Why I am writing about the rubbish on the internet and why I, a staunch supporter of free expression, fierce opponent to censorship and anti-regulations, can see the point of ( and empathise with) many of the people who back a European court action to correct (good luck to them !!) information about them and their data on the internet. What inspired me is personal experience. Only yesterday I discovered, that a young lady, close to my heart, had the WRONG information about my date of birth and my faith ( which caused some serious damage to our affectionate relationship- I hope we can repair), from some rubbish on the internet. The other reason, unfortunately, my fellow hacks and hacketts, seldom check information for accuracy. Equally in 2009 the Media Editor of the Independent newspaper, PUBLISHED a story about me when I resigned my post as Director of the Media monitoring organisation Just Journalism, and labelled me wrongly ( ethnically), he neither bothered to contact me, nor to check his own newspaper archives.. I worked for The Independent since I joined when it was founded in 1986 and until 1998 ( and continued to write for the paper until four years ago), and my personal information and files were available in his newsdesk; instead of checking facts he ‘guessed’. This thought in my head also coincides with the row over google and correcting or deleting personal information. I sympathise with the people who scream for regulation, although as an old fashioned hack and a staunch libertarian, I am the last person in the world who’d agree on censorship or some regulation blocking access to information. but my personal experience and what you can do when WRONG and confusing information is out there for the world to see and you are powerless to correct them? Continue reading
Whether it was a deliberate fabrication (given the guardian ideological stance) or laziness by the Guardian hackette, Lisa O’Carroll; the story on an Egyptian court ruling on some TV channels was factually inaccurate, contains errors and leaves out vital information which misleads readers and can cause violent reaction on the ground in Egypt.
Once Fleet Street greatest paper on accuracy and checking facts thoroughly, the Daily Telegraph, unfortunately following the Guardian and the BBC in overlooking facts reporting rumours or views based on second-guessing as factual news.
Take today’s telegraphs report from their Cairo stringer, free-lance hackette Lousia Loveluck. entitled “Egypt’s Islamist crackdown intensifies” . The report contains some factual errors which would fail A level media study students.
I try to monitor UK media reporting on Egypt ( since we have contacts and correspondents there and can check facts on the ground with near 100% accuracy) to see whether correspondents , analysts or columnists stick to the traditional fleet street criteria ( ie PPC Press Complaints Council Editors Code of Practice ) ; the Of-Com Broadcasting code ;& the BBC Editorial Guidelines ; the NUJ ( national Union of Journalists) Code of Conduct and last but not least the obvious commonsense practice of sticking to facts, sourcing information, abiding by laws, and making a clear distinction ( easily noticeable and understood by readers/viewers/listeners) between hard facts, and opinion, analysis or guess. In the light of such criterion I will try to highlight shortcomings or errors by British media. I hope fellow hacks and hackettes are not offended but try to see it as an extension or further explanation to what might have been overlooked in the rush to meet deadlines.
It is with aching heart and weeping soul that I started hacking this piece to remember my dear old friend and colleague Richard Beeston ( Feb 18, 1963, May 19, 2013) a son of great journalist by the same name – who, alongside his late wife- reported, and became part of a body of extraordinary people contributing to an important chapter of Britain’s post Imperial history in the Middle East- and in his footsteps Richard followed.
Prime Minister David Cameron, his Deputy Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg and leader of HM opposition Ed Miliband, who seldom agree on any thing, agreed to regulate the press opining the door for tyranny of the state to control the freest and best press in the world. The step is most welcomed by Arab dictators and despotic regime to emulate in more exaggerated forms to silence their critics. Arab and Third world dictators as well as authoritarian and fascist Islamists regimes are delighted with our politicians’ attack on press freedom. They love it as the media they control are spinning how Britain, cited by demonstrators risking their lives for freedom and justice as mother of parliamentarian democracy, is today turning the mother of parliaments into a tool to censor, control and muzzle the press.
Just a short link to the report
The report finding is a bit daft. It finds Rupert Murdoch ‘ not fit to run an international company.’ This is a businessman, who has, for near three decades, running, perhaps the world’s most successful media business in recent history, created thousands of jobs world wide, revolutionised broadcasting and television satellite service. How would anybody take this report seriously.
See the report in full..http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmcumeds/903/903i.pdf
After months of failing to score points during PMQs, Labour leader Ed Miliband made good progress in the past few weeks by focusing on the government controversial NHS reform bill but he is in danger of losing jouranlists support.
It is hilarious how British left which has doubled in volume its attacks on News International and Rupert Murdoch since the latter announced the launch of the Sun On Sunday ( a three million copies rolled out of the printing machines last night), are in total panic. Although circulation figures are not officially known yet, but from my own experience it is a success. If I hadn’t ordered my copy yesterday, I wouldn’t have got one this morning at 10:30 when I left the house heading for Starbucks in Hampstead village. Hampstead (where Michael Foot used to live surrounded by champagne socialists, and Glenda Jackson is the sitting Labour MP for two decades) is the heartland of The Guardian and The Independent; yet my local newsagent confirmed that all copies were sold by the time I approached the shop at 10:35 this morning.