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Media | The Guardian

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

Published: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 05:36:05 GMT2016-09-28T05:36:05Z

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

US news media are more popular than, wait for it, Vladimir Putin

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 13:47:02 GMT2016-09-22T13:47:02Z

But opinion poll reveals that news outlets were viewed less favourably than Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and - by some margin - Barack Obama

A new opinion poll showing that Hillary Clinton has a six-point lead over Donald Trump was, unsurprisingly, headline news in the United States.

The authoritative NBC/WSJ poll put Clinton on 43% with Trump on 37%. But the most noticeable feature of the survey was that both candidates were viewed in negative terms by the majority of respondents.

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Media Files:

Washington Post says Obama should not pardon whistleblower Ed Snowden

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 12:15:26 GMT2016-09-19T12:15:26Z

Newspaper criticised for calling for the criminal prosecution of its own source, on ‘whose back the paper won and eagerly accepted a Pulitzer Prize’

The Washington Post has stunned many people in the United States, including a large section of the country’s journalistic community, by coming out against a pardon for whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Despite the newspaper having been responsible for publishing leaks by the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, its latest editorial urges President Barack Obama not to pardon him.

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Media Files:

Associated Press changes Twitter policy after Hillary Clinton storm

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 13:42:45 GMT2016-09-09T13:42:45Z

News agency draws up new guidelines following controversy over tweet about its story on the presidential candidate and the Clinton Foundation

The Associated Press has deleted a tweet posted two weeks ago about the Clinton Foundation, the humanitarian charity set up by Bill and Hillary Clinton with their daughter, Chelsea.

AP, the largest news agency in the US, announced that the tweet “fell short of AP standards by omitting essential context.”

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Media Files:

Barack Obama to guest edit Wired magazine

Tue, 30 Aug 2016 16:08:03 GMT2016-08-30T16:08:03Z

President to edit issue focusing on frontiers in areas such as urban planning, cybersecurity, medicine and AI

Barack Obama is to guest edit Wired at the end of October, the first time a sitting president has edited a magazine.

In an article announcing Obama’s involvement, the magazine said the “completely bespoke” issue would focus on frontiers in areas such as urban planning, cybersecurity, medicine and artificial intelligence. The issue will be sold on newsstands from 25 October.

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Media Files: to shut down next week after acquisition by Univision

Thu, 18 Aug 2016 18:22:39 GMT2016-08-18T18:22:39Z

Flagship website of Gawker Media to close in wake of crippling lawsuit brought by Hulk Hogan and bankrolled by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, the flagship site of Gawker Media, will cease publication on Monday, according to a statement by Gawker Media founder Nick Denton delivered to staff on Thursday and reported by the site.

The other Gawker Media publications, including Jezebel (women’s issues), Gizmodo (tech), io9 (science fiction, fantasy and science), Kotaku (gaming), Deadspin (sports), Jalopnik (all things automotive) and Lifehacker, are expected to continue publication after Univision’s acquisition of the company. It’s been reported that Univision has agreed to keep 95% of the company’s nearly 300 employees in the United States and Hungary, to take over the leases for its office space in New York City and Budapest and to honor the recent union contract.

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Media Files:

Donald Trump raises the stakes in his war on the press

Fri, 29 Jul 2016 08:15:41 GMT2016-07-29T08:15:41Z

Washington Post reporter banned from attending event despite buying a ticket

Donald Trump appears to have raised the stakes in his war with the press during his presidential campaign.

His team have previously denied reporting credentials to several news organisations attempting to attend his rallies. So journalists, like the rest of the public, were forced to buy tickets to obtain entry.

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Media Files:

Department of Homeland Security detains journalist returning from Beirut

Thu, 21 Jul 2016 23:01:00 GMT2016-07-21T23:01:00Z

Maria Abi-Habib, a Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, said DHS officials attempts to confiscate her cellphones after she arrived at LA airport

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has come under scrutiny over its policy of detaining journalists, after a Middle East correspondent for the Wall Street Journal said she was detained and asked to hand over her cellphones at Los Angeles international airport last week.

In a long Facebook post on Thursday, Maria Abi-Habib described how she was met by DHS officials while waiting in immigration after a flight that started in Beirut.

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Media Files:

New York Times is facing radical change - and more job cuts

Thu, 30 Jun 2016 07:51:10 GMT2016-06-30T07:51:10Z

Strategic review of the newspaper’s newsprint editorial approach is aimed at preventing it from being ‘left behind’ in the rapidly developing digital age

The New York Times is on the brink of a radical transformation this summer, reports Joe Pompeo on Politico Media.

