Exam date

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

Friday, 25 December 2015

FILM Ukraine bans Xmas classic as Russian nationalism



Ukrainian holiday tradition under threat as popular Soviet film faces ban.

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Murdoch power continues, so much for Leveson

Write off ol' Rupe at your peril. His power and influence over UK government policy would seem as strong as ever, and this article hints that he may be behind the savage attack on BBC funding, and therefore its very future, by the Tory government.

He continues to meet with the PM, Chancellor and Culture Secretary despite being disgraced by revelations from the Leveson Inquiry. A renewed bid to fully takeover Sky seems likely given the rather blatant favour he's shown by his ideological allies, a repeat of his 80s tie to Thatcherism.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

IPSO Expresses itself orders front page correction

A significant ruling in a number of ways:
The Express has been ORDERED (sanctions for recusal remain untested, a grey area at this point) to print a FRONT PAGE correction

That's a huge change from the PCC and GCP/PC before it, when papers managed to bury corrections inside

It isn't a one off or first either - they've already ordered The Times to do the same back in April
Papers really don't like this as it deeply undermines their brand and threatens reader trust; unlike buried apologies it is seriously embarrassing

This came about from a third party complaint, something the Culture Select Committee had attacked the PCC on (they generally ignored their own rules and almost always refused to consider such complaints)

The Editors Code breach is on Clause One: Accuracy, something the red-tops are guilty of on an almost absurd level of frequency. No real sign that this culture of falsity to fit ideology is being tackled, but still an improvement on the PCC's record?

The ruling was against the Express; phone-hacking and their woeful response (condemning The Guardian for reporting on it!!!) was the death knell of the PCC, but it was Desmond's withdrawal of his Northern and Shell titles from its remit that had already torpedoed its credibility as a regulator.
Let's not forget that several papers remain outside the new regulatory system (FT, Guardian, Indie/i), having refused to sign up to IPSO.

HUGE story nonetheless.


And there's more! Whilst Greenslade wryly but rightly flags up the small, misleading nature of it, The S*n was also forced to issue a front page trail to a longer apology inside, though it's owner will no doubt be content enough that the damage has been to his ideological opposite, Jeremy Corbyn.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

BBC's More Good News About Israel. Time for OfCom?

Quick post, useful example on broadcast media. The title riffs on Glasgow University Media Group*'s excellent series of content analysis-centred ...Bad News books, highly recommended...


So, yet again the Beeb seems to show a pro-Israeli, anti-Palestinian bias (there are several more examples in this blog and GUMG have written a book on this too!) and ... Well, not a lot actually happens.

Time to call in OfCom?



TV HISTORY PM Heath used ITV for political ends

Most of the examples we look at relating to TV regulation show the TV regulators to be resistant to government pressure - something that went into steep decline from the moment Labour declared war on the Beeb over its 'sexed-up dossier' report, leading to the curious death of Dr Kelly (see Guardian; Wiki; BBC).

This google search provides lots of articles on the Blair Labour government's attacks on the BBC, leading to its two leaders quitting the BBC - even though the reports that Blair was so furious over were essentially accurate.

This one shows up overt government manipulation of TV for political ends.

Previously unseen documents that implicate former prime minister Edward Heath in a concerted attempt to influence the jury in one of the most controversial prosecutions of trade unionists in British history will be revealed to parliament this week. 
It is understood that a dossier of newly unearthed papers suggests that some of the most senior members of Heath’s 1972 Conservative cabinet and members of the security services commissioned and promoted an ITV documentary entitled Red Under the Bed that was screened on the day the jury went out to consider the case against the “Shrewsbury 24”. One of the previously unseen files shows that Heath, on seeing a transcript of the film ahead of the trade unionists’ conviction, informed the cabinet secretary: “We want as much as possible of this.” 
Twenty-four men were arrested and charged with offences ranging from conspiracy to intimidate to affray following the first national building workers’ strike in 1972. The strike lasted for 12 weeks and won workers a pay rise, but the union’s picketing tactics enraged the construction industry and the government. Six men – including Ricky Tomlinson, who later found fame as an actor and starred in The Royle Family – were sent to prison. Tomlinson served 16 months of a two-year sentence. 
Another striker, Des Warren, was jailed for two years and eight months. His death in 2004 from Parkinson’s disease has been linked to his time in prison, in particular to the use of a “liquid cosh” – a cocktail of tranquillisers – that was administered to inmates at the time.

LEVESON IPSO PR war as Hacked Off fail to Impress industry



Publishers and opponents treat the Leveson report like holy scripture.

