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“experts in life on the dole”

Double serving of media critique on the proliferation of "poverty porn" TV (in the UK) over at Sociological Imagination with "A Summer of Television Poverty Porn" and "Pride, Propaganda and Poverty Porn: On Benefits and Proud." Programs under discussion include We Pay All Your Benefits, How to Get a Council House, Benefits Britain 1949, On Benefits and Proud. [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi on Jan 26, 2014 - 18 comments

UK: there's a big storm, a 'hurricane', coming (possibly)

The 'worst storm since 1987' is due to hit the UK over the next few days. It may also hit 'northern France and the Low Countries'. It may be 'overwhelming' and 'there is a risk of some parts getting two inches of rain in a six hour period'. The Met Office has warned that 'England and Wales will be hit by a significant storm on Sunday night with winds of up to 80mph in some areas'. They also said the predicted storm was 'not one you would see every year' and that 'exceptional winds will batter Surrey'. Drivers are advised to 'at a minimum, take a fully-charged mobile phone and warm, weatherproof clothing.' Some media outlets claim, however, the storm will only be the worst of the last five year, though in Bristol it'll be the worst in 'two decades'. Never the less, 'stay well away from trees'. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Oct 26, 2013 - 164 comments

Michael Buerk Attacks BBC, the media, the privately educated, and inequality

Michael Buerk: ""The arts, low and high, are dominated by them. The BBC is a private-school old boys' and girls' association. They edit most newspapers, even the Leftish Daily Mirror and the Guardian", he wrote."

Buerk also criticised the BBC's coverage of the Jubilee : "saying it was "cringingly inept" and had left him ashamed."

Michael Buerk rants about the BBC, the media and the UK.
posted by marienbad on Dec 31, 2012 - 54 comments

Make good programmes

Armando Iannucci's Bafta lecture 2012 - In which the creator of The Thick Of It argues that the BBC should be more aggressive, fight back against critics in the press and goverment, be more like HBO than committee-driven American network TV, and that if as James Murdoch says the only reliable, durable guarantor of independence is profit then the only guarantor of profit is independance.
posted by Artw on Sep 12, 2012 - 41 comments

Cripes!

The Economist on the decline of British boy's comics as The Dandy ceases print publication. As it circles oblivion it risks joining the ranks of Whizzer and Chips, Buster, The Beezer and subversive late entry to the genre Oink. The days of the Great British girl's comic are sadly long passed. 
posted by Artw on Aug 17, 2012 - 70 comments

It was a good war. (For some.)

Rupert Murdoch, CEO of News Corp., repeatedly lobbied Tony Blair to invade Iraq. In the days leading up to the invasion, Tony Blair's Director of Communications wrote that "(Blair) took a call from Murdoch who was pressing on timings, saying how News International would support us, etc. Both TB and I felt it was prompted by Washington, and another example of their over-crude diplomacy. Murdoch was pushing all the Republican buttons, how the longer we waited the harder it got." The phone call in question took place just days before a crucial vote on Iraq, and was one of three personal calls from Murdoch that Blair received in that week alone. Blair recently testified, admitting an "unhealthy" level of closeness with Murdoch, oftentimes communicating more with him than with his own ministers. In the first 19 days following the invasion of Iraq, Rupert Murdoch's Fox News averaged 3.3 million viewers, a 236% increase from the weeks preceding the war. Huge increases in newspaper sales were seen throughout his global media empire, with advertising revenue soaring to record levels. That empire now faces serious calls for it to be broken up.
posted by markkraft on Jun 16, 2012 - 62 comments

Pasty Gate

Following an amendment in the recent Conservative Party budget, VAT on 'Baked Goods' will be re-instated. In response, the question of whether or not David Cameron once ate a Greggs pasty infects the British press. The Telegraph have a live blog covering what has been termed by some Pasty Gate
posted by 0bvious on Mar 28, 2012 - 61 comments

The sun is new each day. -- Heraclitus

Rupert Murdoch to replace the News of the World with the Sun on Sunday, meaning the Sun will publish 7 days a week. (Sun, BBC) In other News International news, Murdoch has reinstated the Sun journalists arrested for paying public officials, will pay their legal expenses, and has written to all of the Sun's journalists with a combative memo pledging support. The Guardian liveblogged the day.
posted by jaduncan on Feb 19, 2012 - 59 comments

The Fall of the House of Murdoch?