A team of seven Times journalists led by economics columnist David Leonhardt is carrying out a strategic review, Project 2020, on behalf of executive editor Dean Baquet.

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Almost 60% of US newspaper jobs vanish in 26 years

Mon, 06 Jun 2016 09:02:35 GMT2016-06-06T09:02:35Z

Employment statistics show the effects of the digital age on newsprint

Statistical confirmation from the United States adds to the points about the collapse of newspapers I made in two recent postings: “Suddenly, national newspapers are heading for that print cliff fall” and “Mass media is over”.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has issued data for media employment trends over the 26-year period from 1990 onwards. In other words, from the dawn of the internet age until now.

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Media Files:

Forbes downgrades net worth of former 'richest self-made woman' to zero

Wed, 01 Jun 2016 22:39:24 GMT2016-06-01T22:39:24Z

Elizabeth Holmes’s former valuation was based on her stake in blood-testing startup Theranos, which has seen its value collapse

Related: Forbes investigates after 'contributor' asks PR for £300 to write online profile

US business magazine Forbes, which monitors the world’s wealthiest individuals and publishes a rich list, has revised the net worth of the woman it named as America’s richest self-made woman last year from $4.5bn (£3.1bn) to zero.

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Media Files:

Television's challenge to the press – archive, 28 September 1957

Wed, 28 Sep 2016 04:00:55 GMT2016-09-28T04:00:55Z

28 September 1957: ITV plans to reach 90% of the population by 1959

In 1959 – “the effective national coverage year” – Independent Television will already be available to “somewhere between 90 and 92 per cent of the population of Britain. This estimate was given yesterday by Sir Robert Fraser, director-general of the Independent Television Authority. He told the conference of the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers at Hastings that in 1960 they would try to close the gap between 92 per cent and 98 per cent, “which is probably as high as you can get,” and added that this would require the building of ten to fifteen small stations, “to fill in those gaps which are inevitably left by orderly television transmitting development.”

Sir Robert said that “opinion advertising” was not allowed by the Television Act. Political advertisements, for instance, would have to be rejected. And it went further than politics: opinion advertising on any important matter on which there might be two opinions was not allowed. “I have a feeling that, as television advertising gets more and more powerful, and more useful to prestige advertisers, there may be more moves in the direction of television for opinion advertisements,” he said.

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Media Files:

Presidential debate breaks US ratings record in Clinton-Trump face-off

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 21:33:43 GMT2016-09-27T21:33:43Z

Viewership wasn’t as huge as expected with 83 million Americans tuning in, but it did surpass Ronald Reagan’s debate with Jimmy Carter in 1980

Ratings for the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are starting to trickle in, and while 83 million Americans watched, viewership was not quite as “yuge” as anticipated. Still, the figures are enough to break the 80.6 million viewer record set by the Ronald Reagan’s debate with Jimmy Carter in 1980.

Reagan and Carter had just a few channels competing for viewers, and no internet. The latest figure is all the more impressive given the number of digital streaming options available to viewers – CBS’s digital news division, CBSN, said it had logged 2.98m streams and 1.4 million unique viewers in total. YouTube said just under 2 million people streamed video of the debate from six news outlets that officially used its platform. Facebook, too, hosted live showings of the event contributed by multiple news outlets.

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Media Files:

Channel 4's Bake Off swoop aids those seeking its privatisation, says BBC boss

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 17:15:59 GMT2016-09-27T17:15:59Z

C4’s creative chief insists it ‘didn’t take’ hit show as James Purnell claims rival is too lightly regulated

The row over the BBC’s loss of the Great British Bake Off has broken into the open after a senior BBC executive said Channel 4 should be more tightly regulated and that the £75m raids made it more likely to be privatised.

James Purnell, director of strategy and education at the BBC and a former culture secretary, was highly critical of the raid by a publicly owned, commercially funded broadcaster. Channel 4 was “too lightly regulated”, he said, calling for the “chasm” between the two publicly owned broadcasters to be closed.

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Media Files:

Letters: ‘There was something very seductive about Richard Neville’

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 15:38:02 GMT2016-09-27T15:38:02Z

Alan Clayson writes: After Richard Neville and his Oz magazine colleagues surrendered edition 28 to teenagers, I submitted three articles – all of which were published. During May 1970, when “my” Oz was on sale, I gave it some showbiz at college, though knew there would be hell to pay if my parents heard about it. For the same reason, I got rid of my copy like a spy who’d memorised and eaten a top-secret document.

