Exam date

When's the 2016 exam? Wednesday 8th June, am.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

PRESS 20 Years of anti-EU baloney

I've blocked on the topic of the UK press's obscenely farcical coverage of the EU, rendered an antichrist all-encompassing evil surpassed only by socialism in the world view pumped out by the majority of the national press.

You may have seen my posts on the supposed EU determination to make all bananas straight for example. Which sounds like a slightly exaggerated satire ... but was actually a front page story.

Now that this sewage tide, alongside massive manipulation of new media through funding that may have broken electoral law, has achieved the improbable goal of Brexit, it's a good opportunity to look back at just how closely the UK press follow Clause One of the Editors' Code ... Accuracy. As 'enforced' by the self-regulators PCC and IPSO...

https://tompride.wordpress.com/2017/12/05/see-20-years-of-fake-news-about-eu-by-uk-press-vote-for-your-favourite-here/

Monday, 27 November 2017

OWNERSHIP Billionaire Kochs gain Time mouthpiece?

Moderately long article which looks not just at the Kochs' part in the buyout of Time magazine, but a wider picture of right-wing, conservative billionaires gaining influence by being allowed to buy up ever more of the US media, even where it means creating monopoly.

Of course, this was one of Chomsky's propaganda model's five filters, concentration of ownership, and is an historic trend explored in Curran and Seaton's classic study of press history, Power Without Responsibility.

‘Their own media megaphone’: what do the Koch brothers want from Time? https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/27/koch-brothers-time-magazine-media-power?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Sunday, 26 November 2017

CHOMSKY ADVERTISER FILTER Stop Funding Hate D Mail campaign

SFH aims to reduce what it sees as the baleful, malovelent influence over UK democracy (such as it is) and public opinion by pressuring advertisers with potential boycotts.

Peter Preston here recalls how left-wing reportage was discouraged through government encouraging advertisers to withdraw from newspapers that were critical of government 'defence' (ie, war!) policy, specifically the Suez crisis.

He develops a valid point - though once more here we can see the potential for social media and we media to have a greater impact on the poor practices of the press industry than the self-reliant IPSO.

Bullying Paperchase and the Mail’s other advertisers just hurts everyone https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/nov/26/bullying-paperchase-other-mail-advertisers-hurts-everyone-suez?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Friday, 24 November 2017

MURDOCH made deal with Prime Minister?

The machinations of Murdoch are widely assumed to include deals with sitting and wannabe PMs, but proving this is notoriously difficult. It's hardly in the interests of either to admit to this.

The pattern of incredible access to government, PM and ministers, of Murdoch and his minions under the Tory government was eventually revealed through journalistic investigation and Freedom of Information Act requests that were very reluctantly acceded to by that same government.

Now we have one former minister detailing how the News International chief Rebecca Brooks bluntly told him she was running government policy in partnership with PM Cameron, with the appointment of (later jailed) Murdoch man David Coulson as Press Secretary part of the deal.

A note of caution though: this is as filtered through the notionally centre-left Guardian (many of whose readers firmly disagree with that description so set up an alternative, actually left-wing Guardian online!)

Ken Clarke: Tories had deal with Rupert Murdoch for 2010 election https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/nov/23/ken-clarke-cameron-had-deal-with-murdoch-for-2010-election?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

OFCOM censure Fox News - compare to IPSO...

Who'd have thought it ... the fabled 'fair and balanced' Fox News, Murdoch's right-wing agit-prop broadcast mouthpiece, responsible for making Americans doubt the nationality of their own president (Obama), has finally been found guilty of breaching UK impartiality laws for TV news.

That this comes after it's been withdrawn from UK broadcasts, so no longer has a license to defend, renders OfCom's ruling symbolic ... except that it could (should?) impact the Murdoch bid to buy up the 61% of BSkyB shares his corporation doesn't own, currently the subject of government scrutiny. Markets sent 21st Century Fox (the conglomerate for the film and broadcast holdings, with the troublesome but politically important print empire hived off into a separate, less profitable entity) shares down, reflecting worries that this boosts the prospect (unlikely?!) of the friendly Tory government blocking the bid.

It is highly instructive to draw a comparison with the press regulators. The PCC allowed great leeway under the banner of comment, for example in the Jan Moir column over Stephen Gateley's death, and IPSO continues this stance. OfCom explicitly conclude that commentary, opinion pieces, do not create an exception to the requirement of basic levels of balance, quite a contrasting stance.

Fox News shows broke UK TV impartiality rules, Ofcom finds https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/nov/06/fox-news-shows-broke-uk-tv-impartiality-rules-ofcom-finds?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Monday, 23 October 2017

OMBUDSMAN Guardian's self-regulation outside IPSO

'Why should newspapers not be accountable?' https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/22/why-should-newspapers-not-be-accountable?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

FUTURE WEB 2.0 Facebook Google to be declared publishers?

Ofcom chair raises prospect of regulation for Google and Facebook https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/oct/10/ofcom-patricia-hodgson-google-facebook-fake-news?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Monday, 18 September 2017

WEB 2.0 Celebs sponsor posts face ASA and FTC crackdown

So the wild wild web can be regulated...

The UK's ASA and US's FTC are beefing up their enforcement of recent rules that insist Instagrammers and the like use specific hashtags to make it clear when they're being paid to praise or highlight brands. A useful point, along with the BBFC ratings, to look at in the context of the music industry...

