11 February 2013
News Corp chief executive Rupert Murdoch is reportedly considering scrapping The Sun’s page three topless photo.
According to reports, including The Guardian, Twitter user @Kazipooh tweeted to the News Corp boss: “#nomorepage3 Seriously, we are all so over page three – it is so last century!” to which Murdoch replied: “page three so last century! You maybe right, don’t know but considering. Perhaps halfway house with glamorous fashionistas”.
His comment comes amid an ongoing campaign to end The Sun’s long-standing practice of picturing a topless model on page three.
The ‘Take The Bare Boobs Out Of The Sun’ petition has so far been signed more than 64,000 times.
In response to Murdoch’s intervention the No More Page 3 group tweeted: “We’re really pleased that @rupertmurdoch might b thinking about dropping pg 3 – It’s down to everyone who signed the petition & supported us.”
(posted by PL)
Tragedies of the fourth estate
Paul Lashmar 20 November 2012
Democracy and government
The recent crises must be understood in light of systemic pressures on the BBC’s resources and the wider struggle to maintain healthy and well funded investigative journalism – an essential part of democratic accountability.
If prophecy can be added to the theatrical tropes of the BBC debacle, I predict it will not be long before the whole sad episode is turned into a major dramatic production. Indeed, the similarities are striking between the BBC scandal and the oldest of all surviving plays, Aeschylus’ tragedy “The Persians”: the bowed empire, the defeated leader, sinister politics, a scapegoat, the hubris, betrayal, incompetence, and recriminations are all there. There’s the chorus of wailing newspaper editors and MPs, many enjoying the disgrace of the BBC enemy. The stench of neo-liberal carnivores, like vultures gathering in a tree near the scene of death, hangs over the scene like the smell of rotting meat.
Real career changing drama has been played out at the BBC. Those of us close to the BBC network hear of confrontations, most vividly in the middle of a crowded BBC office where a damaged senior editorial executive labelled a producer a ‘despicable human being’ for his part of the whole messy affair.
In this dark psychodrama there are also elements of Homeric comedy. The Director-General George Entwhistle’s repeated bumbling performances in the face of skilled interrogators can only be played on stage by Martin Clunes. Entwhistle, a BBC smooth operator, was manifestly not ready for the move from behind the cameras to the front. The emperor had no clothes.
to read the full piece
please forward through social media, thanks
15 March 2012
By Andrew Pugh
The Sun’s crime correspondent Mike Sullivan claims the Metropolitan Police grades journalists on how favourable their coverage is.
Sullivan told the Leveson Inquiry the force has analysts who scan newspapers looking for potential leaks, adding: “Such is the extent of media monitoring in the Met, that I believe that they even have charts on individual reporters with a system of marking to show if they are regarded as being favourable or not towards the Met.”
“I was told that that system existed and I quite believe it,” he told Lord Justice Leveson.
Sullivan said he was unable to explain exactly how the system works but said he was told about its existence by someone with direct knowledge of the “grading system”.
to read more
(posted by PL)
There are going to be many books about the News of the World phone hacking scandal. I’m particularly looking forward to two currently being written by Nick Davies and Tom Watson MP.
But I want to extol the virtues of a book that’s already been published, The phone hacking scandal: journalism on trial
Edited by Richard Keeble of Lincoln University and John Mair of Coventry University, it has contributions from more than 30 journalists and academics.
The tone is set in a preface by John Lloyd of the Financial Times, who is director of the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, and also in an opening statement by Keeble.
“Modern newspapers are an expression – a high expression – of an enlightenment philosophy, based on the belief that the truth is available to be discovered, that public business and public figures should be accountable to the rest of society and their actions made as transparent as possible and that debate is necessary for a democratic
and civil society.
That is not because, as both John Milton and John Stuart Mill believed, that truth will always win out: it often won’t. Rather it is because if such debate is suppressed, so freedom will also be curtailed.
What we have learned about phone hacking at the News of the World, and about the general behaviour of the tabloid press which is being illuminated, bit by bit, by the Leveson inquiry, is destructive of these principles which
newspapers, and their owners, insist they live by.”
Keeble argues that the daily revelations are “highlighting the corruption, illegality and distorted news values at the heart of British mainstream journalism in an unprecedented way.
“How can press standards be improved? What kind of regulation, if any, is required? These are just two of the many questions now being asked with a new sense of urgency.”
Trying to answer such questions, and posing more of their own, are a range of contributors that includes professors Brian Cathcart, Tim Luckhurst, Steven Barnett, Ivor Gaber and Chris Frost plus Kevin Marsh, former head of the BBC college of journalism, Nicholas Jones, the former BBC industrial correspondent and Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.
There is so much to recommend that I intend to run short extracts over the coming month, beginning tomorrow with a chapter written by a student journalist entitled “Hacking our future: what are trainee journalists to learn from the hackgate saga?”
(posted by PL)