When the scandal unfolded in the papers at the time of the following year’s court case, I scanned them in a newsagent’s with mingled excitement and anxiety for my name, but found nothing until the following Sunday, when an excerpt from one of my pieces filled half a paragraph in the Observer. When the “guilty” verdicts had been announced and Richard and his co-defendants issued with regulation convict garb and all-off haircuts, I joined and then, with my claim of complicity in the “Schoolkids Oz” half-believed, led a protest march of about 12 people through Worcester’s main shopping thoroughfares – and up and down department store escalators until cautioned by a constable. I wrote to Richard in Wandsworth prison, and was thrilled when he replied, counselling me to “stay tuned in and react according to the situation”.

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Media Files:

TV industry could face 'harder diversity targets', says Ofcom chief

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 14:07:25 GMT2016-09-27T14:07:25Z

Sharon White makes one of strongest statements on issue to date, adding that regulator is looking at proposals as it prepares to take on BBC

Broadcasters could face tougher penalties and “harder-edged” regulation if they do not improve diversity, Ofcom chief executive Sharon White has said.

White said the television industry has made some progress since Lenny Henry called for legislation in 2014 to boost the low numbers of black, Asian and minority ethnic people on and off screen.

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Media Files:

Why the Daily Telegraph's Sam Allardyce sting was justified

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 12:33:29 GMT2016-09-27T12:33:29Z

There was a clear public interest in the newspaper’s use of subterfuge in order to expose the England football manager’s dealings

The Sam Allardyce story puts the journalistic use of subterfuge under the spotlight once more. Was the Daily Telegraph right to launch what amounts to a sting operation to expose the England football manager?

My unhesitating answer, based on my reading of the newspaper’s articles (and not on any extra inside knowledge) is yes.

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Media Files:

Stars pay tribute to Terry Wogan at Westminster Abbey thanksgiving

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 12:27:05 GMT2016-09-27T12:27:05Z

Service features performances from Katie Melua and Peter Gabriel, and tributes from BBC chief Tony Hall and DJ Chris Evans

Celebrities from the world of broadcasting and showbusiness have paid tribute to Sir Terry Wogan at a special service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey in London.

The veteran broadcaster died of cancer at the age of 77 on 31 January.

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Media Files:

BBC programme used anonymous single source to smear Gerry Adams

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:55:15 GMT2016-09-27T11:55:15Z

Spotlight documentary alleged that the Sinn Féin leader ordered a murder but Irish police say Adams ‘does not feature’ in their inquiries into the killing

Spotlight, the current affairs strand made by BBC Northern Ireland, has been garlanded with awards during its 43-year history.

But I think it has lost the run of itself after seeing its programme a week ago about the 2006 killing of a Sinn Féin official, Denis Donaldson. His death followed soon after he had admitted to being a British agent for the best part of 20 years.

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Media Files:

AP acquires British Movietone archive

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:00:27 GMT2016-09-27T11:00:27Z

Former cinema newsreels include coverage of the Coronation, 1966 World Cup final and Beatlemania

The Associated Press has acquired the British Movietone archive of newsreel footage of historic moments from the 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and the 1966 World Cup final to Beatlemania and visits to the UK by celebrities including Muhammad Ali and Marilyn Monroe.

AP, the largest news agency in the US, secured the archive of almost a century of footage from Newsreel Archive for an undisclosed sum.

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Media Files:

BBC denies iPlayer password plans are part of licence fee crackdown

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 09:42:42 GMT2016-09-27T09:42:42Z

Corporation says making iPlayer users enter a password is aimed at giving them a ‘better BBC’

The BBC has denied that plans for iPlayer users to enter a password from next year are part of a crackdown on TV licence fee evaders.

The corporation has announced that viewers will need to enter a password from from early 2017 to watch shows on the device, saying that it is designed to create a “more personal BBC for everyone”.

