The Media Bill.

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Superlative, Jun 1, 2007.

  1. Superlative
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    Superlative Senior Member

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    .............The Freedom of Information Bill will, hopefully, lead to a Freedom of Information Act and do away with the Official Secrets Act.

    Part of it says: "Under the Act, public institutions will be required to produce any record on request of any person, unless the institution can show a specific statutory exemption."..................


    ..............But the Media Bill shows why politicians want to control the media. In an election year, the significance is not lost on observers. Every so often, various people ask questions on journalism. Why are you bent on sensationalised stories? Do you have secret weapons against politicians? Why do you misquote people? Why are your stories cheap? Why don’t journalists do more research?............

    ...............The media find themselves in a difficult situation when society rewards strong-armed politicians for attempting to crush journalism. Indeed, it is not strange to hear journalists told: "You brought it upon yourselves." Is there any rationale in gagging the media through a statutory Media Council and at the same time proclaim a Freedom of Information Bill? What is its use in an environment where the media are stifled?...................

    ................By dictating who will chair the proposed Media Council and fund it, the Media Bill undermines press freedom and ominously shows that the Government is walking backwards into the abyss of dictatorship. ............


    ....................As the Fourth Estate, journalism is a veritable voice of the people. Who else can society turn to when those who should be people’s representatives raise their salaries in a dying economy, attack media houses and renege on promises as vital as constitutional review?

    Society would be doing a great disservice to itself by giving politicians the rope with which to hang journalists. Perhaps, by attempting to rein in the media, politicians hope to sweep their failure and misdeeds under the carpet as captive media applaud.......................


    http://www.eastandard.net/hm_news/news.php?articleid=1143969298
     
  2. Superlative
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    ...............While there was no doubt that the government's publicity machine developed a faster response rate and became more effective in dictating the news agenda, there was a downside to the Campbellisation of the flow of information from the state to the public...............

    ...............Increasingly it was the political advisers who pulled the strings and politicised the work of civil service information officers. It was not a journalist, but Jo Moore, a Labour spin doctor, who told staff in the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions that 9/11 was "a very good day to get out anything we want to bury".............

    ................The covert nature of Campbell's ongoing dealings with journalists once he became Blair's director of communications was revealed during cross-examination at the Hutton inquiry, when he was forced to acknowledge that he had continued to "talk to editors and senior journalists" about the weapons inspector Dr David Kelly despite the appointment of two official spokesmen whose duty it was to brief political correspondents..............

    .............A safeguard which could be introduced as part of any broadening of the flow of information would be a presumption that when briefing journalists, officials should always speak on the record unless there are clear operational reasons or other exceptional circumstances.................


    http://media.guardian.co.uk/site/story/0,,2079067,00.html
     

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