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Media | The Guardian



Latest Media news, comment and analysis from the Guardian, the world's leading liberal voice



Published: Mon, 05 Dec 2016 12:55:17 GMT2016-12-05T12:55:17Z

Copyright: Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. 2016
 



What Donald Trump will have to accept: without journalism, there is no America

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 10:00:14 GMT2016-11-18T10:00:14Z

How American journalists should organize and fight in such a climate is a long and uncertain discussion. But they will fight a losing battle without the trust and support of the American public

Six days after the presidential election, veteran reporter and anchor of PBS News Hour Gwen Ifill died at the age of 61. One of the greats in her industry, Ifill thrived on complexity and research rather than the sound of her own voice. During presidential election cycles, she focused on issues in voters’ lives rather than on the race to name a winner.

While accepting an award from the National Press Foundation in 2007, Ifill said she was often asked to defend her profession. “Journalism is about asking the questions, not assuming the answers,” Ifill told the crowd.

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Madam President: how Newsweek reported a Clinton victory

Thu, 10 Nov 2016 11:23:04 GMT2016-11-10T11:23:04Z

Newsweek’s editor did what any sensible magazine chief would have done by preparing an issue based on a very different US presidential result...

It could all have been so different. Newsweek’s editor had obviously prepared issues for both possible US presidential election results, as is normal practice in such events.

Oddly, however, this one not only got published but also got distributed. About 125,000 copies had to be recalled, reported the New York Post.

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Rolling Stone 'Jackie' trial: university administrator awarded $3m for defamation

Tue, 08 Nov 2016 02:17:09 GMT2016-11-08T02:17:09Z

Former associate dean of students Nicole Eramo wins case over discredited gang rape story that cast her as a villain

Jurors have awarded a University of Virginia administrator $3m for her portrayal in a now-discredited Rolling Stone magazine article about the school’s handling of a brutal gang rape a fraternity house.

The 10-member jury’s decision came after they concluded on Friday that the magazine, its publisher and reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely were responsible for defamation, with actual malice, of former associate dean of students Nicole Eramo in the 2014 story A Rape on Campus.

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Rolling Stone defamed university administrator in 'Jackie' story, jury finds

Fri, 04 Nov 2016 18:50:22 GMT2016-11-04T18:50:22Z

Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who wrote the discredited 2014 article about a gang rape at the University of Virginia, was also found guilty of libel with actual malice

A federal jury on Friday found Rolling Stone magazine, its publisher and a reporter defamed a University of Virginia administrator who sued them for $7.5m over a discredited story about gang rape at a fraternity house.

The 10-member jury in Charlottesville sided with administrator Nicole Eramo, who claimed the article portrayed her as a villain. Jurors found that journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely was responsible for libel, with actual malice, and that Rolling Stone and its publisher were also responsible for defaming Eramo.

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Rolling Stone defamation trial nears end as lawyers say facts of UVA case ignored

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 15:11:27 GMT2016-11-02T15:11:27Z

Attorneys for former UVA dean say journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely had an agenda, while magazine argues everyone who spoke to ‘Jackie’ believed her

The defamation trial against Rolling Stone drew to a close on Tuesday, as attorneys clashed over whether the author of the magazine’s discredited story of a gang rape was an agenda-driven reporter or a dupe.

Before they adjourned, attorneys for the plaintiff excoriated Rolling Stone for willfully ignoring any facts that might have contradicted its preconceived notions of the story.

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Martin Baron: 'We took Donald Trump seriously from the beginning'

Sun, 30 Oct 2016 14:00:10 GMT2016-10-30T14:00:10Z

The Washington Post’s executive editor on breaking Trump’s Access Hollywood hot mic moment and the surprising positives of working beside software engineers

The phone call that would, just hours later, inflict a highly damaging blow to Donald Trump’s presidential ambitions came through to Washington Post reporter David Fahrenthold mid-morning on Friday 7 October. The source – a Snapchat-era “Deep Throat” – informed Fahrenthold, whose dogged exposure of the operations of the Trump Foundation had so infuriated the billionaire, that they had some previously unaired video of Trump. Would he be interested in viewing it?

“David recognised immediately that [the footage] was explosive,” says the Post’s executive editor Martin Baron, “and the first task was to make sure it was authenticated, which he was able to do pretty quickly.”

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Rolling Stone publisher says UVA rape article was not entirely retracted

Sat, 29 Oct 2016 18:59:44 GMT2016-10-29T18:59:44Z

In lawsuit over discredited article, Jann Wenner says although ‘Jackie’s’ account was inaccurate, the rest of the story remained valid

Rolling Stone magazine publisher and co-founder Jann Wenner said in a video deposition that he disagreed with a top editor’s decision to retract an entire article about a gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity, after the story was discredited.

Related: UVA rape story trial highlights struggle to report on sexual assault in Trump era

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'Jackie' testifies: Rolling Stone story was 'what I believed to be true at the time'

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 21:55:34 GMT2016-10-24T21:55:34Z

Deposition of UVA student featured in discredited article is heard publicly for first time as magazine faces defamation trial

The woman whose harrowing account of being gang-raped at the University of Virginia was the centerpiece of a now-discredited Rolling Stone magazine article testified in a deposition heard by the public for the first time on Monday that the story was what she believed “to be true at the time”.

A video deposition of the woman identified in the article only as “Jackie” was played for jurors Monday in the defamation trial against Rolling Stone magazine for the 2014 article A Rape on Campus by Sabrina Rubin Erdely. University of Virginia administrator Nicole Eramo is seeking $7.5m from the magazine, claiming she was cast as the story’s “chief villain”. A police investigation later found no evidence to back up Jackie’s claims.

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New York Times review pans series – but then admits critic saw it in wrong order

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 02:59:56 GMT2016-10-22T02:59:56Z

Newspaper issues correction to Mike Hale’s review of Goliath, which he called ‘needlessly complicated’ after inadvertently starting with episode two

The New York Times has issued a correction after its television writer panned a show for being confusing when he watched the first two episodes in the wrong order.

Mike Hale, the Times’ television critic, had criticised the “split personality” and “needlessly complicated structure” of the initial episodes of Amazon’s new legal drama Goliath.

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Rolling Stone reporter admits she made mistakes in 'Jackie' rape story

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 19:52:44 GMT2016-10-20T19:52:44Z

Sabrina Rubin Erdely takes stand in defamation trial and says she overlooked key details in process of reporting on alleged rape at the University of Virginia

The author of a now-retracted Rolling Stone article about a brutal gang rape at the University of Virginia on Thursday acknowledged that she made mistakes while reporting the story of the woman identified only as Jackie.

Sabrina Rubin Erdely took the stand in the defamation trial against the magazine over its 2014 story. University administrator Nicole Eramo is seeking $7.8m from the magazine for its portrayal of her in the story.

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How the Daily Mail has set the agenda in its battle with judges

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 11:09:50 GMT2016-12-05T11:09:50Z

Although the newspaper is read by barely 5% of the population it exercises a disproportionate influence acoss Britain

Attacks on the upper middle class composition and presumed (right wing) political leanings of the judiciary used to be the preserve of the left.

Now the attacks on the mono-social class of senior judges and their presumed (pro-European Union) political leanings are being waged from the right.

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Mark Forbes quits as editor-in-chief of the Age after sex harassment complaint

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 23:56:03 GMT2016-12-04T23:56:03Z

Forbes was stood down on Friday as Fairfax Media investigated a complaint that he groped a reporter at a music awards event

The editor-in-chief of the Age, Mark Forbes, has resigned just days after he was stood down while Fairfax Media investigated a complaint of sexual harassment by a young female reporter.

The woman made a formal complaint to management after Forbes allegedly “groped her on the bottom” at the Age Music Victoria awards in November.

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Beryl Vertue: 'Sherlock is a family affair'

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 12:30:14 GMT2016-12-04T12:30:14Z

‘Sherlock’s godmother’, a pioneer of independent TV production, says making things for accountants ‘wouldn’t be much fun’

On Wednesday BBC1 aired the trailer for the new three-part series of hit drama Sherlock, driving social media speculation about what will happen next to Benedict Cumberbatch’s detective and Martin Freeman’s Watson when all is revealed in January.

As Sherlock Holmes said: “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth” – and fans are eager to discover the veracity of the rumours circulating about the show.

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The paywalls come down and readers flood in. But revenue doesn’t

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07:05:07 GMT2016-12-04T07:05:07Z

The Sun’s circulation surge can be explained by its decision to end subscriptions. But the extra ad revenue won’t find its way back to the newspaper

Two growth figures from last week tell the essential story. Though the Mail, Guardian and Mirror still marched upwards with combined (print, mobile, laptop and tablet) readership figures year-on-year, adding more millions to their monthly reach, the shooting star in the Press Premier League was your old mate the Sun: up from 13m in 2015 to 24m last month on the back of a tenfold increase in mobile readers. For 1.6m, read 16.5m.

Staggering stuff – or, at least, it would be if there wasn’t the simple explanation that November 2015 was the month Mr Rupert Murdoch cancelled his last announcement and ordered the Sun paywall knocked down (plus a reworking of the site). Which has all worked out well enough – save perhaps for one dimension the National Readership Survey doesn’t assess: money in the bank from advertising, which is fundamentally what’s left once you cancel the subscription approach.

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Farewell to Fidel - a 97-page special

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07:00:07 GMT2016-12-04T07:00:07Z

So much coverage of the Cuban dictator’s death – because the press had so much time to prepare it

And the world record for the largest number of bylines on a single story goes to the New York Times, which used no fewer than 16 journalists to write its obituary of Fidel Castro, a labour it began in 1959 and has constantly updated ever since.

It is inevitable, perhaps, that the obit of a great world figure should be the winner here, but inevitable, too, that a few eyebrows be raised over the sheer extent of the coverage of Castro’s end.

Continue reading...Cubans exiles at rally in Little Havana, Miami, after the death of Fidel Castro.Cubans exiles at rally in Little Havana, Miami, after the death of Fidel Castro.


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Who on Earth would want to be BBC chair now?

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07:00:07 GMT2016-12-04T07:00:07Z

The mighty new corporation board needs a big player to run it. But who will take such a high-stress job on Mrs May’s austerity wages?

We all know the siren song about fat cats. Theresa May sings it with gusto. But what happens when she urgently needs a good replacement moggie and the beast in question sniffs at the meagre feeding bowl on offer – and just walks on by? What happens when no one wants to be chair of the BBC?

Thus far, amid the detritus of charter review and abolition of the short-lived BBC Trust, we’ve been mostly concerned by Downing Street’s obsession with “taking control”: that is, giving the corporation a single great board and keeping the majority of the placements on it in No 10’s gift. But a good fight was fought on that front and now the incoming chair, plus deputy and regional reps, will be in a minority. One dark cloud lifted.

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Journalism that bursts Britain’s Eurosceptic bubble

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07:00:07 GMT2016-12-04T07:00:07Z

This year’s European Press Prize, as always, reveals a diverse, outward-looking culture far away from the familiar Brussels stereotype

There’s never just one bubble in your bath. There are hundreds of bubbles, washed hither and yon. Which, of course, is also the case with the Brexit bubble (angry northerners snub metropolitan elite) and the Trump bubble (Ohio raises two fingers to DC).

Basically, a political bubble involves one sector of society – geographic or demographic – failing to register what’s going on in the bubble next door. Cue mortification in Richmond Park. But what, pray, does that leave the Eurosceptic bubble merchants in the Mail-Express-Sun nexus?

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Where are the politicians who will challenge the consensus? | Observer letters

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 00:05:03 GMT2016-12-04T00:05:03Z

The Observer’s incisive journalism provides powerful reasons for revisiting the Brexit decision

I have been reading the Observer since the age of 14. Now nearing 70, I was reminded why by Nick Cohen’s razor-sharp and deeply rational analysis of the rise of populism and its pervasive influence over current political direction (Comment).

Read in conjunction with Andrew Rawnsley’s plea to at least give a fair hearing to Blair and Major with their 17 years of experience at the summit of political decision-making and we have a powerful if depressing landscape upon which to cast our eyes.

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Victoria Coren Mitchell: ‘The Observer and I have been a very happy fit’

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 00:05:02 GMT2016-12-04T00:05:02Z

The columnist looks back on some of her highlights at the paper - including the time she busted some ‘funeral crashers’
• Click here for more on the Observer at 225

I started writing for the Observer in about 1998/9, just after Roger Alton became editor. He asked me to write occasional features and to cover for Richard Ingrams’ column when Ingrams was on holiday. Roger is very good at understanding the appeal of a mixed read; other people at the time probably thought I was a bit trivial or mainstream in my interests, but he was happy enough to bring that into the paper alongside the more heavyweight political opinion and harrowing news. I started writing my own regular weekly Observer column in 2002. It was a very happy fit, I felt comfortable with the readers immediately. I liked them.

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It’s all too easy for Trump to set the media a-twitter

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 07:00:54 GMT2016-11-27T07:00:54Z

The sight of a president-elect stirring things up on social media is novel. But it’s a shame it’s so easy to set the press off on a wild goose chase

There are, as it happens, at least two kinds of fake news. The one that has become a dirge through the first days of Trump, simple fibs dressed up as facts on Facebook et al – and the more insidious fakery that no one seems to have rumbled yet: mindless news, empty news, news as transient as the latest tweet from the Donald.

British journalists who haven’t been concentrated on Trumpian tactics may, perhaps, be excused last week’s farce. But would any prime minister in her right mind make Nigel Farage – loosest of cannons, most lethal of preening enemies – ambassador to the United States? It’s a joke, a non-starter. So why did a tweet from the president-elect seem to start it?

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Facts will calm the fever of Trump’s triumph

Sun, 20 Nov 2016 06:59:30 GMT2016-11-20T06:59:30Z

The president-elect thrived in the febrile atmosphere of the election. In the dark years ahead, journalists must trust in dispassionate truth

So, what happens to candle carriers through four coming years of darkness? Some distraught warriors – say Owen Jones in the Guardian – call for a “non-violent war of political attrition” against this “would-be tyrant … this billionaire plutocrat charlatan” called Donald. But if that seems a touch hyperactive, you can always use cash to underwrite truth.

Manhattan’s favourite Brummie comedian, John Oliver, made that precise connection as he contemplated the Trump hegemony last week. Fight back against fake news by subscribing (and boosting) real news sources. Donate to ProPublica, the investigative unit of American first choice. Pay good money for the New York Times, Washington Post and other key barriers along Breitbart Way. Don’t just sit there and moan. Put your hands in your pockets.

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The media didn’t see Trump coming. And even now, it doesn’t know why

Sun, 13 Nov 2016 07:00:12 GMT2016-11-13T07:00:12Z

The ‘big-city elite’ are full of remorse: but local editors of community papers across the US missed the story too

Seldom in media history have so many worked so hard – to wallow in angst. “I think it’s time for all journalists to turn our back on polls …” tweeted ITV’s anchor-of-the-night Tom Bradby, as he might well have done after June 2016 or May 2015 too. Yes: the polls were all over the place again, predictions based on them similarly frail. Again. Plentiful egg splattered innumerable august faces.

But if every debacle has one inevitable following mantra – the one about “lessons to be learned” – what are the lessons for journalists here? Before it happens. Again.

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Newspapers big and small are facing an existential crisis

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 11:36:22 GMT2016-11-11T11:36:22Z

News Corporation and the CN Group are suffering from the same problem, declining newsprint advertising revenue, which imperils journalism’s future

What have the Wall Street Journal and the Eskdale & Liddesdale Advertiser got in common? Or perhaps that question should be: what have the Journal’s owner, mighty News Corporation, and the Advertiser’s owner, the modest CN Group, got in common?

The Journal sells more than 1m copies a day in print while the Advertiser manages about 1,200 newsprint sales a week.

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A print publishing reality: advertisers, not readers, are the customers

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:00:50 GMT2016-10-24T09:00:50Z

As Trinity Mirror closes another free title while bemoaning a lack of audience, a US newspaper owner tells it like it is: journalism is of secondary importance

Here’s a Trinity Mirror spokesperson commenting its latest local paper closure: “We focus on markets where we are able to grow audience and revenue. It’s for this reason we’ve been forced to close free weekly, the Crawley News and its website”.

Not a startling revelation: we know that advertising has been retreating from newsprint for years, although the shuttering of the website is surprising.

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The reporters fighting for journalism against ‘templated specific content’

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 06:00:38 GMT2016-10-23T06:00:38Z

The business plans of US commercial owners make grim reading for local editors under pressure from big media chains

Real numbers have been crunching in public these last few days. The gallant editor of the Oldham Evening Chronicle, on stage at the Society of Editors conference, remembers the days when his paper (all departments included) employed some 250 people. Now that’s shrunk to 40 – including just 17 journalists – plus long-distance subbing from Newport, 185 miles down the M6.

Meanwhile that journalists’ strike against yet more cuts – 12 reporters providing all copy for 11 papers and eight websites – ratchets on in south-west London, with Newsquest managers citing “the need to reduce our cost base to ensure a sustainable future”. But how sustainable is journalism itself in such straitened circumstances?

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Back to the future: were newspaper publishers wrong to go digital?

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 12:52:28 GMT2016-10-19T12:52:28Z

Leading US commentator asks: what if the entire industry made a business blunder by putting news up online for free while ignoring their print product?

“What if”, asks Jack Shafer, “almost the entire newspaper industry got it wrong? What if, in the mad dash to put up editorial content on to the web, editors and publishers made a colossal business blunder that wasted hundreds of millions of dollars?”

He continues: “What if the industry should have stuck with its strengths — the print editions where the vast majority of their readers still reside and where the overwhelming majority of advertising and subscription revenue come from — instead of chasing the online chimera?”

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The reviewer who tried to trump all Hitler comparisons | Emma Brockes

Thu, 06 Oct 2016 16:42:54 GMT2016-10-06T16:42:54Z

Mendacious, half-insane, an egomaniac, a demagogue – that’s what they said about the Nazi leader in the 1930s, before his election. Remind you of anyone?

Book reviews tend to make news only if they are particularly savage or concern a hotly anticipated book. So Hitler, by Volker Ullrich – the umpteenth biography of the dictator, translated from the German and published in America this month – would seem an unlikely candidate. Last week, however, Michiko Kakutani, the New York Times’ chief book critic, did something extraordinary: without ever making it explicit, she wrote an entire review about something, or rather someone, else.

From the opening paragraph – in which Kakutani cites an eminent magazine editor in 1930 describing Hitler as a “half-insane rascal”, a “pathetic dunderhead”, a “nowhere fool” and a “big mouth” – one can start to guess the direction she’s looking in.

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US newspapers hit back as Huff Po and co run out of steam

Sun, 18 Sep 2016 06:00:09 GMT2016-09-18T06:00:09Z

Statistics show print resilience is strong in press and book publishing, as many Americans still prefer to settle down with a book not an e-reader

It’s been a pretty static summer on the circulation and readership front. Quality papers – in print and online – doing well in the referendum aftermath, with the tabloids staging a modest August recovery. But there’s one fascinating result being celebrated by traditional US news hawks. For the first time in modern digital history (as recorded by comScore over July), the New York Times and the Washington Post both beat starry startups BuzzFeed and the Huffington Post. The Times and Post were up 41% and 54% year-on-year – while the opposition dropped back.

As Ken Doctor at the Nieman Journalism Lab notes, it’s not just a question of readers wanting their news from sturdier, familiar sources in the eye of a presidential election storm. There’s the question of if and when shooting stars begin to wane. “Has the Huffington Post, which shed 12m unique visitors in just a year – and a time of incredible political ferment – peaked? After all, it was born at another digital time, 2005 … a business/editorial model of aggregation ahead of its time.”

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Brexit and Trump are too important for ‘shadows’ and ‘questions’ | Paul Krugman

Sun, 11 Sep 2016 06:00:53 GMT2016-09-11T06:00:53Z

Paul Krugman is right to condemn journalism’s ‘weasel words’ about Hillary Clinton. The hardest subjects require the most exacting press standards

Sometimes journalists can’t live by a hand-me-down codebook. They themselves are responsible for what’s published. They live, after all, in the society they chronicle. They are part of that society. And two vivid new examples make the point.

One comes from the Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman, addressing various tales of influence-peddling in Hillary Clinton’s foundation hinterland when she was secretary of state. “As reporters like to say, the sheer size of the [Clinton] foundation ‘raises questions’. But nobody seems willing to accept the answers to those questions, which are, very clearly, ‘no’.”

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Fake news: an insidious trend that's fast becoming a global problem

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 08:00:10 GMT2016-12-02T08:00:10Z

With fake online news dominating discussions after the US election, Guardian correspondents explain how it is distorting politics around the world

The German political mainstream is getting increasingly nervous about the effect that the rise of fake news might have on federal elections next autumn. Fake news and Russian interference – either by influencing fake news sites, or by hacking or misinformation – are viewed as a serious threat to the democratic process, particularly since the US presidential elections.

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MPs condemn decision to block BME woman from Channel 4 board

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 17:31:10 GMT2016-12-02T17:31:10Z

Cross-party letter urges culture secretary to explain ‘unprecedented’ move that led to appointment of four white men

A cross-party group of 56 MPs have called on the culture secretary, Karen Bradley, to explain her decision to block the only female BME applicant to Channel 4’s board.

It emerged this week that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport had taken the unusual step of vetoing the unnamed candidate, who was one of five put forward by the regulator, Ofcom. The remaining four applicants who were accepted are all white men, and the Channel 4 board has no members from ethnic minorities currently sitting.

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I want to unfriend someone on Facebook but I don't want to hurt their feelings

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 07:00:56 GMT2016-11-25T07:00:56Z

In a new column, Elle Hunt negotiates the sometimes excruciating world of social media. This week: culling your contacts

First, a caveat: I may take a more callous approach to this than the average social media user. But I believe that no online friendship is a given; that every follow is earned. Curate your timeline, and do so rigorously.

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Paul Dacre to step down as chair of journalists’ code of practice committee

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 14:07:33 GMT2016-12-01T14:07:33Z

Daily Mail editor-in-chief takes swipe at ‘so-called liberals’ who have backed state regulation as he announces departure

Paul Dacre, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail, is to stand down as chair of a committee that governs journalists’ code of conduct before a government review of press regulation.

His departure after eight “turbulent” years for the industry comes after an external review of the press regulator Ipso recommended that no member of the highly influential committee should serve more than two three-year terms. The committee is also to conduct a public consultation on how the code can be further improved.

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The Observer has not always sided with popular opinion, but is stronger for it

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 00:05:02 GMT2016-12-04T00:05:02Z

The paper’s chief political commentator on the paper and its battles – from slavery to Suez, welfare to war
• Click here for more on the Observer at 225

The first edition of the Observer made the ringing declaration that the newspaper would be “Unbiaffed by Prejudice – Uninfluenced by Party, Whofe Principle is Independence – whofe Object is Truth”. A fine set of principles and it would be lovely to be able to say that the Observer has always kept that promise. Lovely, but a lie of Trumpian proportions. The paper was still in its infancy when it ran out of money and the owners struck a grubby deal with the government, not untypical of the 18th century, which gave the title a subsidy in return for influence over its content. When Viscount Palmerston was prime minister, he made clandestine payments from secret service funds, which bought him the privilege of penning opinion pieces in praise of himself.

Yet here’s the thing. Reviewing the positions the paper has taken over its long life, it has been a champion of liberalism more often than not. Under a wild variety of owners, among them the rackety and the reactionary, the Observer has broadly been a friend of enlightenment. On the big questions, it has sometimes chosen the wrong side of history, but more often been a beacon for truth, justice and progress.

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Breitbart declares war on Kellogg's after cereal brand pulls advertising from site

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 21:31:33 GMT2016-11-30T21:31:33Z

The right-wing news organization is calling for a boycott on Kellogg’s products after company says Breitbart is not ‘aligned with our values’

The right-wing news site Breitbart has declared “#WAR” on Kellogg’s, calling for a boycott of the cereal company’s products after they decided to cease advertising on the site.

On Tuesday, the Kellogg Company pulled their adverts from the site, saying that it wasn’t “aligned with our values”. Recent inflammatory stories include “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive And Crazy”; “Data: Young Muslims In The West Are A Ticking Time-Bomb” and “Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism Or Cancer?”.

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Andrew Sachs, Manuel from Fawlty Towers, dies aged 86

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 09:52:05 GMT2016-12-02T09:52:05Z

British actor much loved for his role as Manuel was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2012

Andrew Sachs, the actor best known for playing Manuel the bemused Spanish waiter abused by John Cleese’s bullying hotelier in the BBC comedy series Fawlty Towers, has died aged 86.

Cleese led tributes to his co-star, describing him as a “brilliant farceur” and a “sweet, sweet man”.

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News is bad for you – and giving up reading it will make you happier

Fri, 12 Apr 2013 19:00:01 GMT2013-04-12T19:00:01Z

News is bad for your health. It leads to fear and aggression, and hinders your creativity and ability to think deeply. The solution? Stop consuming it altogether

In the past few decades, the fortunate among us have recognised the hazards of living with an overabundance of food (obesity, diabetes) and have started to change our diets. But most of us do not yet understand that news is to the mind what sugar is to the body. News is easy to digest. The media feeds us small bites of trivial matter, tidbits that don't really concern our lives and don't require thinking. That's why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of news flashes, which are bright-coloured candies for the mind. Today, we have reached the same point in relation to information that we faced 20 years ago in regard to food. We are beginning to recognise how toxic news can be.

News misleads. Take the following event (borrowed from Nassim Taleb). A car drives over a bridge, and the bridge collapses. What does the news media focus on? The car. The person in the car. Where he came from. Where he planned to go. How he experienced the crash (if he survived). But that is all irrelevant. What's relevant? The structural stability of the bridge. That's the underlying risk that has been lurking, and could lurk in other bridges. But the car is flashy, it's dramatic, it's a person (non-abstract), and it's news that's cheap to produce. News leads us to walk around with the completely wrong risk map in our heads. So terrorism is over-rated. Chronic stress is under-rated. The collapse of Lehman Brothers is overrated. Fiscal irresponsibility is under-rated. Astronauts are over-rated. Nurses are under-rated.

Continue reading...Out of the ­10,000 news stories you may have read in the last 12 months, did even one allow you to make a better decision about a serious matter in your life, asks Rolf Dobelli. Photograph: Guardian/GraphicOut of the ­10,000 news stories you may have read in the last 12 months, did even one allow you to make a better decision about a serious matter in your life, asks Rolf Dobelli. Photograph: Guardian/Graphic


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What students should do about newspapers (instead of banning them)

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 12:40:43 GMT2016-12-02T12:40:43Z

Use your digital tools to argue your case against the editorial agendas of the Daily Mail, Daily Express and the Sun because there is no silver bullet solution

Yesterday, I raged against students at Plymouth university who are banning the sale in their campus shop of the Sun, Daily Mail and Daily Express (plus their Sunday equivalents).

Jonathan Heawood, founder of the press regulator, Impress, responded by asking me, in a tweet: “how should students pursue truth” with the publishers of those newspapers?

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How technology disrupted the truth | Katharine Viner

Tue, 12 Jul 2016 05:00:10 GMT2016-07-12T05:00:10Z

Social media has swallowed the news – threatening the funding of public-interest reporting and ushering in an era when everyone has their own facts. But the consequences go far beyond journalism

One Monday morning last September, Britain woke to a depraved news story. The prime minister, David Cameron, had committed an “obscene act with a dead pig’s head”, according to the Daily Mail. “A distinguished Oxford contemporary claims Cameron once took part in an outrageous initiation ceremony at a Piers Gaveston event, involving a dead pig,” the paper reported. Piers Gaveston is the name of a riotous Oxford university dining society; the authors of the story claimed their source was an MP, who said he had seen photographic evidence: “His extraordinary suggestion is that the future PM inserted a private part of his anatomy into the animal.”

The story, extracted from a new biography of Cameron, sparked an immediate furore. It was gross, it was a great opportunity to humiliate an elitist prime minister, and many felt it rang true for a former member of the notorious Bullingdon Club. Within minutes, #Piggate and #Hameron were trending on Twitter, and even senior politicians joined the fun: Nicola Sturgeon said the allegations had “entertained the whole country”, while Paddy Ashdown joked that Cameron was “hogging the headlines”. At first, the BBC refused to mention the allegations, and 10 Downing Street said it would not “dignify” the story with a response – but soon it was forced to issue a denial. And so a powerful man was sexually shamed, in a way that had nothing to do with his divisive politics, and in a way he could never really respond to. But who cares? He could take it.

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Charlie Hebdo puts broken-down Angela Merkel on cover of first German edition

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 03:42:20 GMT2016-12-01T03:42:20Z

German leader is assessed by a VW mechanic as needing a new exhaust to win another term in office in new version of satirical magazine

French magazine Charlie Hebdo placed German chancellor Angela Merkel variously on a toilet seat and a car mechanic’s hydraulic lift as it released its first German edition on Thursday.

The cover asserts that Volkswagen, the carmaker hit by an emissions cheating scandal, “stands behind Merkel”, and shows the chancellor lying atop a platform with a mechanic commenting that “with a new exhaust, she’ll be good to go another four years”.

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BBC1 follows Netflix true crime lead with Notting Hill serial killer drama

Wed, 03 Feb 2016 12:59:49 GMT2016-02-03T12:59:49Z

In the wake of Making a Murderer’s success, British broadcaster brings drama based on real-life Rillington Place murders to the screen

The BBC is riding the Netflix Making a Murderer true crime wave with a new drama based on the murders committed by serial killer John Christie in Notting Hill in the 1940s and 50s.

The three part BBC1 drama is directed by Craig Viveiros, who also directed the recent remake of Agatha Christie whodunnit And Then There Were None.

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The Financial Times passes another major digital milestone

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 10:22:24 GMT2016-12-01T10:22:24Z

Business paper claims a first by earning more revenues from digital than print

The Financial Times has passed another significant milestone by securing more revenues from digital than print.

It means that it can claim to be the first mainstream UK newspaper to be able to describe itself as a truly “digital content business.”

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First Contact on SBS: meet the participants – video

Tue, 29 Nov 2016 21:45:54 GMT2016-11-29T21:45:54Z

Hosted by Ray Martin, First Contact follows Natalie Imbruglia, Tom Ballard, Ian Dickson, Nicki Wendt, Renae Ayris and David Oldfield as they come face to face with Indigenous Australia.
• Tom Ballard: My experience on First Contact challenged everything I knew about Indigenous Australia

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The banned Heinz Beanz's Can Song advert – video

Wed, 23 Nov 2016 00:01:49 GMT2016-11-23T00:01:49Z

A Heinz TV advert teaching viewers how to use cans of its baked beans to drum out a song has been banned for being dangerous for children to copy. Nine viewers lodged complaints with the Advertising Standards Authority that the advert encouraged unsafe practice

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Barack Obama: fake news is a threat to democracy – video

Fri, 18 Nov 2016 08:49:10 GMT2016-11-18T08:49:10Z

US president Barack Obama denounces the spate of misinformation across social media platforms, including Facebook, suggesting American politics can be affected. Speaking in Berlin after meeting German chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, Obama says a lack of respect for facts and the truth was a threat to democracy

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Andrew Marr defends Remembrance Sunday interview with Le Pen – video

Sun, 13 Nov 2016 16:30:28 GMT2016-11-13T16:30:28Z

The BBC presenter says he understands some people are ‘offended and upset’ that the interview with French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen is broadcast on Remembrance Sunday. He adds that failing to report on the challenge that she and Donald Trump pose to western security would not honour those killed in the historic fight against fascism

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Student’s fake John Lewis Christmas advert is runaway hit – video

Sun, 06 Nov 2016 21:02:30 GMT2016-11-06T21:02:30Z

An A-level student who created a spoof John Lewis Christmas advert as part of his coursework has attracted hundreds of thousands of fans after the video was posted on YouTube. Bearing all the hallmarks of the traditional tear-jerker from the British department store, Nick Jablonka’s advert, titled The Snowglobe, has led to many viewers calling for him to be hired by the company

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BBC Breakfast mixes up Nicola Sturgeon and Kumbuka the gorilla – video

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 11:10:24 GMT2016-10-14T11:10:24Z

BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty tells viewers on Friday they would be joined by Nicola Sturgeon later in the show, when production staff cut to footage of Kumbuka, the gorilla who escaped from a London zoo enclosure yesterday. Munchetty’s co-host Charlie Stayt apologises after the live gaffe leaves her unable to keep a straight face

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Eamonn Holmes cut off mid-sentence by Sky News as he says goodbye – video

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 12:10:17 GMT2016-10-13T12:10:17Z

Eamonn Holmes is cut off by Sky News as he signs off during the his final Sunrise breakfast show on Thursday. The presenter was being hugged by co-presenters Nazaneen Ghaffar, Isabel Lang and Jacquie Beltrao when the broadcast suddenly cut out

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Clementine Ford clashes with Sharri Markson on the Drum – video

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 02:56:27 GMT2016-09-30T02:56:27Z

Journalist Markson calls the feminist author a ‘troll’ on the ABC’s discussion program after Ford criticises anti-women comments by News Corp columnist Tim Blair and remarks by Miranda Devine about homophobic abuse. Asked by the Drum host Julia Baird about her online demeanour, Ford says she goes after people only when they have said something abusive to her or to someone else.

Clementine Ford: there’s something toxic about the way men bond in Australia

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Assange 'annoyed' with Swedish appeal court decision - video

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 14:04:09 GMT2016-09-16T14:04:09Z

Julian Assange’s lawyer Per Samuelsson speaks in Malmö, Sweden on Friday after Stockholm’s appeal court upheld his arrest warrant. The WikiLeaks founder is wanted by Swedish authorities for questioning over allegations that he committed rape in 2010. Assange denies the allegations. He has been avoiding possible extradition to Sweden by taking refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy since 2012

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Ad Break: Bonds, McDonald's, Subaru, Nike – video

Wed, 31 Aug 2016 11:31:46 GMT2016-08-31T11:31:46Z

First up in an interesting quartet of adverts is a tongue-in-cheek look at the trials of fatherhood from Australian underwear brand Bonds. It’s followed by a French commercial for McDonald’s examining an actor with a questionable method; the tale of ‘The Boy Who Breaks Everything’ for Subaru in the US and another addition to Nike’s super campaign featuring Oscar Isaac in the voiceover booth

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