Exam date

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

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

IPSO business as usual says Lord Puttnam

New press regulation regime is ‘business as usual’, says Lord Puttnam. (Jasper Jackson, Guardian)

NOTE ON SOURCE: Lord Puttnam is a Labour peer; Labour, without being particularly clear on what this means (see end-note), have said they intend to seek press regulation which complies with Leveson.

Delivering the inaugural Media Trust annual lecture, the Chariots of Fire producer, who was also deputy chairman of Channel 4 until 2012, said David Cameron had “bottled” his chance to take on press barons over regulation.
He said that in the two and a half years since Sir Brian Leveson published his report on press regulation, “no progress of consequence, certainly nothing that would signal a change in our culture or compassion, is in any way evident”.
He added: “A body with no meaningful credibility, Ipso has been established – which several newspapers have refused to recognise because to anyone with a serious interest in change, it comes across as little more than business as usual in gingham.”
Whilst it is tempting to agree, and not being at all convinced that IPSO will emerge as a truly robust or independent regulator, I think it's a little harsh to contend that IPSO is in no way an improvement over the PCC, an organisation so woefully inadequate it announced its own disbandonment!

Q: Do you agree with a cap on media ownership? And does this, and your pledge to implement Leveson, explain media hostility to you?
Miliband says it is incredibly important that we have a free press, and that they can write what they like about his. “And they certainly have.”
But victims must be protected from the press.
And, on media plurality, he says it has always been Labour’s case that protecting this is important.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Preston on IPSO + RIPA, Leveson trapping free press

As I've said before, I treat Peter Preston's columns with caution, but this is a very useful piece not just as an expression of doubt over IPSO (some praise too), but on government moves that are stymying the free press. Like Greenslade, he sharply condemns the Met and CPS for bringing the court cases against Sun journalists, once more thrown out by a jury recently.

The key point really is how he sees the government, and political Establishment generally, as having engineered an extraordinary attack on press freedom, one which he likens to Burma! 

Here's an excerpt:
Moses is toiling intelligently to find common ground. Let’s hope he succeeds. But note how the creeping mantra of privacy prevents inquiry – except by the state. See how journalists can be threatened on the flimsiest of “misconduct in public office” grounds. Watch for whatever government we get next to start pondering “action”.

Friday, 27 March 2015

IPSO needs to look into Mirror...

No punches pulled by Greenslade here; he's vituperative in his condemnation of IPSO's process in investigating a possible 'fishing' case that snared a Tory MP, sending nude photos to a fake female Twitter account. Greenslade is indignant that IPSO, which took up the case without a complaint (quite a change from the PCC, condemned by the Culture Select Committee for its general refusal to consider 3rd party cases), didn't interview the journalist involved, instead accepting that the (Sunday) Mirror would pass on whatever was pertinent.

The Mirror published a story several other papers, including The Sun, had turned down.
It 'exposed' a Tory Minister, Brooks Newham, for sending nude photos of himself to a journalist who posed as a young woman. He resigned once the story came out.
The journalist used nude pics of real women who had not given their permission to help entice the Minister.

Monday, 23 March 2015

PRESS + DIGITISATION Thomas Jefferson quote

Great article on a photojournalist's chronicling of the stark decline of journalism as a profession; the focus is on the US (Philadelphia Enquirer) but there is sadly common ground with the UK. I also tackle the term 'disruption' later in this post, a useful one in the context of web 2.0, digitisation, UGC and suchlike...:
Steacy's artfully expressed study captures impact of digitisation
In the past decade, as a percentage, more print journalists have lost their jobs than workers in any other significant American industry. (That bad news is felt just as keenly in Britain where a third of editorial jobs in newspapers have been lost since 2001.)
The reasons for this decline are familiar – the abrupt shift from print to pixels, the exponential rise in alternative sources of information, changes in lifestyle and reading habits, and, above all, the disastrous collapse of the city paper’s lifeblood – classified advertising – with the emergence of websites such as Craigslist and Gumtree. The implications are less often noted.
Stephan Salisbury, a prize-winning culture writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer for the past 36 years, puts them like this: “Newspapers stitch people together, weaving community with threads of information, and literally standing physically on the street, reminding people where they are and what they need to know. What happens to a community when community no longer matters and when information is simply an opportunity for niche marketing and branding in virtual space? Who covers the mayor? City council? Executive agencies? Courts?… It is this unravelling of our civic fabric that is the most grievous result of the decline of our newspapers. And it is the ordinary people struggling in the city who have lost the most, knowing less and less about where they are – even as the amount of information bombarding them grows daily at an astounding rate.”
Here's the quote the post title refers to; one you could quote possibly memorise as a great way of developing the basic point that a 'free press' are the cornerstone of our democracy (or, at least, our democratic theory!) ...

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Zelo Street - another media reg blog

Had a quick skim, looks useful, and you can read more about it in this Guardian profile: http://zelo-street.blogspot.co.uk/


Unique charitable ownership (Scott Trust) guarantees a future?
[UPDATE: Points from new article on Guardian linking up with several other media brands to jointly sell online display advertising added below the line]

This has been coming for some time, and reflects the globalising impact of ongoing digitisation. As well as highlighting investment in video content, American offices and ad sales staff to sell US-targeted ads (I already frequently see US ads within the Android Guardian app!), and detailing the wider corporate strategy, the central role of the US audience is made abundantly clear. We have to ask several questions here:
  • Can a US/world-facing paper be properly regulated by UK media regulators?
  • Lets not forget that the Guardian continues to boycott IPSO (at the time of writing)
  • Does a separate press regulator make sense when convergence is essentially making the Guardian into an online TV producer as well as written/photographic news provider? Furthermore...
  • Okay, the Guardian at a mere £1bn net worth is not on the scale of Murdoch et al, but nonetheless it does own other media interests - why is there still so little focus on cross-media ownership?
  • Is it feasible that under pressure to please its US (and other nationalities) readers the Guardian won't shift its editorial style or approach on the US? Where might this leave British readers/users?
  • Given the near-absence of any 'left-wing' within mainstream US politics, could this signal a further threat to pluralism within the UK press market?
  • There are more positive issues too - the Guardian has built up a considerable record in recent years of collaborating on major, expensive projects with French, German, American and other papers, and this could enhance the prospects for more of this. Globalisation meant that the UK government's rather clumsy attempts to silence the Snowden reportage (physically smashing a Guardian PC received widespread mockery and contempt) was doomed to failure.
Make particular note of the 2nd paragraph below [article in full]:

Friday, 6 March 2015

Daily Mail and clickbait

A former Mail online employee has vented over what he sees as the base practices of the world's leading online newspaper site, allegedly shamelessly ripping off rivals content and rewriting this, knowingly publishing inaccurate content and misleading headlines, and above all employing clickbait as a central, core strategy. Here's a few snippets from Greenslade's column, worth reading in full (he always is!):

Excerpts below