Exam date

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

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

IPSO children rulings

Pending updates, check back for more

Some links from another post:

What is the Editors' Code? Save a full copy for yourself. What does it have to say about children? What does it have to say about ownership? Advertising?Do you think this is a sufficient basis for press regulation?
Have a look at rulings - any useful cases on children?
Now have a look for Guardian reports on IPSO and children - anything to add?

BELOW: I searched the IPSO database for clause 6 rulings; 4 of the 6 most recent (on 23.5.17) complaints were against what has consistently been the most complained against newspaper (the lack of change in this clearly suggests a failing system) - the Daily Mail (and its online wing).


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Facebook censorship an important media regulator

UPDATE: Hot on the heels of the article that prompted this post, The Guardian published a major report into the secretive workings of Facebook, including revealing their specific censorship policies: their internal guide for moderators on what is and is not acceptable. Read their coverage here. There is a clear issue: doesn't Facebook (and Twitter, Reddit etc) need regulating within the UK - perhaps by IPSO?! Or should governments just ignore such global entities as impossible to effectively regulate?!

Special section of The Guardian with its revelations about its secretive policies

Alongside Google's enforcement of the right to be forgotten across the EU, which effectively deletes many 1000s of news stories when their subject (committing an embarrassing or criminal act) complains, Facebook's vague media policies need to be considered as a highly influential, important strand of media regulation separate from the formal industry regulators such as OfCom and IPSO.
The law courts have always formed another separate plank, with libel and slander laws used to sidestep the regulators and often extract heavy punitive payments from newspapers especially, a financial penalty that might make self regulation work if it were a punishment IPSO could enforce. The super-injunction should serve as a warning that such regulation-by-courts often does not serve democracy well. Many papers will fold, ceasing investigations, not publishing critical articles, pulling articles off their website and publicly searchable archives, to avoid potentially crippling legal fees even if they win!!!

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Murdoch's Sky bid at risk from US abuse lawsuits

A good example of how regulation is often shaped or at least influenced by agencies beyond the formal regulators.

Since the 2nd Royal Commission on the Press, there has been a legal requirement for the government to approve ANY takeover of a newspaper, though that this was and is a token gesture to see off pressure for tougher regulation is reflected in the fact that not one such sale has ever been rejected. Indeed, recently published archives of then PM Thatcher's secretive meetings with Murdoch as he successfully sought to takeover The Times newspapers in the early 1980s suggests that ideologically friendly governments are prepared to help powerful press barons bend or break the law to have supportive media voices in place.

Rules on TV ownership have been tough from the start. There has been considerable deregulation, especially under Blair's 'New' Labour government, been there remain limits on what any individual company or media magnate can own. Murdoch is bidding is buy up the remaining 61% of BSkyB shares he doesn't own, but must get OfCom's agreement that this will not cause competition issues in the UK market AND that he, his sons and his scandal hit corporation, facing multiple lawsuits for sexual abuse and racial discrimination in the US, constitute a 'fit and proper' owner.

He abandoned his 2011 bid to do the same once the phone hacking scandal hit big over the Milly Fowler case, leading to his closing the NoTW. Will he be forced to back down AGAIN after another big scandal?

Probably not.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

MacDonalds TV ad provokes 100 ASA complaints

Not a detailed case study, but a useful reference to show that protection of children is a key theme with all media regulators - and that it's the Twitter response rather than the formal complaints that has led media reporting in, awareness of and interest in this story.

The ASA hadn't decided whether to investigate at the time of writing

Sunday, 7 May 2017

YouTube rank pranks endangering children?

Who should regulate this - OfCom (YouTube channel equivalent to TV channel?), BBFC (video - after all, they partially regulate music video on YouTube)? The social media giants are getting a really easy ride compared to the tightly regulated TV and (to a lesser degree; no ownership restrictions) film industries, both of which are subject to strict licensing systems. Surely they ARE now competitors to both, so perhaps the tough regulation on film/TV is unfair - unless also applied to UGC and social media?
Mean stream: when YouTube pranks go horribly wrong.

Pranks have been a booming part of YouTube’s scene for years – but it’s a subculture prone to attracting controversy. The latest incident has led to a US father and a stepmother losing custody of two of their children as a result of some of their prank videos.Mike Martin of Baltimore ran a channel named DaddyOFive, featuring his wife, Heather, and their five children. At the height of the controversy, but before his videos were made private, DaddyOFive had more than 750,000 subscribers and the clips were viewed more than 176m times.Family YouTube channels are not uncommon – but the Martins were accused of child abuse because they regularly made their children the subject of their pranks.

