Exam date

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

Thursday, 22 February 2018

PRESS FLAK Czechmate for right-wing attack on leftie leader

Guardian included 1 of Corbyn's popular (with younger aud) online vids
Jeremy Corbyn was accused by right-wing papers of being a Soviet spy - an absurd story that was quickly proved false, but led to massive TV and radio coverage. Remember this if exploring the proposition that circulation decline means the loss of press power over politics and public opinion; listeners and viewers who never pick up a newspaper are exposed to their agenda as the broadcast media routinely take their news agenda from the papers.

The story very clearly showed up the current binary approach between Labour (left) and Tory (right) parties:
[Corbyn accused] rightwing papers of being controlled by billionaire tax exiles, with the party repeating that it planned to hold a media ownership review if it got into power, and sending a lawyer’s letter to a Tory MP over an ill-judged tweet.The Conservatives, meanwhile, have sought to stoke the row in an attempt to get it picked up by broadcasters – while at the same time trying to pretend they are above the fray by arguing, none too subtly, that it is the party that supports the press and the existing structure of independent regulation. [Guardian 'spying row' article]

Clause 1 of the Editors Code (Accuracy) appears to have taken a typical battering, free of consequence or censure from the regulator, with the right-wing press' combined attempted assault on Opposition leader Corbyn. Branded a traitor and a spy, his response has been to go on the attack, promise Leveson part 2 (the PM has taken the opposite stance), and action to tackle the lack of diversity of ownership, characterised as 'billionaire tax exiles'.

Labour and Corbyn are calculating that by using social media they will win this battle and thwart the attempted character assassination, with only older voters significantly influenced by the press. A bold volte face for a party which slavishly sought press favour under Blair's, who notoriously flew to Australia before becoming PM for a meeting with Murdoch.

Corbyn's 2018 Labour are calculating that the declining press industry is losing its grip on public opinion and are using social media to distribute short videos, quotes etc to engage with a primarily youth audience to counter the mainstream media discourse and flak that he faces.

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown wooed the press, long maintaining personal relationships with Rupert Murdoch and Paul Dacre respectively, while in No 10. But personal attacks on Corbyn motivate the party’s supporters, particularly younger voters, who don’t read the Sun, Mail or Telegraph, and who don’t necessarily remember the cold war.Ed Miliband broke with the Murdoch press in 2011 following the phone-hacking scandal, promising to break up the Sun and Times empire if he was elected. A controversial attack on his Marxist father Ralph, described by the Daily Mail as “the man who hates Britain” led to a furious row with Dacre’s newspaper in 2013. But if both moves were popular at the time, he nevertheless was badly beaten in the 2015 election.
The PM (May) used the story in PMQs, and later pontificated on the free press
“A free press is one of the foundations on which our democracy is built,” in an attempt to claim a moral high ground.Labour ... repeat[ed] that the party wanted to carry out the second part of the Leveson inquiry into press regulation and insisting that its media review would aim to boost diversity in British media, without specifying any details as to how.In doing so, it risked entrenching an already adversarial relationship with the rightwing press – but the Labour calculus is that, except possibly with older voters, in the social media era that does not matter.

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