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Media Files:

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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Media Files:

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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Media Files:

The Guardian view on press freedom: the need for constant vigilance | Editorial

Sun, 14 Aug 2016 16:54:49 GMT2016-08-14T16:54:49Z

From Turkey to El Salvador, Asia to the Americas, the best journalists fight to hold a mirror to the world. They deserve our gratitude, and need our support

The news about the news is grim. In Turkey, notorious for cracking down on the media long before July’s attempted coup, authorities have closed more than 130 outlets and issued warrants for 89 reporters and other media workers since the coup a month ago; 17 journalists have been charged with membership of a terror group. The journalist Can Dündar, facing six years in prison for reporting allegations of arms sales to Syrian rebel forces, is a recipient of one of this year’s International Press Freedom awards from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, together with journalists from Egypt, El Salvador and India.

In China, where the Communist party has always determined which news is fit to print, authorities have ordered internet portals to abandon original reporting on political or social topics because of its “extremely vile effect”. There are growing concerns, too, about the editorial independence of papers in Hong Kong, which has historically enjoyed far more freedom than the mainland. Its chief executive has just appointed his dentist, a man who described editorial independence as “mythologised”, to chair the public broadcaster’s board of advisers.

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Media Files:

Fairness and balance falters before Trump in the US media

Sun, 14 Aug 2016 06:00:28 GMT2016-08-14T06:00:28Z

The American press has abandoned impartiality when it comes to the Republican’s wildest claims. Would the rigid neutrality imposed on the BBC survive him?

The stark media question of June is back, demanding answers in August. “If you’re a working journalist and you believe that Donald J Trump is a demagogue playing to the nation’s worst racist and nationalistic tendencies, that he cosies up to anti-American dictators and that he would be dangerous with control of the United States nuclear codes, how the heck are you supposed to cover him?”

It’s that fairness-and-balance dilemma that haunted the BBC through Brexit, posed in extreme terms. And Jim Rutenberg, the media correspondent of the New York Times, wriggles to find a response. This is “uncomfortable and uncharted territory for every mainstream, non-opinion journalist I’ve ever known, and, by normal standards, untenable”. It “upsets balance, that idealistic form of journalism with a capital ‘J’ we’ve been trained to always strive for”. But, “let’s face it: balance has been on vacation since Mr Trump stepped onto his golden Trump Tower escalator last year to announce his candidacy”.

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Media Files:

US newspapers unite in disgust at Donald Trump's attack on Clinton | Roy Greenslade

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 12:53:34 GMT2016-08-10T12:53:34Z

His veiled ‘assassination threat’ against Hillary provokes negative front page headlines and a call by the New York Daily News to end his campaign

Donald Trump’s “assassination threat” against Hillary Clinton appears to have united US newspapers against him.

From coast to coast across the States, papers carried negative headlines and articles about the Republican presidential candidate after his extraordinary remarks about his Democrat rival.

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Media Files:

Charging money to go ad-free? The New York Times meets the BBC

Sun, 26 Jun 2016 06:00:06 GMT2016-06-26T06:00:06Z

Former corporation man Mark Thompson has hit on a new, yet strikingly familiar, formula for revenues in the digital age

You can see why big newspaper managers – say Mark Thompson at the New York Times – grow indignant when “cynical”, “money-grasping” adblocking businesses demand money from papers in return for leaving their ads unblocked. That’s “unsavoury” with a Godfather twist. But brows may furrow a little when Thompson tells conference audiences that he’s preparing to sell readers a “higher-tier” ad-free digital package himself.

“We do want to offer all of our users as much choice as we can, and we recognise that there are some users – both subscribers and non-subscribers – who would prefer to have an ad-free experience.” Which would seem to mean that, if you pay us more, we’ll block the ads for you ourselves.

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Media Files:

What Silicon Valley's billionaires don't understand about the first amendment | Nellie Bowles

Fri, 27 May 2016 21:13:36 GMT2016-05-27T21:13:36Z

Some in Silicon Valley have been threatening the ‘uppity’ press with rhetoric about journalists needing ‘to be taught lessons’. That’s not how it works

No major American cultural force is more opposed to examination and more active in suppressing it today than Silicon Valley. So when it was revealed this week that Facebook board member Peter Thiel had been secretly bankrolling a lawsuit to inflict financial ruin on the news and gossip site Gawker, Silicon Valley cheered.

The investor Vinod Khosla wrote on Twitter that the “press gets very uppity when challenged”. And that these bad journalists need “to be taught lessons”.

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Media Files:

Here's why I'm suing the New York Times for discrimination | Marjorie Walker

Fri, 29 Apr 2016 16:36:48 GMT2016-04-29T16:36:48Z

After watching my beloved workplace stop valuing minorities, older folks and women, I’ve finally had enough

I have to admit, it was not an easy decision to sue the New York Times, the company where I have worked for eight years in the advertising division. I’m a black woman in my 60s, and I’m currently battling multiple myeloma.