Five senior journalists and editors at the News International tabloid the Sun were arrested on Saturday along with three public officials as Operation Elveden, the British investigation into bribery of police by News International papers, broadened to include corruption of officials in the armed forces and Ministry of Defence as well. The Guardian reports that the new arrests escalate the stakes of the ongoing US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation of News Corporation, which carries potential penalties of millions of dollars of fines and prison sentences for senior executives. [more inside]
posted by strangely stunted trees on Feb 11, 2012 - 93 comments

Wild West on the internet

Is the internet rewriting history? Teaching the difference between truth and propaganda online via BBC [more inside]
posted by infini on Sep 30, 2011 - 32 comments

Cut, paste, cut, paste

"‘Churnalism’ is a news article that is published as journalism, but is essentially a press release without much added." Churnalism.com is a site created by the British charity Media Standards Trust, which lets you input the text of a press release to compare it with the text of news articles in the British media. [more inside]
posted by DanCall on Feb 24, 2011 - 15 comments

News of the ... Screwed?

Last week, the New York Times magazine published an explosive article about the phone-hacking exploits at the Rupert Murdoch-owned British tabloid News Of The World under the then-editorship of Andy Coulson, now the the Government's chief of communications. Following the NYT's investigation, questions about the "unhealthy" relationship between the Metropolitan Police and the press (particularly Murdoch's News International, which also includes The Sun, The Times and the Sunday Times), and further claims that an independent inquiry was abandoned so as not to upset the Metropolitan Police, assistant Met Commissioner John Yates was questioned [video; 4 mins] on Tuesday by the Home Affairs select committee. Following an emergency debate in Parliament today, which concerned the fact that MPs of all parties may have had their phones hacked (and therefore had their Parliamentary Privilege breached), the Standards and Privileges Committee, the most powerful committee in Parliament, is to open an inquiry which will be able to compel witnesses to give evidence. Meanwhile, former News of the World reporters are coming out the woodwork, claiming that hacking at the paper was "rife", and the pressure is on Coulson to resign his £140,000 job at No. 10, with a poll [pdf] which says 52% of the public says he should go. [more inside]
posted by Len on Sep 9, 2010 - 46 comments

Probe Into Shock Tabloid Rumpus

Tabloid Watch and Daily Mail Watch (previously) keep a beady eye on what Nick Davies' Flat Earth News calls "churnalism" in British media. So, you can find out if PC Officials Tone Down Punch and Judy, if Councils Install Muslim-only Toilets or if Muslim Bus Drivers Turf Guide Dogs off the Bus.
posted by TheophileEscargot on Jul 27, 2010 - 24 comments

I am the son and the heir of nothing in particular.

"What are you f**king playing at?” Mr Murdoch asked Mr Kelner in a loud voice and in front of dozens of bemused journalists."
This week, 300,000 copies of the UK's Independent newspaper were distributed for free advertising the paper's claim to editorial independence stating, "Rupert Murdoch won’t decide this election – you will".

According to the Financial Times, Murdoch's son James subsequently stormed into the Independent's newsroom brandishing a copy of the edition, protesting it besmirched his father’s reputation. "Lively times," the Guardian observes.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 22, 2010 - 62 comments

I agree with Nick: you're no Jack Kennedy.

Yesterday, the leaders of the three largest political parties in the UK engaged in a live televised election debate for the first time in history. Most commentators seem to agree that Nick Clegg, the leader of Britain's perennial third party the Liberal Democrats, made the best impression in yesterday's first of three weekly debates leading up to the general election on May 6. The progressive-leaning Guardian even goes so far as to claim that he is now prime ministerial material.

