Battleground – How The Mainstream Media & Social Media Shape Military Decision-Making?’

On Wednesday 22nd March, we were delighted to welcome General Sir Nick Carter GCB CBE DSO, Chief of the Defence Staff (2018-2021) and Manveen Rana, award-winning journalist and host of the Times Radio podcast Stories of Our Times.

They spoke in a joint GSF/Oxford Media Network event entitled ‘Broadcast Battleground – How The Mainstream Media & Social Media Shape Military Decision-Making?’, which was chaired by Peter Apps, Global Affairs Commentator for Reuters news agency. Deborah Pout, Founder of the Oxford Media Network was the Co-Convenor.


To watch the discussion, click here.




GENERAL SIR NICK CARTER GCB CBE DSO is an accomplished strategic leader and advisor. He has over 45 years’ military experience culminating at the top of his profession as the Chief of the Defence Staff where he was the principal military advisor to the Prime Minister, the National Security Council and the Secretary of State for Defence, and the Head of the UK Armed Forces. He also served as the Chief of the General Staff, professional Head of the British Army. He is an expert on defence and geopolitical affairs, transformational and strategic leadership, and inclusivity. Nick Carter has commanded military operations at every level of command and in a variety of different contexts, including the Troubles in Northern Ireland, UN peacekeeping in Cyprus, NATO peace enforcement in both Bosnia and Kosovo, and commanding the UK-led Brigade in Iraq in 2003-04. He has multiple years of experience in Afghanistan since 9/11, commanding 55,000 US and NATO troops in Helmand and Kandahar during President Obama’s surged in 2009-10, designing approaches to counter insurgency, and acting as the key facilitator to build confidence between the Afghan and Pakistani governments. An accomplished military diplomat, he has developed several coalitions and military communities of interest including in the Middle East with the GCC, Iraq, Jordan, and Egypt, in the Caribbean, and a Joint Expeditionary Force with the Nordics and Baltic States to counter Russian belligerence. He also sought to develop a relationship with his Chinese opposite number, the Chief of CMC Joint Staff Department Li Zoucheng. A moderniser and reformer, his hallmarks are the Defence element of the most recent Integrated Review, leading to the largest uplift in Defence spending since the end of the Cold War; the fundamental restructuring of the British Army (known as Army 2020) following the national Defence Reviews of 2010 and 2015; and the design of the Armed Forces’ support to the national COVID-19 response. He drove significant cultural change, instituting a strategic culture, a programme of empowerment and Maximizing Talent. Nick Carter became a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in California and a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Belfer Centre at Harvard in September 2022.

MANVEEN RANA is an award-winning journalist who currently hosts the Times Radio podcast Stories Of Our Times. She previously worked for The Daily Telegraph, as well as the BBC as a reporter for the Today programme. She was also formerly an investigative journalist, who was part of the team that exposed links between the controversial PR firm Bell Pottinger and the Gupta family in South Africa.

PETER APPS (Chair) is Global Affairs Commentator for Reuters news agency, a British Army reservist and founder of the Project for Study of the 21st Century “pop-up” think tank. An experienced foreign correspondent who has reported from more than 20 countries, he is currently writing a book on the past and future of NATO.

DEBORAH POUT (Co-Covenor) is a freelance analyst and communications expert/consultant. She founded the Oxford Media Network. She helps organise the International Media Awards on the Middle East for the International Communications Forum.  She started her career as a researcher on Espresso, a consumer affairs programme at Channel 5.  She was a cover producer for David Chater, the Middle East Correspondent for Sky News in Jerusalem. Deborah then was a freelance journalist and producer in Jerusalem for Sky News Australia and Singapore’s Channel News Asia.  She was a Reuters Fellow at the University of Oxford and conducted research on the Israeli/Palestinian conflict interviewing many of the key players on the ground.

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