But in recent years I have had a front-row seat to the Times’s new management systematically purging my division (and others) of older employees, people of color and women whose family obligations are viewed as interfering with work.

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Media Files:

New York: if you can make it there, why try to make it anywhere else?

Sun, 24 Apr 2016 06:00:09 GMT2016-04-24T06:00:09Z

The New York Times is gambling $50m on expansion to ‘become a leader in global news’. But that’s not what I read it for

America’s greatest newspaper has paused at the yellow brick crossroads – and gambled hugely. Here comes a unit called “New York Times Global”, supposed new driver of international growth, carrying a $50m pot to stake and spend.

“Because our digital report is still designed and produced mainly for a US audience, we have not come close to realising our potential to attract readers outside our home market,” say chairman, chief executive and editor together. “Just as the Times became a truly national news organisation in a previous generation, we believe we now have the opportunity to become an indispensable leader in global news and opinion.”

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Media Files:

Would UK political coverage be possible if we adopted the NY Times's rules?

Wed, 16 Mar 2016 08:00:14 GMT2016-03-16T08:00:14Z

New guidelines at New York’s main newspaper over the use of anonymous sources might prohibit the publication of controversial stories in Britain

I wonder how many British newspaper stories would be published if the new rules introduced by the New York Times were to apply here.

The paper’s public editor, Margaret Sullivan, revealed that the NYT has tightened its guidelines on the use of anonymous sources in an effort to avoid publishing incorrect information.

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Media Files:

Bake Off will be a 'total disaster' on Channel 4, says Lord Sugar

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 09:19:58 GMT2016-09-27T09:19:58Z

The Apprentice star says his loyalty is with the BBC and it is not ‘morally correct’ for commercial channels to poach its shows

Lord Sugar predicts that The Great British Bake Off will be a “total disaster” when it moves to Channel 4 – and has pledged his future to the BBC.

The Apprentice star believes that Channel 4 will not be able to copy the BBC’s recipe for success.

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Media Files:

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

Media Files:

Coronation Street to be investigated over 'Kunta Kinte' remark

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 11:04:58 GMT2016-09-26T11:04:58Z

More than 450 viewers complained over a comment Eva Price, played by Catherine Tyldesley, made about her hair

Coronation Street is to be investigated by the broadcasting regulator after hundreds of viewers complained about a “racist” comment a character made about her hair.

The episode, broadcast on August Bank Holiday Monday, saw Eva Price, played by Catherine Tyldesley, visit Audrey’s hair salon, where she remarked: “I have more roots than Kunta Kinte.”

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Media Files:

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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Media Files:

Brangelina brings the first wave of self-cancelling celebrity news

Sun, 25 Sep 2016 06:00:26 GMT2016-09-25T06:00:26Z

The divorce ‘stories’ are coming so thick and fast that none seems to have any salience for more than a couple of hours

Tim Farron was just stepping up to his party conference podium when Brangelina split. Cue TV gags about Hollywood ructions ruining Tim’s big day. So of course a Facebook furore and Twitter deluge followed the Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie rupture (while the Bun and the Mirror cleared six or eight pages and more upmarket editors pondered which way to turn).

But is past behaviour any real guide to divorce news today? Celebrity magazine sales on both sides of the Atlantic are far from their lofty peak and sliding. Pitt plays grizzled heroes these days; Jolie seems happier behind a camera, directing. Six children are many things, but not perhaps the guarantee of continuing rose-tinted romance. Pitt’s previous marriage to Jennifer Aniston is old news, remembered in tranquillity by Friends fans who were young at the time.

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Media Files:

Father furious after working daughter labelled 'Aussie bludger' by News Corp tabloid

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:28:48 GMT2016-09-22T00:28:48Z

Steven Arman says Sydney tabloid the Daily Telegraph did not sufficiently check its assertions that his daughter Amy was a ‘new breed of Aussie bludger’

The first Steven Arman knew of his daughter becoming the public face of a “new breed of Aussie bludger” was when a friend called and told him to pick up a copy of the Daily Telegraph.

There, on the front page of the Sydney tabloid, was Amy and an older friend, Ashleigh, under the banner “Young, able and unwilling to work”. A few days later the treasurer, Scott Morrison, was threatening to strip them of Centrelink benefits in an interview with radio host Ray Hadley and the pair had become figures of hate online.

