The Other Elephant in the Room: Funding public interest news By Justin Schlosberg

9 July 2013 — New Left Project

As we reflect on the post-Leveson political furore, it is worth recalling Stuart Hall’s maxim that it is the way in which public problems are defined – rather than their proposed solutions – which exemplifies the exercise of real power in advanced capitalist democracies. 

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Leveson’s Punch and Judy show on the press masks ‘hacking’ on a scale you can barely imagine By John Pilger

6 December 2012 — John Pilger

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In the week Lord Leveson published almost a million words about his inquiry into the “culture, practice and ethics” of Britain‘s corporate press, two illuminating books about media and freedom were also published. Their contrast with the Punch and Judy show staged by Leveson is striking.

For 36 years, Project Censored, based in California, has documented critically important stories unreported or suppressed by the media most Americans watch or read. This year’s report is 013: Dispatches from the media revolution by Mickey Huff and Andy Lee Roth (Seven Stories Press). They describe the omissions of “mainstream” journalism as “history in the un-making”. Unlike Leveson, their investigation demonstrates the sham of a system claiming to be free. Among their top 25 censored stories are these:

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Leveson and Leviathan, or What the Papers Won’t Say By Dan Hind

29 November 2012 — Return of the Public

Journalists and their editors have an unusual privilege. As brokers of public speech they largely determine how the world beyond our immediate experience appears to us. They decide what matters and who to take seriously. This privilege is particularly pronounced when it comes to their own trade, where, after all, they have firsthand knowledge. And they do not like to let outsiders in on the process, if they can help it. The anthropologist Georgina Born describes in her book Uncertain Vision a 1997 conversation with Jim Gray and Jeremy Paxman of Newsnight: Continue reading

Leveson and Leviathan, or What the Papers Won’t Say By Dan Hind

29 November 2012 — Return of the Public

Journalists and their editors have an unusual privilege. As brokers of public speech they largely determine how the world beyond our immediate experience appears to us. They decide what matters and who to take seriously. This privilege is particularly pronounced when it comes to their own trade, where, after all, they have firsthand knowledge. And they do not like to let outsiders in on the process, if they can help it. The anthropologist Georgina Born describes in her book Uncertain Vision a 1997 conversation with Jim Gray and Jeremy Paxman of Newsnight: Continue reading

Government bought and sold by Murdoch’s News Corp

27 February 2012

This from Channel 4‘s email today;

Corruption across Whitehall! Three words I never expected to put in one sentence, but the evidence of Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers from Scotland Yard at the Leveson Inquiry is complete dynamite. DAC Akers is leading the investigation into allegations that employees of Rupert Murdoch‘s News International ran a covert, systemic operation in which they paid huge sums to public officials in the police, the military, the Department of Health and many other areas of Whitehall. The payments were dressed up and in at least one case involved sums as high as £80,000.

Three words John Snow never expected to hear in one sentence, “Corruption across Whitehall”? Who is he kidding! We have a government owned, lock, stock and smoking barrel by big business. Corruption is rife at every level.

Media: The Leveson Inquiry: Should We Care? By Des Freedman

2 September 2011 — New Left Project

I have written elsewhere that the aftermath of the phone hacking scandal and the establishment of the Leveson Inquiry, ‘is a hugely significant moment both for the British media and for British democracy’ and that ‘the spell of media power is facing its most serious challenge to date’. Given that official inquiries rarely generate genuinely radical proposals and we have seen no evidence that press proprietors and media executives are willing to give up their privileged positions, was this simply wishful thinking? The evidence, I would suggest, is mixed.

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New moves by British parliament to shield the Murdochs By Robert Stephens

30 July 2011 — WSWS

On Friday, members of Parliament’s Commons Culture Select Committee voted against recalling News Corporation Chairman James Murdoch to give more evidence on phone hacking and police corruption. Labour MP Tom Watson had called on Murdoch, the son of international media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and two ex-News of the World executives, former editor Colin Myler and the newspaper’s ex-legal manager Tom Crone, to appear.

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