Monday, 1 May 2017

MPs say social media must face fines as publishers

MPs are adding their voice to the slowly growing pressure for the social media giants to face regulation equivalent to the traditional media industries. With convergence (a newspaper is now as much a website, app, radio, TV as it is a print medium!), it seems hard to justify the social media firms escaping regulation - unless we adopt a laissez faire, ultra free market approach and scrap or radically reduce ALL media regulation (deregulate).

NB: The Home Affairs Committee is made of backbench MPs from all parties, NOT government ministers; its job is to scrutinise the work of government and to make recommendations in that policy area - just as the DCMS (Department of Culture, Media + Sport) has the Culture Select Committee scrutinising its work (they were very critical of the PCC while the government ignored or even praised it!).
Social media companies are putting profit before safety and should face fines of tens of millions of pounds for failing to remove extremist and hate crime material promptly from their websites, MPs have said.The largest and richest technology firms are “shamefully far” from taking action to tackle illegal and dangerous content, according to a report by the Commons home affairs committee.The inquiry, launched last year following the murder of the Labour MP Jo Cox by a far-right gunman, concludes that social media multinationals are more concerned with commercial risks than public protection. Swift action is taken to remove content found to infringe copyright rules, the MPs note, but a “laissez-faire” approach is adopted when it involves hateful or illegal content.Referring to Google’s failure to prevent paid advertising from reputable companies appearing next to YouTube videos posted by extremists, the committee’s report said: “One of the world’s largest companies has profited from hatred and has allowed itself to be a platform from which extremists have generated revenue.”In Germany, the report points out, the justice ministry has proposed imposing financial penalties of up to €50m on social media companies that are slow to remove illegal content. 

Social media firms must face heavy fines over extremist content – MPs.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

PRESS INFLUENCE proof of media effects?

these chaps’ media outlets are bombarding your brain with high level right-wing propaganda:
  1. Lord Rothermere, a billionaire living in France, owns the Mail, Mail on Sunday, and the Metro.
  1. Rupert Murdoch, a billionaire living in Australia, owns the Sun, Sun on Sunday and is the man behind Fox News, BSkyB, News Corp, etc, etc.
  1. Alexander and Evgeny (son) Lebedev, an Ex KGB Russian Billionaire, owns The Independent, Independent on Sunday, The Evening Standard.
  1. Richard Desmond, a billionaire, owns the Daily Star, Sunday Star, Daily Express, Sunday Express.
  1. David and Frederick Barclay, billionaire brothers living on a private island near Saark, own the Telegraph, The Spectator, and the Business.
The Sun, for example, claim to have backed the winner of each general election since the notorious Sun headline, ‘It’s The Sun Wot Won It’ referring to the 1992 John Major Tory victory.The tabloid had led an increasingly personal campaign against the then Labour leader Neil Kinnock, culminating in the famous election day headline: “If Kinnock wins today will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the lights.”The same campaign is running against Jeremy Corbyn right here, right now. [SOURCE: thelondoneconomic.com]

Media effects are a controversial topic, hotly debated in academic circles and widely (mis-)applied by pressure groups from both left- and right-wing positions.

Conservative, right-wing politicos, media and campaigners love to lash out at sex and violence in film, music, games and TV, often essentially applying the near-century-old hypodermic syringe model which argued there's a direct link between media content and the views, attitudes and behaviour of those exposed to them.

Despite being the topic of many, many 1000s of academic studies, there still has been no definitive evidence for this. If it were true, why doesn't every Michael Bay filmic violence fest produce millions of new psychopaths roaming the streets? Why hasn't the best-selling Grand Theft Auto series lead to millions of crazed drivers mowing down pedestrians?

There's also the problem of selectively ignoring news content seen as favourable to conservative, right-wing views: graphic (so-called; it's an ideologically loaded term) coverage of terrorist atrocities (with ideological judgements on the scale of importance of lives based on skin and geography), glorifying coverage of military ventures, supposed 'smart' bombs and all.

The left can be just as censorious, seeking restrictions on free speech where this might undermine minorities or the less powerful groups in society. An overlap can be seen with attacks on sexual content as exploiting women and creating negative social attitudes.

On the press, the left, including the commentator linked below, take a more structural approach: the political economy branch of media academic theory.

This focuses on ownership and industry structures including distribution (and concentration of ownership). Chomsky's propaganda model is a classic example.

The article below produces a decent piece of evidence to back argument made, that UK public opinion on political parties and leaders is shaped by press coverage under the direction of non-resident billionaire owners bitterly opposed to any left-wing policies, especially crackdown on tax avoidance, that threaten their comfortable existence and corporate interests.