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Media Files:

Pro-Brexit articles dominated newspaper referendum coverage, study shows

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 06:01:52 GMT2016-09-20T06:01:52Z

Theresa May accounted for just 1% of politicians mentioned in survey of press reporting in four months leading up to 23 June vote

Theresa May, the then home secretary, kept a relatively low profile in newspaper coverage dominated by pro-Leave articles in the run-up to the EU referendum, according to new research.

The prime minister may have backed a vote to remain in the EU, but she did not even make the top 10 most cited politicians in a survey of UK press coverage in the four months leading up to the 23 June poll by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, accounting for just 1% of mentions.

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Media Files:

Channel 4 still pursuing 2017 Great British Bake Off launch

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 17:10:45 GMT2016-09-26T17:10:45Z

Love Productions hopes to convince BBC that it should allow rival to air show in the ‘public interest’ despite contractual obligations

Channel 4 is still hoping it can convince the BBC to allow it to broadcast a new version of Great British Bake Off next year, despite contractual obligations that would rule this out until 2018 at the earliest.

Love Productions, which has made the show for the last seven years, could be barred from launching Bake Off on a rival channel for 12 months from the last episode of the current series, under the terms of the contract signed with the BBC.

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Eriksson on defensive after he tells all to fake sheikh

Mon, 16 Jan 2006 07:23:10 GMT2006-01-16T07:23:10Z

· England coach said he would go after World Cup
· Owen and Beckham's unhappiness revealed

England's football coach, Sven-Goran Eriksson, spent yesterday making a series of apologetic telephone calls to a group of his leading players after he fell victim to an elaborate "fake sheikh" sting just five months before the World Cup finals.

After enjoying lobster and £900-worth of vintage champagne with the News of the World's notorious undercover investigator posing as a rich Arab businessman, Eriksson said he would quit England if they won the World Cup and was prepared to become the £5m-a-year manager of Aston Villa as part of a takeover bid.

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Jon Stewart: why I quit The Daily Show

Sat, 18 Apr 2015 10:30:04 GMT2015-04-18T10:30:04Z

Stewart’s decision to retire as host of the satirical news show after 16 years has left liberal America in mourning. So why is he leaving just before an election – and what will happen when he steps out from behind the desk?

There was no one moment when Jon Stewart knew it was time for him to leave what he describes as “the most perfect job in the world”; no epiphany, no flashpoint. “Life,” he says, in the lightly self-mocking tone he uses when talking about himself, “doesn’t really work that way, with a finger pointing at you out of the sky, saying, ‘Leave now!’ That only happens when you’re fired, and trust me, I know about that.”

Instead, he describes his decision to quit The Daily Show, the American satirical news programme he has hosted for 16 years, as something closer to the end of a long-term relationship. “It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working any more, or that I didn’t know how to do it. It was more, ‘Yup, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction.’” He slaps his hands on his desk, conclusively.

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Does quitting social media make you happier? Yes, say young people doing it

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 14:00:43 GMT2016-09-21T14:00:43Z

Teenagers and young adults switching off from Facebook and other social apps reveal how the change has affected their lives

Our love of social media seems to have grown and grown in the past decade, but recent studies show the tide may be turning for some platforms, with young people in particular ditching Facebook. One study claims that more than 11 million teenagers left Facebook between 2011 and 2014. It’s been argued that they are swapping public platforms such as Twitter and Instagram for more private messaging apps like WhatsApp and Snapchat.

We asked the Guardian’s younger readers whether they have quit social media and why, as well as what apps they are ditching. Almost all reported a greater sense of happiness after going offline. Here, we share some of their experiences.

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Martin Bashir returns to BBC to cover religious affairs

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 17:41:50 GMT2016-09-26T17:41:50Z

Controversial journalist known for interviews with Princess Diana and Michael Jackson rejoins corporation

Martin Bashir, the journalist who became a household name after he persuaded Princess Diana to open up about her marriage in a BBC Panorama interview, is returning to the corporation as a reporter.

Bashir, who also caused a worldwide sensation when he secured eight months of access to Michael Jackson for a controversial documentary, is to be the BBC’s new religious affairs correspondent.

