Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Media Management

Tomorrow marks the 25th anniversary of the start of the 1984/85 miners' strike. Focusing on the media's handling of the strike, today's edition of The Media Show on Radio 4 ( ) featured a discussion between Nick Jones, a BBC Radio journalist who covered the dispute, & Stewart Purvis, former Chief Executive of ITN.
With the passage of time, guards drop, & Jones certainly dropped his, admitting that the media were cheerleaders for the "Back To Work", ie., scab campaign, the phrase "new faces" being deployed in daily reports to give the impression that support for the strike was faltering in the most supportive areas. Naturally, no evidence to substantiate the "new faces" line was ever produced. Jones adds for good measure that nearly all hacks were "embedded" behind the ranks of riot police; as the Iraq war demonstrated, embedded journalists soon allow propaganda to supercede fact.
Jones & Purvis also speculated on how things would be different for the media today were a major dispute to arise, given the web, the influence of bloggers, text messaging, Twitter, etc.
Well worth a listen.

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