Media Lens: Limits Of Dissent – Glenn Greenwald And The Guardian

6 December 2018 — Media Lens

When we think of prisons, we tend to think of Alcatraz, Bang Kwang and Belmarsh with their guard towers, iron bars and concrete. But in his forthcoming book, ’33 Myths of the System’, Darren Allen invites us to imagine a prison with walls made entirely of vacuous guff:

‘Censorship is unnecessary in a system in which everyone can speak, but only those guaranteed not to say anything worth listening to can be heard.’

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Media Lens: Follow Your Bliss – A Follow-Up

30 November 2018 — Media Lens

‘Advice I Wish I’d Had’

Last February, I responded on Twitter to a tweet from The Times urging young journalists to apply for the Anthony Howard Award. Lucky winners could spend a year writing about politics for The Times and Observer newspapers, and also for New Statesman magazine. My comment:

‘Forget it. Don’t write for the “mainstream”. Don’t write for money. Don’t write for prestige. Just “follow your bliss” by writing what you absolutely love to write to inspire and enlighten other people. Write what seems interesting, important and true, and give it away for free.’

These few words generated an imperfect storm of anger and abuse, mostly from corporate journalists and other media workers. In a piece titled, ‘Write for love not money? Journalists appalled,’ former Guardian journalist Jonathan Cook commented: ‘the outpouring of indignation from these journalists at a little bit of advice from Media Lens must be unprecedented’.

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Media Lens: The Filter Bubble – Owen Jones And Con Coughlin

14 November 2018 — Media Lens

There is something dreamlike about the system of mass communication sometimes described as ‘mainstream media’. The self-described ‘rogue journalist’ and ‘guerrilla poet’ Caitlin Johnstone tweeted it well:

‘The Iraq invasion feels kind of like if your dad had stood up at the dinner table, cut off your sister’s head in front of everyone, gone right back to eating and never suffered any consequences, and everyone just kind of forgot about it and carried on life like it never happened.’

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Media Lens: How To Be A Reliable ‘Mainstream’ Journalist

8 November 2018 — Media Lens

There are certain rules you need to follow as a journalist if you are going to demonstrate to your editors, and the media owners who employ you, that you can be trusted.

For example, if you write about US-Iran relations, you need to ensure that your history book starts in 1979. That was the year Iranian students started a 444-day occupation of the US embassy in Tehran. This was the event that ‘led to four decades of mutual hostility’, according to BBC News. On no account should you dwell on the CIA-led coup in 1953 that overthrew the democratically-elected Iranian leader, Mohammad Mossadegh. Even better if you just omit any mention of this.

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Caught In The Cross Hairs – Media Lens And The Mystery Of The Wikipedia Editor

17 October 2018 — Media Lens

In June, the BBC reported that someone operating under the name ‘Philip Cross’ had been extraordinarily active in editing Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit:

‘”Philip Cross” has made hundreds of thousands of edits to Wikipedia pages. But in the process he’s angered anti-war activists and critics of British and Western foreign policy, who claim he’s been biased against them.’

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Blanket Silence: Corporate Media Ignore New Report Exposing Distorted And Misleading Coverage of Corbyn

3 October 2018 — Media Lens

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the 17 years since Media Lens began, it’s that media professionals generally hate being challenged, critiqued or criticised. This fierce antipathetical belligerence underlies the corporate media’s total refusal to mention, far less discuss, a recent damning report on how the corporate media have been misreporting Labour and its supposed ‘problem’ with antisemitism.

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Media Lens: To Do Or To Be? – The Sixth Filter

27 September 2018 — Media Lens

Part 1 – Turning Outside

Some 250,000 miles later, having spent 20 minutes waiting for the other guy to get down the ladder, Buzz Aldrin became the second person to walk on the moon, July 21, 1969.

Back on Earth, 600 million people looked up in wonder: how must it feel to be the first humans to set foot on another world? Aldrin and Neil Armstrong were viewed as the ultimate pioneers at the cutting edge of human experience; if anyone was really alive, ‘doing it’, they were. So how did it feel to be up there living life to the max? Aldrin recalled of his return to Earth:

‘I said to Neil, “We missed the whole thing.” We didn’t share the moment of exhilaration here on Earth. We were sort of out of town doing something else.’

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Guest Media Alert by John Pilger: ‘Hold the front page. The reporters are missing’

20 September 2018 — Media Lens

Note From The Editors

This is a slightly amended version of the foreword to the new Media Lens book, ‘Propaganda Blitz – How The Corporate Media Distort Reality’, published today by Pluto Press. Warm thanks to John Pilger for contributing this superb piece to our book.

The death of Robert Parry earlier this year felt like a farewell to the age of the reporter. Parry was “a trailblazer for independent journalism”, wrote Seymour Hersh, with whom he shared much in common.

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Media Lens: Propaganda Blitz – A New Media Lens Book And An Urgent Appeal For Support

19 September 2018 — Media Lens 

When we started Media Lens in 2001, our guiding aspiration was that independent, web-based activism would have a profoundly positive impact on public discourse.

Hard to believe now, but we nurtured hopes that the greater honesty and compassion of thousands of non-corporate media activists would force traditional media to improve. ‘Mainstream’ outlets that continued to sell elite bias as objective Truth would be relentlessly exposed, become a laughing stock – they would simply have to raise their game. Continue reading

Charges ‘Without Merit’ – Jeremy Corbyn, Antisemitism, Norman Finkelstein and Noam Chomsky

12 September 2018 — Media Lens

Last week, Peter Brookes tweeted his latest cartoon for The Times, commenting:

‘#Novichok not the only poison being spread around Britain. #LabourAntisemitism #Corbyn.’

Referencing allegations that two Russian agents had been responsible for the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury on March 4, the cartoon depicted a British policeman holding up mugshots of a menacing, bug-eyed ‘Jeremy Korbynski’ (wearing an ‘I Love Hamas’ badge) and a vampiric, evil-looking ‘Seumasov Milne’ (wearing a ‘Down With Israel’ badge), with the policeman saying:

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Media Lens: Israel Is The Real Problem

9 August 2018 — Media Lens

Elite power cannot abide a serious challenge to its established position. And that is what Labour under Jeremy Corbyn represents to the Tory government, the corporate, financial and banking sectors, and the ‘mainstream’ media. The manufactured ‘antisemitism crisis’ is the last throw of the dice for those desperate to prevent a progressive politician taking power in the UK: someone who supports Palestinians and genuine peace in the Middle East, a strong National Health Service and a secure Welfare State, a properly-funded education system, and an economy in which people matter; someone who rejects endless war and complicity with oppressive, war criminal ‘allies’, such as the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

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