Archive for journalism

Leveson: it’s a good thing Nick Clegg was there

Today’s latest revelations from the Leveson Inquiry are a reminder of how wise it was to create a judge-led inquiry with wide terms of reference and powers. And who was it who did that when the Coalition Government was drawing up the plans, rejecting the talk of a lesser inquiry? Step forward, Nick Clegg. * [...]

A five point plan to reform the media post-Leveson

As investigative theatre goes, the Leveson Inquiry has been top-notch. As a route to embarrassing individuals for their past performance, it has excelled. As a way of unearthing previously secret information people, it has excelled. But as a route for reforming the media? Some things have already been achieved. The Press Complaints Commission has already [...]
Seat competition at British elections

The media’s problem when it comes to general elections

3 May 2012 ,
How should the national media report politics during a general election? That is an often debated question, ranging over topics such as whether or not to have leader debates, what the balance should be between political balance within every item versus balance over time, how much the media should focus on the issues politicians are […]

David Sexton replies…

14 April 2012 ,
A response to my It’s not as if the presenter on a TV news program needs to do anything other than look pretty and be drooled over, is it? from the author of the said Evening Standard piece: I’m glad to have got your attention. I think it right to bring different criteria to assessing the performance of […]

Hearsay, speculation and blatant invention by the press to increase circulation

13 April 2012
Ah, the British media at its best: It is necessary to pick through the reports carefully to determine what actually happened, as opposed to what was hearsay, speculation or blatant invention to increase circulation. In a further complication, most newspapers … [indulged in] lifting original reports from the previous day’s papers, summarizing them and then […]

It’s not as if the presenter on a TV news program needs to do anything other than look pretty and be drooled over, is it?

10 April 2012 , ,
Dear David Sexon, Thank you for letting me know that the new presented on the BBC breakfast show this morning “near-sleeveless” in a “short” dress that was also “tightly-fitted”. “She’s a bit of a wriggler” was handy to know, and I’m glad to have been warned that “you’re aware of her bare arms all the [...]

A reminder of why there’s more to the Daily Mail than meets the eye

4 April 2012 , ,
The Daily Mail isn’t popular with Liberal Democrat members. It is, however, popular amongst Liberal Democrat voters. If you’re one of the former puzzled about the latter, today’s edition provides a good example of one of the reasons why this is so: the Daily Mail has a leader on an issue of civil liberties, praising […]

There’s going to be some fun conversations between editors and journalists tomorrow

Imagine the scene… It’s Sunday afternoon and an editor is on the phone to a journalist. Editor: Thanks for filing this piece about the Lib Dem NHS debate. Journalist: Good piece, isn’t it? Editor: There’s just one thing I don’t understand. Journalist: Oh, what’s that? Editor: Well, you know how you say there was a […]
A horse

Today’s journalism in full, as seen from Whitehall

2 March 2012
Horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse. Horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse. Horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse. (Oh, and EU leaders sign major new treaty in latest attempt to avoid economic meltdown.) Horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse, horse. Horse, horse, horse, […]

Polly Toynbee and journalism

26 February 2012 ,
A letter to The Guardian: Polly Toynbee writes (24 February) that journalists “précis a muddled reality into a narrative of right and wrong”. However, the very best of journalists manage to combine a clear sense of morality with an understanding of the muddled and complex nature of reality – presenting a fully rounded picture to […]