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Media | The Guardian

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

Published: Sat, 25 Nov 2017 02:10:26 GMT2017-11-25T02:10:26Z

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

In these tumultuous times, we need the Guardian’s values more than ever before | Letters

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 18:40:16 GMT2017-11-24T18:40:16Z

Readers respond to Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner’s recent article on the great challenges facing the media in holding truth to power

Katharine Viner’s piece was responsible, reflective commentary at its best (A mission for journalism in a time of crisis, 18 November). Her analysis of our times speaks to us all. Many readers will share feelings of displacement and confusion, even of despair. It appears that ordinary citizens recognise that the political and economic landscape we inhabit has changed, and is changing, at a “superevolutionary” rate, one that we fear outstrips our ability to affect events.

I became a supporter of the Guardian because, having worked in the media myself, I understand that the old “advertising-led” funding model is no longer fit for purpose. I figured it was time to put my money where my mouth would like to be. Are we at a crossroads, or at a fork in the road, or has the road simply petered out? Our sense of hope, a hope that Katharine addresses directly in the piece, rests on our collective ability to navigate past the dilemmas we now face as a community, indeed as members of a common humanity.

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Robert Peston: 'I’m not saying Britain is finished, but our current problems are not a blip'

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 16:44:06 GMT2017-11-24T16:44:06Z

ITV’s political editor believes a universal basic income for every Briton is inevitable and that without a radical reinvention of the welfare state, the country is hurtling towards economic chaos

It is two years since Robert Peston left the BBC for ITV, but he doesn’t think his release from the corporation’s strict rules on impartiality has made any difference to him. I’m not sure I would agree. Since breaking the Northern Rock story in 2007, the broadcaster has become a kind of celebrity economist, and his delivery style, which swoops between languid and excitably falsetto, used to attract almost as much attention as his words. But while he still clearly enjoys his celebrity, today the 57-year-old seems more politically exercised – almost to the point of anguish – than he did even at the height of the financial crisis. Now ITV’s political editor, he appears to practise little if any self-censorship, swears exuberantly, and comes across as unexpectedly radical.

Had Peston been delivering the budget this week, it would have contained a dramatic announcement on NHS funding. “Because it was overwhelmingly clear from all the evidence that the single biggest determinant of leave’s victory in the referendum was the promise of an extra £350m for the NHS. So I think it’s scandalous that the government hasn’t said: ‘Obviously you want £350m more a week to go to the NHS. And whether or not we get it from the EU, we guarantee that whatever happens we will put that extra £350m a week into the NHS.’ It’s absolutely scandalous that the government has not committed to that.”

Related: Robert Peston: ‘People said I looked tense, but it had nothing to do with the financial crisis’

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Christmas loneliness is a problem – festive hats off to the pub with a plan | Dave Berry

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 15:21:59 GMT2017-11-24T15:21:59Z

A London pub’s offer of a free dinner for anyone who’s alone at Christmas is a heartwarming reminder of a social ill that exists all year round

To say that somebody is a “product of their environment” is to suggest that their actions or behaviour can be explained by where they’ve grown up, where they’ve worked and, in particular, who they’ve had around them.

For example, a child isn’t born with a certain view on race, gender or a favourite football team. I have a school friend who earned a work placement at a bank in the City and he wasn’t even a little bit of a tosser when he merrily travelled off to Liverpool Street in 2002. However, I’m almost certain that the 15 years he’s spent within that environment has possibly helped chisel out the man who stood before me at a recent reunion said he was “more than happy to spunk his latest bonus up the wall”.

Related: Loneliness as bad for health as long-term illness, says GPs' chief

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Think reality TV is mindless entertainment? What about the news?

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:59:02 GMT2017-11-24T14:59:02Z

It’s quite possible to get addicted to stuff that seems edifying and intellectual, as well as to brainless nonsense

Throughout history, people who like to think of themselves as high-minded have sneered at the masses, frittering their days away on “mindless entertainment”. The definition of “mindless” keeps changing: not so long ago, novels were considered a frivolous indulgence; then broadcasting took their place, and novel-reading became something that high-minded people did. For years, I told myself I wasn’t like the Average Person who watched four hours of TV a day (my average must be more like 15 minutes), because I was doing something much more brainy: surfing the internet. Recently, largely thanks to social media, it’s become impossible to ignore the fact that this is often mindless, too. So now, on my more self-disciplined days, I stay off social media, and feel slightly superior about it. And what do I do instead, since I’m far too smart to waste my life on rubbish. Now, I listen to podcasts.

Related: Christmas shopping online? Don't fall into the ratings trap

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George Takei saga sheds light on the murky world of pay-to-promote news

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 12:00:04 GMT2017-11-24T12:00:04Z

Media companies ended their ‘paid promotion partnerships’ with Takei after a claim of sexual assault. But what are these celebrity deals, and are they ethical?

