The media has lambasted what he says is a leftwing bias in the corporation’s journalism, accusing it of being a broadcast arm of the Guardian.
“Huge lack of balance in UK media with 8,000 BBC leftwing journalist far outnumbering all national print journalists,” he tweeted.
Ten hours later he returned to his theme. “BBC massive taxpayer funded mouthpiece for tiny circulation leftist Guardian. Meanwhile print media about to be gagged to protect toffs.”
The BBC of course ignored that and then for some reason also seems to have completely ignored this statement by Lord Lester on Leveson and Press regulation….which is odd, as he is a ‘celebrated human rights lawyer’ and the BBC are always more than ready to splash across their bulletins any statement by such ‘authorities’ normally….
Lord Lester warns against further state intervention into press regulation
Human rights lawyer says new legal system involving statutes and a royal charter threatens the freedom of newspapers
Lord Lester, one of the UK’s most celebrated human rights lawyers who led the fight for libel reforms this year, says there is no need for “further state intervention” into press regulation.
He says the country’s “plentiful criminal and civil laws” already regulate the press and the new legal system involving statutes and a royal charter threaten the freedom of British newspapers and could constitute a breach of Article 10 of the European convention on human rights.
The BBC is pretty keen on seeing Leveson implemented and the Press come under political control.
You have to wonder if this programme, Hugh Cudlipp, The Sinking of a Tabloid Dream, is in any way meant to influence public perception of the Tabloid Press and therefore their acceptance, or not, of more Press regulation.
The Sun’s recent poll would suggest the BBC may have reason to push their own view of the perfidious Tabloids as 75% think that Press regulation is a ploy by the politicians and the Left to silence critics.
Poll suggests three out of four Britons fear politicians would use statutory press regulation to silence criticism
‘The Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies is one the oldest established journalism schools in the UK, founded in 1970 by Sir Tom Hopkinson, the former editor of Picture Post.’
Cardiff University is the university of choice for the BBC when it comes to getting research done…..
We note that we have been commissioned on many occasions by public service broadcasters (the BBC, the BBC Trust and Channel 4) to do research with the broad objective of improving the quality of journalism. The British press are much less likely to commission such research, the one exception being our work on the quality and independence of British journalism, which was carried out in collaboration with The Guardian.
Ah…the good old Guardian…they just stick together and scratch each other’s backs….a perfect illustration….‘two examples of good ethical and professional guidelines – the recommendations of the Neil Review of the BBC’s Journalism After Hutton and the Guardian’s revised post-Hutton guidelines.’
What line does Hargreaves take on phone hacking?
‘The phone hacking scandal has done significant damage to the reputation of professional British journalism and needs to be met by a renewed emphasis on high ethical and professional standards as the only way to improve journalism’s standing, as well as its commercial sustainability.’
The programme tells us that the tabloids are perhaps ‘a spent force when it comes to serious journalism.’
Well hardly…..the Daily Mail in particular still carrying on long running investigations and campaigns…..the BBC itself has frequently been criticised by its own staff, Paxman in particular, for failing to do investigative journalism, becoming more too reliant on press releases for ‘news’.
Hargreaves tells us that Murdoch introduced a tabloid Dark Age with dirty tricks, sleaze and celebrity.
The BBC itself is no stranger to any of that….its partisan reporting of political issues, its anti-Israel stance and its failure to challenge the terrorist’s narrative have had far more serious consequences than the hacking of Hugh Grant’s phone or the pin-ups on page 3.
5 Live is the BBC’s very own version of the Daily Mail and Channel 4 isn’t exactly to a stranger to sleaze and sensationalist stories…Sex Box a case in point….and the Guardian isn’t exactly a paragon of virtue….CIF being the equivalent of the Daily Mail’s ‘sidebar of shame’….only far more dangerous than the Mail’s stories of celebrity boob jobs and marital break ups, with CIF’s diet of nasty anti-Semitism, pro-terrorist and very one sided view of the world.
Hargreaves is curiously blind to all this, which for a professor of journalism is a strange omission…..until you register the organisations he has worked for and his views on Leveson…..he clearly has a message to put out rather than the programme being a mere historical romp through the Media landscape.
The programme has a clear subtext….it starts with the premise that the Daily Mirror somehow represented a ‘golden age’ of tabloid journalism, an age which ‘the likes of Murdoch and Maxwell’ turned into a new ‘Dark Age’, it manages to smear and malign Murdoch at every turn whilst ostensibly just reporting the facts….Murdoch apparently being at the centre of the crisis in journalism.
Well….the BBC started by telling us that the Tabloids were a spent force in investigative journalism, as we know the BBC isn’t exactly doing its part….and is it just the tabloids? And is it a result of ‘sleaze’ and lack of journalistic ethics, whatever they are, that has seen the decreasing sales of newspapers?
It can’t be the Tabloid’s format…because the ‘high value’ newspapers are suffering far more..the Times and the Guardian making large losses.
Hargreaves is a professor of the ‘digital economy’…and therefore should know better than to blame Murdoch’s ‘Dark Age’ of Press standards for the reduction in news paper sales….as he runs the ‘respectable’ Times as well.
He knows full well that the internet is the real killer ‘app’ for the newspaper industry, the print version anyway.
And who is the most powerful and deadly rival to those papers?
The BBC itself, and especially its free news website which obliterates the competition.
You could make an argument that the BBC has actually forced the Press to adopt ’dirty tricks’ to get news and to adopt a more sensationalist approach…..the BBC is assured of its income from the license fee payer whilst the Press has to compete in the commercial market to generate income from advertisers and to win paying customers…all of which is made harder by a rival who doesn’t have to do any of that.
And as this programme shows the BBC deploys its own dirty tricks to attack its commercial and political rivals….producing a programme that is essentially an attack on the Tabloids, Murdoch in particular.
Who needs regulating? Is it the Press whose faults as looked at by Leveson could all have been dealt with by the current laws or the BBC which seems a law unto itself, unaccountable and quite prepared to use its enormous power to crush rivals both in the commercial market and politically?