Friday, 24 September 2010

The Sun's investigations into suicide chat groups.

There's a couple of posts over on my place concerning the Sun's coverage of the suicide pact between Joanne Lee and Steve Lumb. We thought it best not to reproduce them here due to the potentially distressing and sensitive nature of the material covered.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Clubhouse rules

Greetings! The post you are reading at this moment is appearing simultaneously on four websites:

Bloggerheads (post permalink) - my personal site
The Sun: Tabloid Lies (post permalink) - a media watch site targeting The Sun
Daily Mail Watch (post permalink) - a media watch site targeting the Daily Mail
Express Watch (post permalink) - a brand new media watch site targeting Express newspapers

I'm not the gaffer for all of these sites, but I have had a word with the relevant writers and webmasters about what I'm about to share with you, the reader, so you know what to expect from these media watch sites targeting The Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express:

All three sites will now operate as open clubhouses for the following writers and bloggers, all of whom have a solid track record* and ongoing interest in blogging and media watchery:

- 5cc :: @
- bigdaddymerk :: @
- Adam Bienkov :: @
- Chris Coltrane :: @
- D-Notice :: @
- Daily Quail :: @
- Dave Cross :: @
- Kate Griffin :: @
- Daniel Hoffmann-Gill :: @
- Tim Ireland :: @
- MacGuffin :: @
- Hannah Mudge :: @
- Carl P :: @
- Nadia Saint :: @
- septicisle ::
- Sim-O :: @
- Uponnothing :: @
- Anton Vowl :: @

(*I could be more effusive if I weren't in the list myself. Damn my modesty.)

From today, these writers will be free to submit original content and/or reference or mirror articles from their own sites about The Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express newspapers.

Don't expect everyone to come rushing in at once; the whole idea is that we can all drop in as and when we please; i.e. whenever we have time to report/share clear examples/evidence of these newspapers deceiving their readers.

(I've started by popping a couple of backdated mirrors about the Dunblane incident and a recent dash of homophobia and hypocrisy in Express Watch, BTW, and you will probably see more like these appearing over the coming days/weeks as we go about the process of populating the newer site with a little historical data on a writer-by-writer basis.)

There are bound to be varying degrees of tolerance between writers and over time, but we will continue to avoid 'hating' on tabloid readers generally (this being existing policy on the two older media watch sites), as we recognise that even the worst elements are victims to a degree if they base their fears/prejudices on misleading information fed to them by these newspapers - and we are ultimately out to bring some of them on board with the whole 'honesty in media' policy (at least to the extent that they cease reading, funding and otherwise enabling these media outlets that play so wilfully on the fears of others).

To put it bluntly, we as a group (a) seek to remind the readers of these tabloids that they are being lied to on a regular basis, (b) will attempt to call their owners and editors to account where possible/appropriate, and (c) aim to chip away at their circulation in the process by the devilish means of repeatedly exposing their fraud... when we each have a few minutes.

This 'clubhouse' approach should be enough, one hopes, to keep all three media watch interests ticking over a steady rate, and keep the documentation of the worst of these tabloids' deceits relatively central and readily accessible.

With that newly-centralised relevance in mind, from an SEO (search engine optimisation) perspective, I also have designs on all three sites eventually earning very high placement for the name of each newspaper title; Daily Mail Watch is at present 7th for 'daily mail' in Google UK and prone to go higher, and The Sun: Tabloid Lies has just recently entered the top ten for 'the sun' (i.e. it is now 9th in Google UK).

Keep an eye out for our clubhouse members as they begin to appear over the coming week. Oh, and do add the following to your sidebars, readers and bookmarks, because these sites are about to become your first stop for any news involving any of the following tabloid newspapers:

The Sun: Tabloid Lies
Daily Mail Watch
Express Watch

Cheers all.

Friday, 3 September 2010

The usual wholly dishonest fashion.

BBC Director-General Mark Thompson gives an interview in which he says there was a massive left-wing bias at the corporation when he joined it 30 years ago. How do you think the Sun responded to his revelation?

If you read its article, it makes clear that Thompson was speaking about how the corporation was over a quarter of a century ago. If you just read its leader, well, here's what you'd read:

CONFIRMING what everyone knows, BBC chief Mark Thompson admits the Beeb has been guilty of "massive" Left-wing bias.

He insists impartiality is improving, claiming regular invitations to Coalition leaders prove his point

Here then is a wonderful example of omitting a vital piece of information to paint a picture of an organisation the Sun's parent company is in direct competition with.

Yes, the BBC invites Tory and Lib Dem chiefs on air.

But it is the contemptuous way they are treated - and above all the failure to report fairly the reasons for the Government's cuts policy - that shows the BBC is as Leftie as ever.

Perhaps there's a hint there to the fact Thompson was referring to the past, if we're being completely fair. Why should we bother to be though when the Sun itself never is? "Failure to report fairly the reasons?" Can that really be anything like an accurate description of this blog by the deputy director-general and head of BBC journalism's Mark Byford detailing the BBC's season of programmes on exactly those cuts?

Why this sudden hand-wringing from Mr Thompson as he is carpeted by No10?

Could it be because the Coalition is looking at the BBC's bills - including his own salary last year of £834,000?

Two can play this game. Why this sudden reporting of Thompson's comments? Could it possibly be because these can be misconstrued, unlike his MacTaggart lecture last Friday, which attacked News International directly and accused Sky of not investing in original British programming? After all, not even the Times last week felt the need to make clear to its readers how Thompson had responded to the rant last year by James Murdoch. Indeed, here's the first possible opportunity for the Murdoch press to strike back at Thompson's impertinence, and it's been taken with both hands, in the usual wholly dishonest fashion.