Brexit: inequality, the media and the democratic deficit – Natalie Fenton

3 07 2016

murdoch3Brexit has come as a shock to many people – including those who voted for it. It reveals the scars, we are told, of a deeply divided nation. An election like no other. But referenda are not normal elections. As a snap choice of this or that they bring to the fore fears and anxieties while offering solutions that are never as simple as either/or. Read the rest of this entry »





Did the UK’s newspapers swing it for Brexit? – Jonathan Heawood

30 06 2016

sun-queen-backs-brexitOn the face of it, democracy is the ultimate self-regulatory system. Don’t like your government? Elect a new one. Don’t like the European Union? Vote to leave. The people have their say, and our institutions are forced to listen. But this does not mean that democracy is a free-for-all. Without rules, the odds would be stacked in favour of the most powerful players and the loudest voices. Freedom for the pike would be death for the minnows. Read the rest of this entry »





The BBC White Paper is a recipe for long-term decline – Steve Barnett

15 05 2016

WhittingdaleWant a glimpse of the culture minister’s real agenda for the BBC? Just turn to pages 112-115 of the government’s White Paper and the commissioned questions asked by the polling agency. They are very revealing. Read the rest of this entry »





Decoding the BBC White Paper – Des Freedman

13 05 2016

OfcomThe good folk at the Cambridge University Conservative Association must be a little disappointed. Having listened to culture secretary John Whittingdale tell them only last month that the disappearance of the BBC was “a tempting prospect”, they will now have noticed that his white paper on the future of the BBC is planning to do no such thing. Read the rest of this entry »





This isn’t public policy: the prelude to the BBC White Paper – Des Freedman

4 05 2016

PA-25302070It is hard to know whether the recent rumours about the contents of the forthcoming White Paper on the future of the BBC should be seen as light entertainment or crime drama. Three leading Sunday newspapers revealed that the government plans to interfere in the scheduling of popular programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing, Silent Witness and the News at Ten. Read the rest of this entry »





Opinion: The press can’t decide if they’re for press freedom or against it – Des Freedman

18 10 2013

Press on SaleWeekends are supposed to be for calm reflection of the week that has passed and some rest before the challenges of the week to come. Not this last weekend where dozens of articles appeared in our newspapers raging against the ‘licensing’ of the press in the light of the proposed Parliamentary Royal Charter on press self-regulation, marking the next stage in a peculiar struggle for liberty that is led by some of the most privileged voices in the country. Read the rest of this entry »