Gently Pointing Out That The Leveson Inquiry Into Media Ethics Is A Farce Really

February 10, 2012

Gently Pointing Out That The Leveson Inquiry Into Media Ethics Is A Farce Really

Ben Delicious writes from London: What a farce the Leveson inquiry into media ethics has turned out to be! Mind you, I’m saying this in the gentlest way possible. It started to go badly from the word go, to be honest. I mean, who on earth picks a judge to preside over an inquiry into the way newspapers and the media generally collect information?  Judges know nothing about the media. In fact, if you look at the way the courts have been behaving in past couple of decades you’ll probably conclude that judges know s..t about anything, if you pardon the legal jargon here. So to appoint one to actually come up with recommendations on how the media should operate was a very stupid thing to do. And then there were the initial two weeks of hell, when fading celebs had been appearing in front of... 

Of Dogs And Lamp Posts. And Journalists And Politicians

January 29, 2012

Of Dogs And Lamp Posts. And Journalists And Politicians

Chris Gray writes from London: There’s no way elected politicians should ever be allowed to be newspaper columnists, or write articles on a regular basis in newspapers. It goes against the concept of a proper relationship between the media and politicians that in an ideal world should resemble the way a dog treats a lamp post. As in the dog urinating on the lamp post. Dogs don’t lick lamp posts, or jump around them with joy, or marvel at the light that comes from them, or sleep beside them. When they see a lamp post, they approach it, sniff it, with deep suspicion, and then leave their mark on it before going on about their business. That’s why every trainee reporter in the past had been told about one of the most important rules of journalism: you never get too friendly... 

Changes In News Reporting Urged To Help People Who Develop Addiction To News

January 27, 2012

Changes In News Reporting Urged To Help People Who Develop Addiction To News

Ben Delicious writes from London: Round the clock news coverage can make some people go bonkers, claim experts who know things and watch the news a lot. A survey conducted by the charity, 24-Hour News Watch, has uncovered disturbing facts about people who watch the news fanatically and, what is even more disturbing, believe everything they see and hear. Here are some startling statistics: nearly 10 million people in Britain are hooked on TV news bulletins, with some spending up to 8 hours, going through repeats on the 24-hour news channels, gradually losing their grip on reality and slipping into a semi-comatose state. In some extreme cases people start hallucinating, imagining that they are hearing breaking news that has not actually happened. They then share imagined ‘news’ with their... 

How To Succeed On Social Media: Tips For Aspiring Bloggers

January 10, 2012

How To Succeed On Social Media: Tips For Aspiring Bloggers

Anton Goryunov writes from Tripoli: Yes, Social Media, the means for millions to try their luck at becoming famous and getting as many followers, friends and admirers as possible, to then boast about it to everyone including total strangers at every given opportunity. Just look how Social Media has benefitted the anti-Gaddafi rebels in Libya, who used it cunningly to create an impression of a popular uprising, even though it was all about groups of armed men coming from God knows where ousting the hated dictator and taking control of all the oil and establishing their own dictatorship. With a bit of help from NATO, obviously, that actually used the evidence as proof that an invasion from air was the only way to save innocent civilians from slaughter. But I digress. Anyway, the first and most... 

Why Do Hacks Get It All Wrong?

December 30, 2011

Why Do Hacks Get It All Wrong?

R.F.Wilson writes from Fleet Street in London: Why is it that hacks get it all wrong? And, why do they claim afterwards that they actually got it right, as if hoping no one is going to check what it was that they were writing or saying before. None of the hacks have predicted any of the big calamities, be they wars, economic meltdowns or social upheavals. You want proof? OK, I’ll give you proof of the most recent events. Not one bloody scribbler or TV news reporter had predicted the 2008 financial crash – not one. In fact, they only noticed it when everything had fallen apart already. And that was not some small crisis, mind you. That was the start of the Great Depression 2 that is going to last for another couple of decades at least. But guess what happened when the meltdown was in... 