Social media stars face crackdown over money from brands https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/16/social-media-stars-face-crackdown-over-money-from-brands?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

IPSO Mail guilty of Clause 1 climate change breach but just hot air?

Finally is the word to springs to my mind, and I see the scientist complainant has had 3 previous complaints rejected as well as parts of this one.

The PCC allowed the Mail to lead the way with often preposterous anti-EU propaganda over decades, a poison drip that certainly influenced the Brexit vote, and continues to impact on the contentious claims that this narrow vote by part of the electorate forms an absolute mandate.

Climate change denial is another field in which the Mail clouds the issue alongside it's fellow right-wing rags; shouldn't it and the likes of The Sun be feeling the heat over incessant clouding or clowning around Clause One?

At least IPSO has issued a partial breach ruling ... but so what? What impact will this really have? Will the paper really be more cautious in its future approach? Does this undermine the impact of its years of denial reportage and editorial?

Press regulator censures Mail on Sunday for global warming claims https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/17/press-regulator-censures-mail-on-sunday-for-global-warming-claims?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Sunday, 10 September 2017

PRESS Murdoch making Wall Street Journal Trump mouthpiece

Murdoch's high profile purchase of the august WSJ was controversial enough to provoke a revelatory book warning Americans of what this would mean for their democracy.

The classic Murdoch playbook can be seen here: a fiercely right-wing editor brutally teaching journalists what to self-censor and what tone to take by routinely spiking or editing stories critical of Trump or Murdoch's business empire, or not being critical enough of Trump's political or Murdoch's media rivals.

There are claims that Murdoch and Trump, whose election Fox News played a large role in, speak every day. Murdoch has had British PMs kow-towing to his rabidly right-wing agenda since 1979, and now it seems he may finally have reached the top step in US political influence too.

Ownership of the press is not usually raised whenever the press becomes the story, as it did over phone hacking, but as Curran and Seaton argued in Power Without Responsibility, looking back at the 1800s legal reforms that squashed a thriving radical press and the very explicit statements made in parliamentary debate around seeking to encourage "the right sort of people" (the rich) as press owners, it is a central issue in press regulation and the very, very weak nature of this. Chomsky and Herman also recognised this, listing it as one of the five filters in their propaganda model.

The Wall Street Journal's Trump problem https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/sep/10/the-wall-street-journals-trump-problem?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

CHILDREN TV Peppa Pig spider episode banned

Peppa Pig 'spiders can't hurt you' episode pulled off air in Australia – again https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2017/sep/05/peppa-pig-spiders-cant-hurt-you-episode-pulled-off-air-in-australia-again?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Friday, 25 August 2017

ADVERTISER BOYCOTT pressurises Breitbart home of alt-right

Yet another example of why Chomsky was correct to include advertisers as one of the five filters in the propaganda model.

Steve Bannon is back at Breitbart. But can his page of rage survive an ad boycott? https://www.theguardian.com/media/2017/aug/25/breitbart-steve-bannon-ad-boycott-revenues?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Friday, 18 August 2017

MUSIC Islands in the stream - Spotify, YouTube making political bans

I've read lots of right-on, celebratory articles about the announcements of YouTube and Spotify especially this week - both banning a number of far right accounts, channels, artists/tracks.

As with many acts of censorship, it seems hard to forge an argue against this diminution of hateful rhetoric and ideology - but the quartz article outlines the same concern that struck me: this means entrusting these private firms to define political extremism. Not that state definitions are any safer - the public sector BBC takes a very partial stance on Palestinian-linked lyrics, silenced the Pistols' 1977 classic, and refused to reflect the public mood in also banning Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.

Media regulation, including censorship, can often appear incontestably as a good thing - but there's always a counter argument. There's an irony in this case too, the fiercely neoliberal, anti-regulation, laissez-faire free marketeers of the social media giants queuing up to proslytize over President Trump's seeming support for neo-Nazi, quite the U-turn from their customary extreme free speech positions.

https://qz.com/1056140/spotify-by-banning-white-power-bands-is-now-deciding-what-music-is-acceptable/?utm_source=qzfb

Monday, 7 August 2017

OfCom research UK public's swearing ranking

Obviously be sensible where you read this, and be aware that it's topic is strong language which accordingly features throughout the article.

From the research just 3 terms are identified as the strongest swear words. The BBFC undertake similar regular research to gauge public feelings on which terms should be hit with 12, 15 or 18 ratings - and there seems to be some difference, though that could put down to the OfCom research method (using 4 categories of acceptability linked to the watershed rather than more specific age ratings).

Two of OfCom's 3 strongest terms are featured heavily in Working Title's sci-fi/comedy hybrid World's End, with 'the c word' also multiply used - enough to force an unexpected 18-rating on the Ken Loach indie Sweet Sixteen but judged okay for the studio subsidiary's production to get a 15-rating.

https://www.indy100.com/article/british-swear-words-ranked-ofcom-7340446

Here's a short comparative analysis of some American audience research, showing quite a different attitude: http://nofilmschool.com/2017/08/swearing-in-movies-harris-poll

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

GLOBAL WEB undermined by Canada Google piracy ruling

Classic clash between free speech and wider rights, linking into other other high profile cases such as France's anti-Nazi laws and the EU's investigation into whether the right to be forgotten that Google applies globally are undermining media freedom illegally

https://www.wired.com/story/google-fights-canada-order-global-search-results