Monday, March 24, 2008

Why We Need Democratic Media - The Evening Standard

I feel that most of the media has a vested interest - first and foremost they are businesses whos' job is to make profit. They make profit by generating an audience that advertisers can sell to. They generate an audience by providing interesting and entertaining content. But it is in their interests to promote a climate conducive to business - because they are one. Their position means it is not in their interest to promote awareness in media laws, media monopolies etc unless it furthers their business interests. Here is an example of how the media cannot be trusted with the truth.

We start with a front page from the Evening Standard;

'Militants in Plot to Paralyze Heathrow'

And here is what a ruling by the Press Complaints Commission said about it; that is was 'alarmist' and 'materially misleading';

Evening Standard condemned by press watchdog for coverage of the Camp for Climate Action's Heathrow protest. Claim of fabrication upheld. In a much awaited ruling the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) issued a stinging rebuke against the Evening Standard today. The usually mild- mannered PCC slammed the Standard's coverage of last summer's Camp for Climate Action at Heathrow as 'materially misleading' and 'alarmist'. The Evening Standard will be forced to carry the ruling with due-prominence today.

But is this on the front page like the original article that has done the damage to the environmental group smeared? Nope - it is buried on an inside page and written is such obtuse and legalistic prose as to dilute the meaning.

Or we could talk about the Spectator?

What we need is real Democratic Media - a form of media that is open and accessible, accountable and who's primary aim is truth and democracy not advertisers, corporations and the super-rich. The internet gives us to power to make this a reality.

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