Media

Will the media be the ones wot won it?

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It may seem bizarre to many people that the Conservative Party has been riding high in the polls after seven years of battering public services and fuelling racism. One popular explanation for this is the role of the media. Given the magnitude of its attacks on Jeremy Corbyn that seems to make sense.

The Sun ran the headline “Blood on his hands” for a vile rant against Corbyn and McDonnell, attempting to attack them over their relations with the IRA. It was printed the day after the Manchester bombing.

The rehabilitation of Rupert M

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Rupert Murdoch has emerged virtually unscathed from the phone hacking scandal, which some naive optimists hoped might actually bring his empire down. This much has been clear for some time, but it was made public on 21 December when David Cameron, George Osborne and half of the rest of the cabinet attended a Christmas drinks party at Murdoch’s London flat. The Conservative government was collectively acknowledging Murdoch’s rehabilitation.

Satire should spear the powerful

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The savage killing of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and journalists by terrorists in Paris is utterly contemptible, but not inexplicable. For me as a cartoonist this seemed to be horribly close to home. As the great cartoonist Joe Sacco commented immediately after the massacre, “This is my tribe”. Sadly, the ensuing media storm has done little to explain and a lot to foment division and put the blame upon “backward” Islam and Muslims in general.

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).

A Class Inquiry

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The Leveson Inquiry into phone hacking ended in June, no doubt to collective relief in establishment circles. We must wait until the autumn for Lord Justice Leveson to submit his findings to David Cameron. The knowledge that a Lord Justice will report to a Tory prime minister is enough to know not to hold our breath.

The 86 days of hearings have been tedious on one level and extraordinary on another. The prime minister and chancellor, chief constables, billionaire newspaper owners and their editors have been called to account, laying bare a world not just of corruption and cover up but of routine collusion, of "country suppers" and "Yes we Cam" (former News International boss Rebekah Brooks' congratulatory text to Cameron). We now know, for example, how many times Cameron met executives at News International over a period (59).

It wasn't the Daily Mail wot won it!

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The Daily Mail has claimed that it drove forward the campaign for justice for Stephen Lawrence. Brian Richardson sets the record straight and argues that the real pressure for justice came from below

Daily Mail editor in chief Paul Dacre is one of the longest serving and most influential people in the press. He is also notoriously reclusive. In the wake of the Stephen Lawrence murder trial verdict, however, he could not contain himself.

Hacking away at the truth

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The dam has burst over revelations of phone hacking at Rupert Murdoch's News Group. Fresh revelations tumble daily from the High Court.

On just two days in mid-February we learned of a witness statement, previously withheld by police, that suggests an unknown number of News of the World (NoW) journalists used a private investigator to hack into celebrities' phones. We also learned that the Metropolitan Police held evidence of hacking that it repeatedly claimed did not exist and that Scotland Yard had uncovered new evidence (don't laugh) of illegal activity at the NoW.

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