This being Metafilter you will undoubtedly ask, "how does Cory Doctorow figure into all of this?" Well, he agrees with Nick on the Digital Economy Act. Then again, Nick is agreed with quite a lot.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 16, 2010 - 54 comments

NHS Choices: Behind the Headlines

The NHS Behind the Headlines site gives the scientific facts behind the medical stories making the news.
posted by chorltonmeateater on Mar 22, 2010 - 24 comments

Sleepwalking into Oblivion

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger on paywalls and the future of journalism.
posted by Artw on Jan 25, 2010 - 14 comments

Murdoch v. the BBC

"If you think you can get fucking angry, I can get fucking angry." [more inside]
posted by Jakey on Sep 1, 2009 - 43 comments

The Dark Arts of Journalism

An investigation by the Guardian newspaper has uncovered a trail of hacking and other illegal "Dark Arts" at the News of the World. Rupert Murdoch, the paper's owner, is reported to have shelled out over £1m in out of court settlements [more inside]
posted by Acey on Jul 9, 2009 - 49 comments

Who is Daniel Hannan?

On Tuesday, Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan took the opportunity to "skewer" Gordon Brown in the kind of biting rhetoric rarely, if ever, seen in UK parliament. Despite having alerted UK press organisations, including his own part-time employer, Hannan's speech was not picked up by the UK press until... it started getting a heavy push from the US punditocracy. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan on Mar 26, 2009 - 46 comments

The worst face of intellectualism: the bluestocking

On British TV last night, Gail Trimble, a Classics scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, singlehandedly trounced the opposing team in University Challenge. To some a smug, bluestocking know-it-all, to others a role model. Cue the fightback and lots of questions about whether we, as a society, actually like really clever people and specifically, clever women?.
posted by MuffinMan on Feb 24, 2009 - 166 comments

Can the BBC survive?

A biased shadow of its former self, a waste of money dominated by champagne socialists, a victim of media fragmentation, a political pawn or still the trusted heart of the UK's (and, arguably, the world's) broadcasting world? As scandal after scandal threatens to undermine confidence in the BBC and the voices calling for the dissolution of the licence fee gain a more cohesive platform, can the BBC survive, - is it the solution or the problem, and can the British public really afford to let it die the death of a thousand cuts? On the day after the BBC announces it will put every UK publically owned oil painting online and the Director General talks about the BBC's "special responsibility" to culture in the UK, what should the role of the BBC be and, perhaps more importantly, what should it cost?
posted by MuffinMan on Jan 29, 2009 - 50 comments

Today's Adventures of Spinspin: Alistair Campbell's media whirlwind

Tony Blair's ex-Master of Spin and closest adviser is on a media whirlwind promoting his diary. Campbell's apparently straight talking nature gives the prospects of some tantalizing insight into the inner workings of number 10 for the majority of Blair's premiership. He's not getting it all his own way, though. BBC Radio 4's John Humphrey's on the Today Programme (Real audio) (MP3) was more interested in the failings of a government and political movement for which he was an architect and key player, and particularly Campbell's legacy of elevating the role of spin in British politics, even in the inner working of government, allegedly sexing up an intelligence dossier in order to make a more compelling case for war in Iraq (See 10 ways to sex up a dossier). The Guardian, in an article titled Did he mean me?, invited some of those named in his diaries to give feedback, or should that be biteback?
posted by nthdegx on Jul 11, 2007 - 7 comments

Unpopular premier slams popular press

The UK media is like a "Feral Beast", and is undermining Britain, says Tony Blair. Simon Kelner, editor of The Independent, responds. Some reasons why Blair might not be too keen on the press.
posted by Artw on Jun 12, 2007 - 21 comments

Toob to Beeb

"I feel guilty because I have friends that are working really hard to get into television or acting and I'm just sitting here having not done anything more than enjoy playing with gadgets."

Susi Weaser (24) makes little one-minute gadget reviews and posts them on YouTube . The BBC must have liked them - because they hired her.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 18, 2006 - 18 comments

Don't Bomb Us.

