Exam date

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

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.

http://www.thelondoneconomic.com/tle-pick/think-jeremy-corbyn-is-a-loser-oh-dear-youve-been-brainwashed/18/08/

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