Exam date

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

Sunday, 24 January 2016

IMPRESS signs up obscure titles but could grab power

IN THIS POST: Peter Preston savages Impress' credentials and strategy; despite only signing up 4 micro-local titles they could bring about statutory powers that include draconian fees for newspapers whether they have signed up to Impress or not. You'll find further Impress resources at the bottom of this post. Read more on press regulation on the Media Guardian here.

Impress boast of their actually humble beginnings. Note the new domain: http://impress.press/
Peter Preston's weekly column is mostly on the Saville case, and is useful for highlighting the consequences of the incessant political pressure on the Beeb.

However, its the fiery, furious final two paragraphs that grabbed my attention, coming to a conclusion that hadn't occurred to me. Greenslade had reported that Impress was to announce its initial sign-ups, but when this proved not to be the IPSO refuseniks like The Guardian I switched off.
Preston flags up that despite the absurdity of Impress' starting slate, four micro-local titles, this could see the severe powers to fine newspapers, whether signed up or not, heavy amounts. In his own words:

Saturday, 23 January 2016

EU sanctions to silence Chinese whispers?

Another example of how the EU impacts on media regulation (AtVod and PEGI are regulators who exist primarily as a response to EU regulations). Excerpt:
The Paris-based press freedom body, Reporters Without Borders (RSF), has called for European Union sanctions against China’s main TV broadcaster and its official news agency over the Peter Dahlin case.
As the Guardian reported yesterday, Dahlin, a Swedish human rights activist “was paraded on Chinese television on Tuesday night to make what friends and colleagues describe as a ‘forced confession’”.
He appeared on the state-owned China Central Television (CCTV) and critical claims about him were carried by the official news agency, Xinhua.
...
In August 2014, RSF called on the European Council to adopted sanctions against CCTV following the screened “confession” of Chinese journalist Gao Yu about disclosing state secrets. Months later, at her trial, she said she made the confession under duress.
There is a precedent for EU action. In March 2013, the European Council found that the Iranian-backed Press TV had violated the right to a fair trial by their airing of forced confessions.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

BBC politicised by funding World Service?

This is a report that I'm sure will be reported very differently in the right-wing press (ie, most of the UK press), much of which actively campaign against the whole concept of a publicly funded PSB and engage in BBC-bashing at every opportunity.

It reports that the public oppose the 2010 change, making the BBC pay for World Service radio (previously funded by the Foreign Office as it has the explicitly political aim of promoting British government policies and undermining non-democratic regimes around the world), as it politicises the BBC.

There is also fear that the poor will be badly served and neglected by proposed changes, including moving more content online only, and clear opposition to any pay-TV (as is planned for children's TV content).

OFCOM BBC made UK TV Mary Poppins TV?!

Part of the point of this article is that Phil Redmond is a name the under 30s are unlikely to recognise, but shows he produced and created from the 80s to 00s were iconic, what would now be called watercooler (as everyone would speak about them at school or work the next day) TV: Grange Hill, Brookside...

a sample episode of Brookie:

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

EU investigates lack of media freedom in Poland

Intriguing ... It will set quite a precedent if the EU finds Poland guilty of media curbs incompatible with democracy.

Brussels launches unprecedented EU inquiry into rule of law in Poland http://gu.com/p/4fn9a?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Blogger

OWNERSHIP Australia debates market restrictions

It's still at the discussion stage, so it'd be no great surprise if pressure from the Murdoch or Packer empires killed the move, BUT ... at least Australia is discussing what should be the most urgent task for Media regulators, namely tackling concentration of ownership and monopolistic practices.
Full article here.

They are rather modest proposals, but as Murdoch has already stated his opposition, expect the flak to fly in a country which had a notorious history of press influence over government - look up the shady history of Gough-Whittam, viewed as too left-wing by the US, being forced out as Australian PM.

We get quite the opposite in the UK. The ITC began the great deregulatory shift, while the 2003 Communications Act makes deregulation a legal duty of the super-regulator OfCom, and a right-wing government with a friendly press behind it is hardly likely to tighten ownership laws. Indeed, C4 faces forced privatization and some feel the BBC is being run down to prepare public opinion for its eventual sale too, in the manner of the Post Office.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

FILM EFFECTS Tarantino: Japan violent cinema peaceful society

Interesting point by Quentin Tarantino when pressed on accusations that his films inspire real life violence. Tarantino's trademark style includes explicit violence, often cut to soundtrack music, but he argued that the notion that cinema and civic violence are linked is rendered ridiculous by Japan, with its ultra-violent cinema but low violent crime culture.

The director also addressed his infamous interview with the Channel 4 News presenter Krishnan Guru-Murthy three years ago, when he lost his cool about a question suggesting a link between violence in his films and violence in real life. Tarantino’s films, including Django Unchained, Reservoir Dogs and now The Hateful Eight, include high levels of violence and brutality. 
“I wasn’t going to give it to him,” he said of Guru-Murthy. “But one of the things that backs up my point is that in the last 25 years, when it comes to industrial societies, hands down the most violent cinema that exists in any one country is Japan. Sometimes grotesquely so. And as we all know, they have the least violent society of all. It’s just right there.”

Politicians and the press, who mutually love a good moral panic, both casually infer this link frequently, as do conservative, pro-censorship campaign groups, but the field of audience effects research, one of the largest in academia, not just Media, has singularly failed to provide any conclusive backing for the notional harms that the likes of the BBFC is set up to protect the public from. The BBFC has addressed this in an interesting interview elsewhere.

Here's his notorious UK (C4 News) interview: