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Media | The Guardian

Latest news and features from, the world's leading liberal voice

Published: Mon, 25 Sep 2017 11:46:05 GMT2017-09-25T11:46:05Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2017

How smearing a student’s reputation was irresistible for the media | Nick Cohen

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 10:28:36 GMT2017-09-25T10:28:36Z

Many news organisations published Robbie Travers’ claims to have been victim of a PC stitch-up. If only they had dug a little deeper into the murky racial politics behind the story

On 12 May, Robbie Travers sent Esme Allman, a fellow student at Edinburgh University, a Facebook message.

“Hey Esme, just to let you know multiple news agencies have been delivered [sic] your comments on calling black men trash. You might want to think about saying that in future, some have been linked it [sic] to neo-Nazism.”

Related: Why we all need student politics | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

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The Mail's censure shows which media outlets are biased on climate change | Dana Nuccitelli

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 10:00:11 GMT2017-09-25T10:00:11Z

Right-wing media outlets like Breitbart, Fox News, and Rush Limbaugh echoed the Mail’s “significantly misleading” and now censured climate story

Back in February, the conservative UK tabloid Mail on Sunday ran an error-riddled piece by David Rose attacking Noaa climate scientists, who had published data and a paper showing that there was never a global warming pause. The attack was based on an interview with former Noaa scientist John Bates, who subsequently admitted about his comments:

I knew people would misuse this. But you can’t control other people.

Hilarious screw up by @DavidRoseUK and #FailOnSunday
1st picture is 'evidence' of misconduct, 2nd shows diff when baselines are correct.

NEW | Factcheck: Mail on Sunday’s ‘astonishing evidence’ about global temperature rise | Guest post by @hausfath

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Mark Zuckerberg loves cheesesteak and he really wants you to know it

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 09:11:25 GMT2017-09-25T09:11:25Z

Facebook founder and rumoured aspirant presidential candidate traveled to Philly for ‘the best cheesesteak in the land’ – and posted about it eight times

Mark Zuckerberg wants you to know he is a normal human being who loves cheesesteak cheesesteak cheesesteak cheesesteak cheesesteak cheesesteak cheesesteak cheesesteak.

He wants you to know he loves cheesesteak so much so that he posted a picture of his visit to The Original Pat’s King of Steaks, with the caption “Traveled all the way to Philadelphia for the best cheesesteak in the land.”

u ok buddy?

OK Mark, we get it

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The Today programme needs more than a harrumphing John Humphrys | Fiona Sturges

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:30:05 GMT2017-09-25T05:30:05Z

The show’s editor, Sarah Sands, has got a lot of stick for her direction, but her attempt to make it more relevant is exactly what’s required

The BBC Radio 4 listener whose blood pressure isn’t regularly sent off the charts by the Today programme is a rare one indeed. Young people declare it too old, while old people say it’s too young. No one likes John Humphrys apart from the scores of people who can’t get enough of his harrumphing, and would picket Broadcasting House in the unlikely event of him being crowbarred from his desk. Women invariably find it too male, though there are men who still balk at the sound of two female presenters. Pity the poor mug patrolling the programme’s Twitter feed and wading through the torrent of indignation and invective while still on the first coffee of the day.

Lately, however, the ire levelled at the programme has gone up a notch. The extra helping of irritation has largely been directed at Sarah Sands, who was appointed editor in January following eight years in charge of the London Evening Standard. Among the complaints thus far – and it’s been said that many are coming from inside the network – are that it has become lightweight and magazine-ish, that fashion and arts stories are being given undue prominence, that the political argy-bargy has been toned down, and that it is failing to set the news agenda.

The content shift suggests a programme trying to broaden its remit, to think about who is listening

Related: Sarah Sands: lively new boss of the BBC’s breakfast club | Observer profile

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Pakistani MP who says Imran Khan harassed her faces wave of abuse

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:00:05 GMT2017-09-25T05:00:05Z

Ayesha Gulalai Wazir is denounced by her party, while some on social media say she should be whipped or attacked with acid

When the Pakistani politician Ayesha Gulalai Wazir accused the cricket-star-turned-opposition-leader Imran Khan of sexual harassment, the vitriol unleashed against her was swift and vicious.

First, leaders of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaf (PTI) party – which Gulalai also belongs to – publicly denounced her and demanded 30 million rupees (£218,000) in compensation for damage to his reputation and “mental torture”.

I fully agree #AyeshaGulalai is a disgrace to women.#Shariat: She deserves 80 lashes for slandering #ImranKhan.

70% of the sexual harassment cases are not reported even in US. Very brave from #AyeshaGulalai, if investigation proves her right.

You are shameless doing press conference,giving interviews , biggest liar, with a filthy tongue wicked and a shame to Pakhtuns.

Because of this culture, women will keep mum.

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BBC political editor given bodyguard for Labour conference

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 22:56:44 GMT2017-09-24T22:56:44Z

Laura Kuenssberg will reportedly be accompanied by security team after being jeered for her treatment of Corbyn

The BBC’s political editor, Laura Kuenssberg, is being protected by security guards at the Labour party conference this week following abuse she has received over her role, according to reports.

Related: Yvette Cooper ‘sick to death of vitriol’ directed at Laura Kuenssberg

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Britain's newspapers could learn a lot from Jimmy the milkman | Hugh Muir

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 18:23:30 GMT2017-09-24T18:23:30Z

We have a 20th-century press ill-equipped in spirit and practical capability to connect with the diversity of 21st-century Britain

When I look at the dwindling circulation graphs for Britain’s newspapers the image of a glider plane comes to mind. It’s being piloted expertly – for many remain products of high quality – but decidedly to earth.

I am also reminded of a ride I once took on a milk float driven around Blackburn by John “Jimmy” Mather. That had been his family’s trade for a generation and all was well until Blackburn changed and a large number of families of Asian descent moved to his patch. Many, especially the women, had no English. He couldn’t speak to them, he couldn’t sell to them. He could have thrown up his hands and piloted his own sales graph to decline. Instead, he learned Gujarati. Not fluently, but enough to connect with and befriend his customers. The market changed, so Jimmy changed. There is a great deal our press could learn from Jimmy.

If we conclude that diversity is important, both morally and commercially – we can seek out or mould the best

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TV's Front Row is a pulped and processed version of radio's. Why?

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 17:05:11 GMT2017-09-24T17:05:11Z

This low-interest, no-risk reboot of Radio 4’s long-running culture strand is yet another reminder of how terminally timid BBC TV always is with the arts

Front Row, on Radio 4, is reliable, it is competent, it is always there, just after the news and the Archers. Its presenters are interested in their subjects, and good journalists. It knows what it is; it feels comfortable in its skin. I would care if it got taken off air. One can see, then, after the demise of BBC television’s The Culture Show and Newsnight Review (each shunted around the schedules until they died of confusion) why it was chosen to form the template of a new BBC2 arts show.

But would Front Row work on TV? There was trouble before the first programme even aired on Saturday evening. Instead of giving the regular radio presenters – Kirsty Lang, Samira Ahmed and John Wilson – jobs on the telly, new anchors for the small-screen version were announced. They were to be BBC media editor Amol Rajan, radio presenter and former actor Nikki Bedi, and, weirdly, Giles Coren, not everyone’s cup of tea, a journalist noted for his newspaper restaurant reviews and for having presented The Supersizers, but having no apparent qualifications for fronting an arts show aside from once having won the bad sex award for his debut novel, Winkler. Then came an interview in the Radio Times in which Coren declared he had not been to the theatre much for the past seven years (owing to paternal bathtime duties) and found the medium “stressful”; Rajan confessed to the sin of enjoying Andrew Lloyd Webber; and Bedi said she disliked sitting through very long plays without intervals.

Aside from the opportunity to look at the faces of two middle-aged men it could have been on the radio

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Social media are testing the legal boundaries of free speech | Open door

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 16:46:35 GMT2017-09-24T16:46:35Z

The law on hate speech shaped itself in response to physical confrontations. But now we also live in cyberspace

‘Fighting words” is American legal shorthand for the issue of how far a person’s public speech may inflame listeners before it can be justly restrained. Basically, it asks if the speech is likely to produce imminent lawless action.

In the UK and some other jurisdictions the same legal issue is labelled more sedately. “Public order” and “breach of the peace” are common markers of an old legal dilemma to which technology is giving new complexity. How police, prosecutors, judges and legislators react to it will influence the way social media affect the practical exercise of freedoms of association, assembly and expression in future.

'Fighting words' also appear on smartphones in the hands of people on both sides of a heated confrontation

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Nigel Farage to support controversial judge Roy Moore in Alabama election

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 15:43:58 GMT2017-09-24T15:43:58Z

  • Donald Trump has endorsed Republican Senate run-off opponent
  • Ex-Ukip leader backs candidate who once said homosexuality should be illegal

Nigel Farage will speak in Fairhope, Alabama on Monday night, in support of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Related: 'Fire or suspend': Trump attacks NFL protesters as players kneel in London

Related: Republican Susan Collins likely to deal fatal blow to Graham-Cassidy bill

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Unbelievable review: Katy Tur's Trump tale relives an utterly insane campaign

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 12:15:55 GMT2017-09-24T12:15:55Z

NBC reporter writes with the bravery and wit she showed as Trump and his fans attacked her. She also exposes the worrying decline of broadcast news itself

Towards the end of last year’s election, NBC correspondent Katy Tur and her colleagues played a game no other presidential contest had inspired: name a campaign headline too crazy to be real.

Related: Devil's Bargain review: Steve Bannon and the making of President Joe Pesci

Related: What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton review – no twinge of remorse

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William G Stewart obituary

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 11:38:14 GMT2017-09-24T11:38:14Z

Host of TV quiz show Fifteen to One and producer-director of British light entertainment from Bless This House to Family Fortunes

To viewers, William G Stewart, who has died aged 84, was the host of the long-running Channel 4 quiz show Fifteen to One, which had a reputation as one of the toughest on television. He was admired for his no-nonsense manner in the programme, which ran from 1988 to 2003, and where contestants tried to avoid elimination by answering general knowledge questions correctly or passing them on for others to answer. “They always thought I was like a severe teacher,” he said. “I was described as a geography master standing in front of pupils.”

However, Stewart’s background was as a producer-director of sitcoms, most successfully ITV’s Bless This House (1971-76). It was devised by the writers Vince Powell and Harry Driver as a starring vehicle for Sid James, who played the family man married to Jean (played by Diana Coupland) and facing generation gap problems with their children, Mike (Robin Stewart) and Sally (Sally Geeson, who became Stewart’s second wife).

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How Front Row sparked real drama in theatreland | David Mitchell

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 09:00:41 GMT2017-09-24T09:00:41Z

Outrage ensued when Amol Rajan, Giles Coren and Nikki Bedi admitted to being less than ardent theatre-goers. But shouldn’t we take their honesty onboard?

The presenters of the BBC’s new TV version of arts programme Front Row, launched yesterday (which, at time of writing, is the day after tomorrow), have already sparked controversy. And the show has only just started (at time of writing, hasn’t started yet)! Before I get into that (at time of writing, after I’ve got into it but now I’m going back and putting this in at the start), I should say that one of those presenters is my brother-in-law, Giles Coren. Which means you’re even freer than usual to ignore everything I say because of bias. If so, I applaud the choice – go on your way with my blessing, helping yourself to a history GCSE on your way out.

The controversy is about theatre, one of the art forms the new show will be covering. In an interview with the Radio Times, all three presenters made remarks about it that annoyed people. Amol Rajan said he didn’t get to the theatre as much as he’d like to because of his young baby, but that his “favourite place is Shakespeare’s Globe and I love musical theatre. I went to New York a couple of years ago and saw Andrew Lloyd Webber’s School of Rock”.

I’m not sure theatre criticism should be the preserve of those who know what they’re talking about

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The week in radio: Short Cuts; In the Studio; No Place of Greater Safety, FRDH

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 06:00:37 GMT2017-09-24T06:00:37Z

The BBC is doing its best to create an air of intimacy as it embraces its inner podcast

Short Cuts (R4) | iPlayer

In the Studio (BBC World Service) | iPlayer

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The tide is starting to turn against the world’s digital giants | John Naughton

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 06:00:37 GMT2017-09-24T06:00:37Z

Multimillion fines are just the start for Facebook and Google, as the world comes to realise how political big tech has become

In his wonderful book The Swerve: How the Renaissance Began, the literary historian Stephen Greenblatt traces the origins of the Renaissance back to the rediscovery of a 2,000-year-old poem by Lucretius, De Rerum Natura (On the Nature of Things). The book is a riveting explanation of how a huge cultural shift can ultimately spring from faint stirrings in the undergrowth.

Professor Greenblatt is probably not interested in the giant corporations that now dominate our world, but I am, and in the spirit of The Swerve I’ve been looking for signs that big changes might be on the way. You don’t have to dig very deep to find them.

These companies have inadvertently acquired the ability to shape our politics

Related: Silicon Valley has been humbled. But its schemes are as dangerous as ever | Evgeny Morozov

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Strictly come grinning all the way to the bank

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 06:00:37 GMT2017-09-24T06:00:37Z

What must it add up to, paying the hosts of Strictly 2017, plus judges and contestants? Antiques Roadshow had best not think about it

Hear an inevitable, omnipresent chink of the cash register now as the BBC’s talent make their Saturday night bow. Welcome to Strictly Come Dancing, with Claudia. Chink. And Tess. Chink. Who introduce the judges. Chink. Chink. Chink. Chink. Which may be almost £1.8m a year gone before we get to the ritual introduction of “our Strictly stars”.

Meanwhile, there’s something deeply symbolic for the BBC and its faithful, ageing audiences about the news that Antiques Roadshow may hit the ditch after 40 golden-oldie years because Britain has run out of forgotten antiques worth discovering. How much am I bid for this creaking old format?

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Brexit could make the Mirror-Express honeymoon a short one

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 06:00:37 GMT2017-09-24T06:00:37Z

As Daily Mirror and Daily Express were at opposite ends of the referendum spectrum, how comfortable will they be in bed together?

Occasionally, even before the last of the confetti has fluttered to earth, you know a marriage is doomed – and the return of Boris, plus £350m a week rebates, sets the church organ playing dirges again.

Deep in the factual goldmine of Brexit, Trump and the Media (Artemis) is a Reuters Institute survey of the most extreme Leave or Remain bias among national newspapers at referendum time. Clear Leave winner, with 74% of news pushing leave against only 6% for Remain? Yes, the Daily Express. For Remain, with 50% of news confirming that message? Yes, the Daily Mirror.

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Ofcom can police equality by race or sex. But class?

Sun, 24 Sep 2017 06:00:37 GMT2017-09-24T06:00:37Z

The media regulator’s own leadership offers complex examples of how social boundaries can be blurred by mobility. How would you set quotas?

The racketing, increasingly rancorous question for media debate this autumn is a headbanger. Where do you draw the diversity line? Should the balance of your broadcasting or newsroom staff reflect the balance of society at large? Is Tom Watson right to demand more female political correspondents? Or is this all becoming an issue too far? Over to Ofcom …

The supreme regulator made its mark the other day with a new series of diversity reports that go far beyond gender, ethnicity and disability. It is collecting information on the religious allegiances of staff at the big five broadcasters – and the number of gay, lesbian and bisexual people on their books.

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Kiefer Sutherland: ‘Anyone can be president. That has good and bad sides’

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 23:05:29 GMT2017-09-23T23:05:29Z

In Designated Survivor, the 24 star is a new US leader thrown in at the deep end. As a second season starts on Netflix, he talks about art imitating life

Kiefer Sutherland is about to enter the Oval Office for a new term of office and it is daunting. As the lead in the American political thriller series Designated Survivor, the Hollywood star knows that, now more than ever, when you play the president of the United States you are handling a fundamental national myth.

Related: Hail to the Kief! Sutherland is still TV's best action hero – even as President Dadbod

People do find it reassuring that in our show almost everything is approached with a level of common sense.

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Why does the BBC keep creating these political monsters? | Catherine Bennett

Sat, 23 Sep 2017 23:04:29 GMT2017-09-23T23:04:29Z

After Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage, the broadcaster is now giving Jacob Rees-Mogg the oxygen of publicity

There’s nothing wrong with holding up bits of paper: Gillian Wearing’s design for a new statue of Millicent Fawcett shows the suffragist with a placard, maybe to placate people who’d wanted the livelier Pankhurst. For living people, however, in the age of Photoshop, the gesture has its risks, being an invitation for online detractors to write satirical things on the piece of paper, to make the holder-upper look foolish. Oddly, given the hours he devotes to Twitter, Donald Trump seems not to mind that every one of his proudly displayed executive orders now resurfaces, within minutes, with a childlike scrawl of, say, a kitty on it.

Similarly, when his friend Nigel Farage gave the internet a ridiculous-sign opportunity last week, a photograph of himself, in super-dignified mode, holding up a letter to the BBC, the online adjustments – eg, “I am a twat” – naturally created more excitement than Farage’s complaint, which had to do with some “terrible slur”.

Related: Nigel Farage ridiculed over video of him delivering letter to BBC

Related: Boris Johnson peddled lies, half-truths and evasions. Now he’s paid the price | Sonia Purnell

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