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WikiLeaks to publish more Hillary Clinton emails - Julian Assange

Sun, 12 Jun 2016 14:50:20 GMT2016-06-12T14:50:20Z

New release likely to fan controversy and provide further ammunition for Republican presidential rival Donald Trump

Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has said his organisation is preparing to publish more emails Hillary Clinton sent and received while US secretary of state.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is under FBI investigation to determine whether she broke federal law by using her private email in sending classified information. A new WikiLeaks release of Clinton emails is likely to fan a controversy that has bedevilled her campaign and provide further ammunition for Donald Trump, her Republican presidential rival, who has used the issue to attack her.

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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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Freeing Peter Greste: 'the human spirit can endure a lot more than we all think'

Fri, 26 Aug 2016 09:15:43 GMT2016-08-26T09:15:43Z

The family of the Australian journalist Peter Greste, who was arrested and held by Egyptian authorities for more than a year along with his two Al-Jazeera colleagues, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, fought a long battle for his release. Greste and his family discuss the arduous and complicated legal process that gained support from journalists around the world and ended in his release, and eventually that of his colleagues as well

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Ad Break: Nike, UNHCR, Visa, Donate Life – video

Thu, 11 Aug 2016 14:02:26 GMT2016-08-11T14:02:26Z

There’s lots of Olympics in this week’s round-up of advertising from around the world with Nike leading the way - Oscar Isaac’s voiceover adds an extra dimension to their tremendous advert celebrating the indomitable spirit of sporting ambition. Next up are two films - for the UNHCR and Visa - which link Olympic ideals to the plight of refugees . Finally, away from the hustle and bustle of Rio, a film which adopts a highly unusual approach in trying to persuade people they should carry a donor card

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Jean-Claude Van Damme walks off Australian TV interview – video

Sun, 31 Jul 2016 11:31:14 GMT2016-07-31T11:31:14Z

Action star Jean-Claude Van Damme walks off during a live interview with Australia’s Channel Seven, saying it was ‘boring’. While being interviewed on the Sunrise show from video link in Bangkok on Saturday, the Belgian actor complains the media has been asking him the same questions for the past 25 years. He walks away in the end, saying he’s ‘too natural’

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Ad Break: Channel 4 Paralympics Coverage, Samsung Galaxy, Old Spice, Under Armour – video

Fri, 22 Jul 2016 12:18:35 GMT2016-07-22T12:18:35Z

This week’s compilation begins with Channel 4’s splendid trail for their coverage of the Paralympics Games. Following that, there’s Samsung’s comparison between surfers and snails; a bizarre advert for Old Spice from the US; and Under Armour’s deification of baseball star Bryce Harper

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Jon Stewart's message to Donald Trump supporters: 'You don't own patriotism' – video

Fri, 22 Jul 2016 11:21:57 GMT2016-07-22T11:21:57Z

Jon Stewart appears on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert with a ‘Daily Show’ routine, just hours after Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination on Thursday. Stewart criticises people who say they want their country back, exclaiming: “This country isn’t yours. You don’t own it.”

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Ad Break: Finíssimas de Campofrío, Virgin Media, BBC Sport, Nike – video

Fri, 15 Jul 2016 12:11:03 GMT2016-07-15T12:11:03Z

The funny Spanish commercial for pizza featuring a betrothed couple which kicks off this week’s Ad Break collection is followed by a sporty trio of adverts. The 9.58 seconds it took for Usian Bolt to set the world record forms the basis of a Virgin Media advert before the BBC lays down its marker for the Rio Olympics and Nike unveil an empowering piece of work made for the Indian market

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Ad Break: Palace x Reebok, BT Broadband, Coca Cola, Project Everyone – video

Thu, 07 Jul 2016 11:26:40 GMT2016-07-07T11:26:40Z

This week’s compilation starts with a glorious spoof featuring Jonah Hill for a collaboration between skatewear brand Palace and Reebok and ends with a reimagining of the Spice Girls’ promo for Wannabe for equality lobby group Project Everyone. In between Ryan Reynolds provides more hilarity for BT and Jordan Speith makes the best of a rain break for Coca-Cola

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ABC’s Catalyst program criticised for being biased and sensationalist – video

Wed, 06 Jul 2016 03:28:54 GMT2016-07-06T03:28:54Z

Clips from an episode of ABC’s flagship science program, Catalyst, which has been found to have breached the broadcaster’s impartiality guidelines. The episode, Wi-Fried?, was broadcast in February and looks at the potential dangers of using electronic devices such as Wi-Fi hubs and mobile phones

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