Responding To Breaking News: It’s An Art, Innit

December 18, 2011

Responding To Breaking News: It’s An Art, Innit

R.F.Wilson writes from London: Are you one of those people who like to be the first to learn about the latest breaking news? You are, are you? But do you know how to respond to it and, more importantly, how to spread the word while looking knowledgeable like? ‘Cause it’s an art, innit, responding to breaking news,’ as one leading journalist has put it so eloquently recently. The first thing about responding to breaking news is that you need to show some serious surprise. That is if you’re on your own, watching the box or listening to the radio in your car or in the shitter. You have to show respect to breaking news. A lot of people have been working their butts off, delivering breaking news to you. So once that lower jaw of yours comes back in place, having dropped on hearing some breaking... 

The Weird World Of TV News Speak

December 14, 2011

The Weird World Of TV News Speak

R.F.Wilson writes from London: Why is it that TV presenters and reporters use phrases like ‘gang culture’, ‘drug culture’, ‘gun culture’ and ‘knife culture’? What the hell does it all mean? Does ‘gang culture’ imply that groups of cultured gangsters go about lecturing people on the streets, stealing books from libraries and going to museums and theatres between robberies? And what about ‘drug culture’? Is it about drug dealers selling dope in fancy plastic packages, with health warnings on them, and offering free counselling to addicts? As in: use dope sensibly, kids, and don’t overdose. As for ‘gun culture’ and ‘knife culture’, it’s difficult even to imagine what all this could mean. Has it something to do... 

Alastair Campbell Talks About Press Ethics. There’s A Joke In It Already

December 3, 2011

Alastair Campbell Talks About Press Ethics. There’s A Joke In It Already

Ben Delicious writes from London: This has got to be one of the most hilarious contradictions in terms: former 10 Downing Street spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, the one of the ‘45 minutes’ and ‘Iraqi WMDs’ fame, has been giving evidence this week to the Leveson inquiry that is having a look at press ethics. Yes, Tony Blair’s former attack dog, who is to journalism what a genital wart is to oral sex, actually shared his views on the integrity of the media. It was a bit like asking Campbell’s former boss Tony to talk about ethics in government. Or inviting Gordon Brown to share his views on ways of avoiding waste of taxpayers’ money. Or, if you want this hilarity to continue, using Peter Mandelson to talk about transparency and openness in high office. Or asking former Jacqui... 

The Leveson Inquiry Is An Indictment Of The Stupidity Of Newspaper Readers First And Foremost

November 28, 2011

The Leveson Inquiry Is An Indictment Of The Stupidity Of Newspaper Readers First And Foremost

R.F.Wilson writes from London: It’s really hard to imagine how Lord Justice Leveson, who is presiding over the inquiry into the ethics of the British press, is going to salvage the proceedings that have descended into a total farce, compliments of dimwitted celebs who have testified at its hearings. The choice of most witnesses, who have given evidence to the inquiry, has basically wiped out any chance of anyone treating this exercise seriously. Lord Leveson may be a good judge, but he sure got taken for a ride by people, who represent celebs and semi-celebs and and everything possible to get them some free publicity. What on earth were mediocre actor Hugh Grant and so-called comedian Steve Coogan doing on the witness stand at Leveson inquiry anyway? How is it that they represent the voice... 

You Know What’s Wrong With The Leveson Inquiry? Everything Is Wrong With It

November 23, 2011

You Know What’s Wrong With The Leveson Inquiry? Everything Is Wrong With It

R.F.Wilson writes from London: You know what’s wrong with the Leveson inquiry into the conduct of the British newspapers that is currently hearing testimonies from ‘victims’ of phone hacking and press intrusion? Every bloody thing is wrong about it, especially the people, who have been asked to give evidence, and the questions that are posed to them. Not to mention that to appoint Lord Justice Leveson as head of the inquiry into the conduct of the press was a stupid move. What do judges know about the media? The hate it, if you want to know the truth. Judges and the press are as far apart from each other as the BBC and impartiality, or Kate Moss and natural female beauty, or Ricky Gervais and good jokes. Still, the choice of witnesses beats everything else. These are the so-called... 

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