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Channel 4 runs online poll after Gordon Brown makes on-air ‘bigot’ gaffe

April 28th, 2010 | 6 Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting

As former Observer political editor Gaby Hinsliff (@gabyhinsliff) tweeted earlier today, Gordon Brown’s post walkabout gaffe (see video below), in which he called an elderly former Labour voter a “bigot”: “Shows how easy it is to forget the first law of broadcast: even if you’re not on air, if you’re miked up you’re effectively on record.”

Channel 4 News was quick off the mark with an online poll on its live election blog, asking: “Does Gordon Brown’s unguarded ‘bigot’ remark make you less likely to vote Labour?” At the time of writing, the ‘no’s” had a 68 per cent majority but watch that space…

Meanwhile, a spoof Twitter account @bigotedwoman and the phrase “Bigoted Woman” are currently trending on Twitter.

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#followjourn: Jane Merrick/political editor

March 9th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Recommended journalists

#followjourn: Jane Merrick

Who? Merrick is political editor at the Independent on Sunday

Where? You can find her writing collected on the Independent’s Open House blog and Independent Minds pages. You can also visit her Journalisted page here.

Contact? Merrick tweets about Politics and more at www.twitter.com/janemerrick23.

Just as we like to supply you with fresh and innovative tips every day, we’re recommending journalists to follow online too. They might be from any sector of the industry: please send suggestions (you can nominate yourself) to judith or laura at journalism.co.uk; or to @journalismnews.

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The First Post: ‘The BBC is not impartial’

September 14th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Broadcasting, Editors' pick

The First Post has published an article from ‘Newspeak in the 21st Century’ by David Edwards and David Cromwell (editors of the UK-based website Media Lens). The BBC is not impartial, independent, nor even particularly truthful, they argue. An extract from the extract:

“[B]y what right does the BBC airbrush from reality the swath of informed public opinion that sees the invasion as a crime, rather than as a mistake? By what right does it declare this framing of the topic ‘impartial’, ‘balanced’, ‘objective’ reporting?

“While working as the BBC’s political editor, Andrew Marr, declared: “When I joined the BBC, my Organs of Opinion were formally removed.”

“And yet, as Baghdad fell to American tanks, Marr, reporting on the News at Ten on April 9, 2003, said of Tony Blair: “He said that they would be able to take Baghdad without a bloodbath, and that in the end the Iraqis would be celebrating. And on both of those points he has been proved conclusively right. And it would be entirely ungracious, even for his critics, not to acknowledge that tonight he stands as a larger man and a stronger prime minister as a result.””

Full article at this link…

Related: Journalism in Crisis 09: ‘Recognising one’s subjectivity allows one to be fair’ Ivor Gaber tells conference (19/05/09)

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Former Total Politics editor to start up PR company

August 18th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Jobs, Magazines

Iain Dale reports that Total Politics’ political editor, Ben Duckworth, will replace Sarah MacKinlay as editor.

MacKinlay, who edited the magazine – which brands itself as non-partisan – for 18 months, plans to start up a new PR company called Journalista. Dale writes:

“I know what a challenge it is to start up a new business in a recession. Journalista, among other things, will be doing PR for politicians and other participants in the world of politics.”

Dale shares the traditional departing gift given to MacKinlay on his blog.

Full post at this link…

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CommonSenseJ: Words for ‘Copy Editor’s Lament’

March 9th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism

Christopher Ave’s original post can be found here, or have a look at the lyrics here at the Common Sense Journalism blog for  ‘The Copy Editor’s Lament (The Layoff Song)’.

Ave is political editor at St. Louis Post-Dispatch and ‘decided to write a song from the viewpoint of a copy editor losing his job.’

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Rebekah Wade’s first public speech in full

January 27th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Events, Journalism, Newspapers

If the Wordle and other coverage isn’t enough, here’s the Hugh Cudlipp speech by the editor of the Sun, Rebekah Wade, in full [note: may have differed very slightly in actual delivery]:

The challenging future of national and regional newspapers is now the staple diet of media commentators.

If you have been reading the press writing about the press you’d all be forgiven for questioning your choice of career.

I’m not denying we’re in a tough place – we are.

But I don’t want to use this speech to make grand statements on the future of our industry.

I want to talk to you about journalism.

More »

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BBC’s Nick Robinson admits he toed government line on Iraq too strongly

October 9th, 2008 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Events

Yesterday saw the BBC’s economic editor Robert Peston taken to task for his influence on the UK’s economy and his cosy relationship with the government:

The Guardian’s Matthew Weaver is worried that his blog might have too much influence, and the Daily Mash joked that Peston had reached a state of transcendence.

Meanwhile the House of Lords Communications Committee asked a panel of leading political journalists if they thought Peston was setting the reporting agenda.

Another BBC editor whose influence has been much discussed is the corporation’s political editor, Nick Robinson, who last night admitted he had toed the government line too strongly during his reportage of the Iraq War, and admitted that he didn’t ‘do enough’ to seek out dissenting views.

Participating in a debate entitled ‘Political campaigners and reporters: partners in democracy or rats in a sack?’ at City University, Robinson said: “The biggest self criticism I have was I got too close to government in the reporting of the Iraq war.

“I didn’t do enough to go away and say ‘well hold on, what about the other side?’

“It is the one moment in my recent career where I have thought I didn’t push hard enough, I didn’t question enough and I should have been more careful,” he said.

“I don’t think the government did set out to lie about weapons of mass destruction. I do think they systematically and cumulatively misled people. What’s the distinction?

“It was clear to me that Alastair Campbell knew how what he was saying was being reported, knew that that was a long way from the truth and was content for it so to be,” Robinson said.

“They knew it was wrong, they wanted it to be wrong – they haven’t actually lied.”

Politicians ‘actively want to avoid a debate the public wants to have’, he said.

For example, he said, Labour was reluctant to debate the implications of a single European currency.

“[The government] wanted to limit the debate to being the five tests. It wanted to avoid divisions, it simply did not want to enter a political debate,” he said.

The Conservative Party are now doing the ‘exact same thing’, Robinson said.

“They don’t want a debate on whether they will tear up the Lisbon EU treaty, they don’t really want a debate about if they will put taxes up or down, or in what way.

“These are active decisions by politicians to keep you ill-informed, and it is our job as journalists to try to fight against that.”

It isn’t the job of a journalist to ‘pick a constant fight with people in power’, he said.

“I don’t see it as a badge of pride to have endless arguments with politicians, although with Peter Mandelson they usually are.”

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@SOE: (Audio) Sky’s Adam Boulton and Shami Chakrabarti on the need for self-regulation of news on the internet

November 5th, 2007 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

Adam Boulton, political editor of Sky News, and Liberty director Shami Chakrabarti both told the Society of Editors conference, in Manchester today, that self-regulation on the internet was a vital part of maintaining trust in major news brands.

Boulton told delegates that he believed the standards online of Sky, the BBC or any other major news provider should be as high as through its more traditional channels, and that this would help maintain audience trust.

Listen to him and Chakrabarti here:

[audio:http://www.journalism.co.uk/sounds/boultonandshami.mp3]

Boulton wasn’t so keen on reader interaction though:

“Although there is a great deal of emphasis on interactivity now I would say that in my own experience not just on my own blog, but elsewhere, the comments by and large are not worth the paper they are printed on, or not printed on.

“They are extremely vicious and unpleasant, where they are useful is that they keep us honest in that they quickly pick up on our mistakes.”

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