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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

The decline of British Journalism


 The media and television of today, just "spin machines" for government and the "establishment".  




At one time, journalism was held to be a noble and honourable profession. Historically, investigative journalists have exposed corruption, criminal actions, scandals, political intrigue and numerous other offences, and have held individuals, corporations and governments accountable for their actions.
I have written elsewhere, how when I was a boy, I always wanted to be a newspaper reporter a Fleet Street journalist, (as they were then know), exposing greed and corruption at all levels within our society. However, today, particularly after recent and current events, I would be ashamed to admit to anyone that I worked in or was in any way, associated with journalism. The media today, particularly over recent months, has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for vested interests in business and or a political tool for promoting government propaganda. Moreover, the media and I include television news on both BBC and Sky in this criticism, have become engaged in the most scurrilous assault on the Labour party generally and on Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters in particular, that I and perhaps many others have ever seen.
Almost daily over the last 6 months and more, newspapers have spewed out lies, distortion, smear and disinformation onto the breakfast tables and into the living rooms of homes around the country. Throughout the day, the television news channels have added to the vitriol of abuse with their own brand of "comment" from their clearly biased presenters. There is an old song which has the line "You've got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative", but in the case of reporting "television news", the exact opposite is obviously the instruction from the editors chair. Throughout the history of politics, the establishment, the "right" if you prefer, always has the same problem which persists to this day. Being unable to win the argument through reasoned debate, the "establishment" will always resort to attacks using smear, distortion, abuse and lies as some sort of battering ram with which to drive home their rather frail contentions.This is the case in meeting halls, council chambers and clubs around the land and certainly is the case in the House of Commons.


With the Labour Party Conference into only its second day, the usual suspects from television news have been filling our screen offering their "take" on how conference has gone so far with comments on splits, plots and scandal and speculation (certainly this, morning) on what John McDonnell may or may not say in his speech. " Labour will support the government" and "Labour signals support for austerity" being amongst the more lurid snippets of speculation, What a "suck in" they got when McDonnell actually finished speaking (to a standing ovation) at around 12:45.Even after this speech, the television reporters still managed to create the "negative" spin to what had act been said.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell

Norman Smith,  Joanna Gosling,and the others, joining forces with Fisal Islam, Sophy Ridge, Adam Boulton, Dermot Murnaghan to pour scorn and derision on the Shadow Chancellor's speech. The great traditions of television reporting, prostituted again, to the sacred cow of establishment contempt towards any threat or opposition to the status quo.
The performance of the media and television towards the Labour party over the past 6 months has been beneath contempt and despicable in its reporting. This has become even more hysterical over the past two weeks, which coincidentally has been the same amount of time that has passed since Jeremy Corbyn has been elected as leader of the party. We may expect that the frenzy of abuse and lies will only intensify over the coming weeks and months as the media seek new ways of discrediting a new way of "doing politics". The establishment may not like it, but it seems that the general public are reconnecting with political involvement and are responding positively to the new ways.
Today the establishment and the media have an additional problem. The Labour party and its supporters now dominate the social media network and are competing with the traditional media outlets for the attention of ordinary people. It is clearly evident that on this battleground, the Labour party is winning.