Censorship

Crisis at the BBC - should we care?

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After the appalling revelations about child abuse by Jimmy Savile and others the BBC has been plunged into crisis. Yet some of those attacking the BBC are media magnates and newspapers who would profit from its demise. Sue Sparks asks, should socialists defend the BBC as a public service broadcaster?

The BBC is facing one of the most serious crises in its history. This article is not about the facts or causes of this particular crisis; rather I want to look at the response of socialists to the attack on the BBC.

Marx on the freedom of the press

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Marx was a prolific journalist - but he has been cited by different people as either a Stalinist censor or a liberal defender of the press. Mark L Thomas looks at what Marx said about press freedom

Following the Leveson report into phone hacking the pages of the Daily Telegraph, of all places, recently witnessed a spat over Karl Marx's attitude towards press freedom. The Reverend Peter Mullen declared that those MPs who advocate some form of state regulation of the press stood in the tradition of Marx, who, he tells us, "hated a free press". Rushing to Marx's defence was Brendan O'Neil, the editor of Spiked Online (a right wing libertarian website that likes to pretend its part of the left).

Press freedom

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Should socialists support the findings of the Leveson inquiry? Dave Crouch argues that real freedom of the press should not be the freedom of powerful media owners to exercise influence, break unions and erode journalistic standards

There has been an avalanche on Bullshit Mountain. Set off by a timid stamp of Lord Justice Leveson's foot, the landslide of press outrage has buried the real scandal at the heart of Britain's newspapers.

Politicians and senior journalists have queued up to attack Leveson's report as a coup by the liberal establishment (the Daily Mail), opening the door to Stalinist state regulation (the Sun), threatening North Korean-style control (the Mirror), and giving succour to dictatorships such as Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan, China and Russia (more or less everybody).

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