Saturday, 15 April 2017

PRESS Facebook not IPSO for S*n slurred MP

NB: Taken from a source with a clear left-wing subjectivity.
Let's start with a fact that everyone should know. The S*n is a despicable hard-right propaganda rag that nobody should read. They have no respect for the truth or basic human decency. If they decide to attack you for any reason, they will print lie after lie to smear you, even if you've just survived a horrific football stadium disaster at the hands of a negligent police force.
On evening after The S*n mocked a footballer with black ancestry by comparing him to a gorilla and attacked the city of Liverpool on the eve of the Hillsborough disaster, hacks at The S*n decided to turn their fire on the Labour MP and Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon.
The S*n's political editor Tom Newton Dunn attacked Burgon for supposedly joining "a heavy metal band that delights in Nazi symbols". Everything about the story is fact-averse nonsense. [SOURCE: The S*n's attempted hatchet job on Richard Burgon is spectacularly idiotic.]

Did this MP turn to IPSO?

Nope. He tweeted. And articles such as the above are the result.

Does that undo the impact on public opinion (anti-Labour, what Chomsky would recognise as anti-left-wing [he actually wrote of anti-communism when originally writing the propaganda model at the height of the Cold War] FLAK)? No. This is part of long-term influencing of public opinion, just as the 1000s of anti-EU articles, no matter how absurd (the EU insists British bananas must be straight is a fairly typical example of the dripfeed over decades), clearly impacted on the Brexit vote.

It does suggest IPSO is poorly regarded.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

WEB 2.0 Has it killed off press influence?

It's tempting to read such stories as the academic report into 'dark money' (illegal, especially foreign, funding that may also exceed strict UK voting laws) that swung the Brexit campaign and threatens to leave the UK with a shamocracy like the US, where politics is dominated by who can gather the biggest (corporate) donor cheques.

That would be to ignore the role of the press within this social media, often fake news, campaigning. Getting stories planted in newspapers confers legitimacy, and once done, reporting their coverage reinforces the original point. Any later retraction or correction by newspapers won't undo the impact and influence of lazily inaccurate or ideologically inspired reporting.

Chomsky includes source strategies in his propaganda model; dark money, often from millionaire or billionaire individuals (including media magnates), not just corporations, spend fortunes funding (and disguising their links) think tanks and research groups who provide seemingly authoritative quotes on the points of view they want to push, and pressure politicians into following. This is a subsidy for the media, making it cheaper and easier to gather 'news', with think tank reports themselves becoming news stories and opinion pieces.

Can IPSO regulate this? In short, no; it already fails to adequately cover the global nature of most UK 'national' papers, many of which have more foreign (especially US) readers than British ones!

‘Dark money’ is threat to integrity of UK elections, say leading academics https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/apr/01/dark-money-threat-to-uk-elections-integrity?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Sunday, 26 March 2017

WILD WEB Soul Searching over ads and publisher status

A longer post will follow.

While the centuries old NoTW folded in days following an advertiser boycott, the current growing campaign after The Times exposed Google's profiting from ads linked to hate-speech, racist videos doesn't threaten the colossus Google, but has fatally undermined it's crucial claim to NOT be a publisher, simply a means of finding, sharing publishers' content.

Facebook likewise is part of this global digital duopoly starving the print media (other industries will surely follow) of the oxygen of ad revenue whilst profiting hugely from 'sharing' their content, with a compliant US government backing them but an increasingly hostile EU, and national governments within it (not least Germany and Holland), putting up roadblocks to this runaway train.

How's that for a grab bag of mixed metaphors?!

Are we finally reacting to the disruptive supremacy of Facebook and Google? https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/mar/26/finally-reacting-disruptive-supermacy-of-facebook-and-google?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

ADVERTISING Web giants taking 99% of new ad revenue, Guardian relies on donations

By April 2019, we hope to be supported by the equivalent of 1 million members, who will help secure the Guardian’s future in a tough commercial environment. Advertising conditions remain highly treacherous, with advertising in the Guardian — which helps pay for our journalism — down £11m this year. For every new advertising dollar spent in the US, 99 cents is now taken up by Facebook and Google.

Thank you for your support, which is more important now than ever https://www.theguardian.com/membership/2017/mar/13/thank-you-for-your-support-which-is-more-important-now-than-ever?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

Friday, 10 March 2017

LIBEL TWITTER Hopping mad at cost of tweet defeat


Thursday, 2 March 2017

FILM IRAN Up in arms over uncovered Oscar presenter

Iran news agency gives Charlize Theron a polo neck in altered Oscars footage https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/mar/01/iran-news-agency-charlize-theron-polo-neck-oscars-asghar-farhadi-salesman?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger