Monday, January 16, 2006

Politics and journalism - must Kelly resign?

Does the 24 hour news culture doom us to the politics of panicky decision making and sound-bites? Who, I wonder, apart from some die-hard opposition supporters and opportunistic journalists, really thinks that Ruth Kelly should resign? I'm not in favour of school-children being molested but it is unthinkable that there are not some people with unsavoury sexual appetites amongst the 300,000 or so teachers in the UK to say nothing of the ancillary staff.

However the press has decided that here is a good, sensationalist story with which to fill their newsprint and websites. And the 24hr news channels have equally enthusiastically seized the opportunity to fill a bit of airtime. Most of the papers have more or less predictable takes on the 'story' today.

There was an interesting discussion about politics and journalism on BBC Radio 4's Start the Week this morning. Armando Iannucci, Estelle Morris, Michael Moorcock and Jacky Law all have books to flog or conferences to publicise and so trotted into Broadcasting House's basement (it's amazing down there, most of the equipment is so old that it was probably purchased by Lord Reith). Armando explained that his TV series 'The Thick of It' is a comedy which over-emphasises the hectic chaos of politics (both these points seem to have escaped some contributors to message boards - 'I've worked in politics and it's just like this' is the sort of tripe they post). He agreed that it's almost inevitable that any government of whatever flavour would now have to have more than one eye over its shoulder at what the media were up to and would probably have to indulge in the kind of bartering 'we'll give the low-down on this if you ignore that' that allegedly goes on. A similar discussion was had later in connection with the pharmaceutical industry.

Rupert Murdoch is a canny man. He realised ages ago that he'd have far more influence through running media outlets than by going into politics.


At 14:16, Anonymous Jessica Porter said...

I randomly landed on your blog thanks to one of your comments on Nick (the news reporter whose surname i don't know) 's BBC Magazine blog..
I just wondered if you weren't a Mr Brian Hughes of Leckhampton, Cheltenham.. If so, it's a small world! hello! If not, I'm very sorry to have wasted your time, but enjoyed your blog...
From Jess (in Oxford..)

At 15:36, Blogger Hughes Views said...

Neither am I a photographer specialising in Black and White pictures of Ireland ( nor part of the LoneSharks - Scotland's Original New Country Band ( nor yet a former player at Swindon Town AFC ( Mine is a common name (although I'm not remotely common!).

The above were the first three sites that Google (how did we live without it?) presented me when I searched for UK sites with my name. Unhappily I didn't find anything about me!

Glad you enjoyed my blog

Best wishes to Oxford.......


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