Don't Bomb Us. In response to credible reports that Bush wanted to bomb al-Jazeera's HQ in allied Qatar (discussed here and here on MeFi), Al Jazeera staffers start their own English-language blog. Their site contains remembrances of their fallen colleagues, firsthand accounts of US attacks on their offices, links to relevant reports on the controversy, Flickr photosets of protests calling for an official investigation, and al Jazeera's code of ethics. Also, a quick note to Tony Blair: " P.S. Thanks for talking Mr. Bush out of bombing our offices!" Not surprisingly, their blog is generating some comments.
posted by edverb on Nov 26, 2005 - 117 comments

Fighting the Liberal Media Bias

In 2001 America destroyed the Kabul offices of al-Jazeera with two smartbombs; officials said it was an accident. In 2003 America destroyed the Baghdad offices of al-Jazeera with missiles; officials said it was an accident. Now, two British civil servants are on trial for leaking a memo revealing that Bush intended to bomb al-Jazeera... at their headquarters in allied Qatar.
posted by Pretty_Generic on Nov 22, 2005 - 155 comments

It's a basic irony, folks...

I'm amused by today's Editorial in The Sun. It starts off with how a protest vote against Labour may mean 'you could be signing a young person's death warrant' due to the Liberal Democrat party's drugs policy.

The second half of the newspaper's editorial is a tribute to Anthony Wakefield... whose death came, of course, as part of the Blair government's war in Iraq... a basic irony that the newspaper has failed to pick up on. [via Bloggerheads]

For those who don't know, The Sun - which backs Blair, though not like this - is the UK's biggest selling newspaper and is owned by Rupert Murdoch.
posted by tapeguy on May 3, 2005 - 32 comments

...and a robber button is?

"Before, during and after the upcoming [United Kingdom] general election campaign, Channel 4 FactCheck will provide the most reliable analysis of what the political parties and their leaders are saying. The site will scrutinise interviews, speeches and manifesto pledges - informing public debate by creating a popular resource for an information-hungry electorate." A UK cousin to FactCheck.org.
posted by nthdegx on Apr 7, 2005 - 7 comments

Clueless About History

Clueless about History Britain is a nation of history dunces with many even believing Adolf Hitler never existed, according to a new survey. A quarter of those interviewed were not sure if the Battle of Trafalgar was a real historic event, while one in seven did not know the Battle of Hastings really took place. Sadly, it gets worse. Apparently the Battle of Endor actually happened in some people's minds.
posted by Coop on Apr 5, 2004 - 56 comments

Fake celebrity gossip in UK

As our own Royal Family slams them, can we be certain of anything reported in the British press? Celebrity gossip is king: if an unpopular public figure isn't ruined, then they're dragged through the gutter by an amoral PR guru. Celebrities mysteriously go out with other celebrities, until their single reaches number one (usually they're with the same PR company). It happens all the time. And models have sex videos 'stolen', only for one newpaper to 'find' out and charge people to look (and trailers suddenly appear on Kazaa). Is nothing real?
posted by wibbler on Jan 9, 2003 - 8 comments

British papers

British papers seem to be the only place we can find out what goes on in the US these days. Probably has to do with the liberal media, wouldn't you say?
posted by nofundy on Jun 18, 2002 - 36 comments

Quintessentially.com is the most horrifying thing I have seen for a long time. It’s a members-only club for the Tatler-reading classes – people for whom the Sunday Times is a serious newspaper. Dare you delve into the invidious ‘benefits’ conferred by membership of this club (‘Quintessentially members will have very special treatment’!), or gaze upon the faces of the well-heeled sloanes and berties behind it?
posted by Mocata on Dec 4, 2000 - 35 comments

This story of a whiz kid who vanished

This story of a whiz kid who vanished raises all kinds of questions. Sufiah, a 15-year-old student at Oxford University, disappears; then, her father receives an e-mail, supposedly from her. The e-mail claims that she ran away from her father's abusive high-pressure learning techniques; the father claims that she must have been kidnapped and brainwashed. The police aren't sure how to handle this situation, as there's no way to prove that the mail is really from the daughter. Finally, the father has called in the media to present his side of the story, since Sufiah has threatened to go to the media with hers.
posted by harmful on Jul 6, 2000 - 11 comments

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