Saturday, 5 December 2015

IPSO won't shine light on Sun Survation story says Greenslade

The offending S*n feature
Very useful piece this, on a story which will rumble on until IPSO publish any deliberations on it  - and very likely beyond if Greenslade is right in anticipating an all-clear ruling.

There are some calls for a wider boycott of The S*n to join the ongoing Merseyside boycott, though initial online noise over that seems to have gone fairly quiet. This story has become iconic of wide dissatisfaction with our press though. The Mail, the most complained about paper of them all with its often vile values earning it the sobriquet of Hate Mail, must be delighted that it's red-top right-wing rival has now stolen its thunder with the most complaints yet received by IPSO on any story.

The reason I say this is a very useful piece is because it highlights the real complexities in any attempt to improve our press through regulation, self- or statutory.

Was this a nasty story likely to fuel racist attitudes? Basically, yes. Was it an entirely inaccurate reading of the results of a poll? Essentially, no.

Greenslade points out that while the nature of the poll that produced the results was dubious at best, the paper's interpretation of the results could not be dismissed as distorted or inaccurate.
Better judgement could have been used, and the paper was unseemingly grateful for this opportunity to grandstand and launch a populist (certainly amongst its mainly C2DE readership) anti-Muslim, anti-immigration broadside with the fig leaf of respectable data ... but how far should we go to enforce better judgement? How would we formalise that, and how could that possibly avoid being grossly censorial?

This was a nasty article, inaccurate in it's demographic claim but accurate in its interpretation of the data the story was based on. Press regulation, even in what seems the simplest of clauses in the Editors' Code (itself revised just this week), is never simple or straightforward - and no matter how nasty our billionaire tax-dodger owned press gets, let's not forget the closeness of the terms regulation and censorship.

IPSO won't shine light on Sun Survation story says Greenslade

Very useful piece this, on a story which will rumble on until IPSO publish any deliberations on it  - and very likely beyond if Greenslade is right in anticipating an all-clear ruling.

There are some calls for a wider boycott of The S*n to join the ongoing Merseyside boycott, though initial online noise over that seems to have gone fairly quiet. This story has become iconic of wide dissatisfaction with our press though. The Mail, the most complained about paper of them all with its often vile values earning it the sobriquet of Hate Mail, must be delighted that its red-top right-wing rival has now stolen its thunder with the most complaints yet received by IPSO on any story.

The reason I say this is a very useful piece is because it highlights the real complexities in any attempt to improve our press through regulation, self or statutory.

Was this a nasty story likely to fuel racist attitudes? Basically, yes. Was it an entirely inaccurate reading of the results of a poll? Essentially, no.

Greenslade points out that while the nature of the poll that produced the results was dubious at best, the paper's interpretation of the results could not be dismissed as distorted or inaccurate.

Better judgement could have been used, and the paper was unseemingly grateful for this opportunity to grandstand and launch a populist (certainly amongst its mainly C2DE readership) anti-Muslim, anti-immigration broadside with the fig leaf of respectable data ... but how far should we go to enforce better judgement? How would we formalise that, and how could that possibly avoid being grossly censorial?

This was a nasty article, inaccurate in it's demographic claim but accurate in its interpretation of the data the story was based on. Press regulation, even in what seems the simplest of clauses in the Editors' Code (itself revised just this week), is never simple or straightforward - and no matter how nasty our billionaire tax-dodger owned press gets, let's not forget the closeness of the terms regulation and censorship.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

IPSO Editors Code changes hailed and condemned

It won't help ease suspicions when Mail editor-in-chief Paul Dacre leads the back-slapping over the announcement of changes to the Editor's Code, to begin on January 1st 2016.

Hacked Off attacked the announcement, claiming not only that the changes ignored some of Leveson's specific proposals but also that there 8 ways in which the Code was actually watered down.

The two additions concern coverage of suicides and gender discrimination (I wonder if that will eventually require updating to specifically include transgender discrimination, on which the Press have an abysmal record?).

It is significant too that headlines are now included in the most-abused clause, Clause One on accuracy. The Code's preamble also specifies that complaints need to be addressed swiftly through IPSO. The press remains split on regulation, with several papers still refusing to sign up to IPSO (or rivals), but the body it funds, PressBOf, is making a concerted push here to shore up the image and acceptance of IPSO as the sole legitimate press regulator.

A continuing Conservative governemnt will have no appetite to upset a largely supportive press; a future Corbyn-led Labour government presumably would ... but if the mainly right-wing press get their way and their incessant anti-Corbyn flak (also noticeable in the supposedly left-wing Guardian) sees him replaced by a Blairite right-winger their path, remarkably, looks clear once more.

The Press just keep supping in that last chance saloon...