This is our truth, tell us yours
We used to do a review of the week every Sunday. It’s been harder to find a voice or theme for it recently, but here’s an attempt at it.
One of the focusses of the old blog was the media. I’m a media junkie. As a youth my Sunday mornings used to start with reading most of the Sunday papers before delivering them. Critically reading them is still a habit of mine.In the week in which the Michael Le Vell case closed, inspiring Jemima to write brilliantly about it in this article, I’m drawn back to wanting to write about the media again.
So here’s a question. Why is this story, about a government advisor lying to a Select Committee, buried in the Guardian’s lifestyle section?
The mendacity of Mary Portas, a woman of limited talents but boundless opinions pales into insignificance alongside the odious dishonesty of Grant Shapps, a man to whom the truth is a stranger, as evidenced by his attack on a UN special reporter that was wrong in every detail. Odd, however, that the Guardian dealt with the story in separate articles as if it wanted to make less of it than it could have done; there was a time when calculated dishonesty by a politician was a resignation issue. It’s starting to become harder to explain the Guardian’s editorial policy in any other way than as a series of attempts to downplay any bad news stories about the coalition government.
There again, the media still have an issue themselves with honesty. Take this story about a Mirror journo getting an interview with to British women who are awaiting trial in Peru.Take away the self glorification, and it’s a story about a journo lying to officials to get access to people irrespective of what Peruvian law allows. It’s not the only example of journos not geting the idea of privacy that a quick read of the Press Gazette throws up. Take this story about lost or stolen mobile phones. The author just doesn’t seem to get it, that privacy is not something the media can trample on any time they feel like it. Mick Hume argues in this article that the problem is that the press is not free enough in the UK. The binary opposition of accountability and freedom by many of the press is entirely wrong; it’s a smokescreen designed to allow them to engage in business as usual.