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.