By John Green in Britain:
Right-wing media ownership stifles all democratic debate
Monday 28th July 2014
edited by Granville Williams
THE incredible story of the wars, massacres and eventual concentration of power by a few generals in the media over the last half century is unknown to many and ignored by those who should be alarmed.
From a situation post-war in which Britain still had a plethora of locally owned newspapers and a considerable range of national ones, we are left today with only a handful of both, virtually all of which are in the hands of powerful and ruthless companies.
In this collection of essays by those with expert and inside knowledge of the industry we are reminded of those horrendous processes while politicians have either supported the process or looked on like rabbits frozen with fear in the headlights.
As far back as 1946 the attorney-general Lord Shawcross said that newspaper proprietors “distort the facts, suppress the news upon which free opinions could be freely formed. A small handful of newspaper proprietors because of their political views, their financial interests, their advertisement revenues and so forth are terrified of the advent of socialism in this country and are determined that the Labour government shall not be given a fair run.”
How much more is that the case today? Of course, once the Labour Party ceases to be even social-democratic, the media will — as it did with Tony Blair — give it a chance to run the country for a short while before having to hand it back to the real friends of business, the Tories.
It is a historical crime that the Labour Party has never had the mettle to challenge the concentration of media ownership, choosing instead to suck up to the press barons.
While the Battle of Wapping was taking place, the party’s leaders looked on or even attacked the victims.
A democracy depends on ready access to information but that is impossible when the media is totally dominated by a few very right-wing and super-rich moguls.
This book is an excellent historical reminder of what has happened and what needs to be done to reverse this process. But don’t hold your breath that any of the present mainstream parties will address this serious democratic deficit.
Tulisa Contostavlos considered suicide after Mazher Mahmood drugs sting. In BBC3 documentary former X Factor judge says entrapment by Sun reporter known as ‘fake sheikh’ left her an emotional wreck: here.
Media Mogul Murdoch Is Buying A Conservative Alternate Universe: here.