News that several online media companies including Mic, Slate and Refinery29 have severed commercial ties with Star Trek actor George Takei following allegations of sexual assault has shone a light on the little-understood practice of online news sites paying celebrities to post links to their content.

Millennial-focused website Mic reported that it and five other media sites had “ended paid promotion partnerships that once had their articles and videos shared on Takei’s social media platforms” in the wake of an accusation that Takei sexually assaulted a young actor in 1981. Takei denies the claim.

Related: Hollywood actors speak of 'rampant' problem of male abusers targeting men

Related: Social media stars face crackdown over money from brands

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Ken Clarke’s revelations show Murdoch’s influence still needs investigating | Tom Watson

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:54:15 GMT2017-11-24T11:54:15Z

Clarke’s comments, along with the latest phone-hacking payouts and sex scandals at Fox, demonstrate the clear need for a Leveson 2

• Tom Watson MP is deputy leader of the Labour party

Ken Clarke has suggested that David Cameron did “some sort of deal” to win the support of Rupert Murdoch’s newspapers in the run-up to the 2010 election. According to Clarke, in his evidence to the Competition and Markets Authority, when – at Cameron’s instigation – he held a meeting as justice secretary with Rebekah Brooks, she “described herself as running the government now in partnership with David Cameron”.

Clarke says that she tried to use this influence to get him to introduce prison ships. She failed in that particular lobbying effort – which turned out to be good news for some of her subsequently imprisoned former colleagues. But the Murdochs were interested in more than just prisons policy – they always have been.

Related: Ken Clarke: Tories had deal with Rupert Murdoch for 2010 election

Related: News Group settles 17 cases related to allegations of criminality at the Sun

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Sinclair's vast media merger threatens democratic ideals. Congress must fight it

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:00:03 GMT2017-11-24T11:00:03Z

Sinclair’s proposed purchase of Tribune Media has sparked fears of a Trump-aligned national TV giant. But the real problem is a threat to free speech

Many liberals and progressives fear that Sinclair Broadcast Group’s attempt to buy Tribune Media will result in a new, all-powerful, Trump-aligned national TV network and deepen the conservative movement’s existing dominance of radio. To be sure, Sinclair’s existing programming is to the right of Fox News.

Related: 'The most dangerous US company you have never heard of": Sinclair, a rightwing media giant

A diverse, de-concentrated, and competitive media system protects free speech in the United States

Related: AT&T's Time Warner takeover: justice department aims to block $85bn deal

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The 10 best things to do this week: Rose Wylie and The Disaster Artist

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 09:00:00 GMT2017-11-24T09:00:00Z

The 83-year-old artist gets her first major London exhibition, while James Franco’s semi-biopic of director Tommy Wiseau opens

Rose Wylie: Quack Quack
It feels as if the art world has been playing catch-up when it comes to Kent-based Rose Wylie’s large paintings, often inspired by recollections and facts (Pink Skater: Will I Win, Will I Win, above). Five years ago, at the age of 77, she found herself being talked about as an up-and-coming artist, while this show is her first major London exhibition. Better late than never though, eh?
At the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, W2, to 11 February

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Indian newspapers run blank pages to protest journalist killing

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 06:29:46 GMT2017-11-24T06:29:46Z

Papers take step after Suddip Datta Bhowmick was allegedly shot dead on orders of an army official, the third reporter to have been murdered this year

Newspapers in the north-eastern Indian state of Tripura have run blank editorial pages to protest the murder of a journalist this week, the third prominent killing of a media worker in India since September.

Suddip Datta Bhaumik, a crime reporter, was allegedly shot dead on the orders of an army official on Tuesday while investigating a story on a paramilitary base.

Related: Indian journalist critical of Hindu extremists is shot dead in Bangalore

Majority of the newspapers in Tripura leave the space for editorials blank in protest against killing of journalist Sudip Datta Bhowmik.

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Tom Baker returns to Doctor Who to finish lost 1979 episode

Fri, 24 Nov 2017 00:01:15 GMT2017-11-24T00:01:15Z

Longest-serving Doctor films new footage to complete Shada, an episode that was abandoned due to a BBC strike

The Doctor Who actor Tom Baker has made a surprise return as the Time Lord in new scenes filmed to complete a lost episode of the BBC show.

Baker last regularly appeared as the Doctor in 1981, when the character regenerated and the role was taken over by Peter Davison.

Related: Tom Baker: how I made Doctor Who

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Spectator Australia takes a hit with big Grantham floods payout

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 21:40:20 GMT2017-11-23T21:40:20Z

Struggling conservative magazine makes out of court payment to Wagner family. Plus: Marian Wilkinson retires from Four Corners

Spectator Australia, the conservative magazine already struggling to survive with paid sales of about 8,000 copies, will be deeply wounded by a $572,674 payment to a Toowoomba family who say they were defamed by the publication. Editor Rowan Dean, who was Mark Latham’s co-host on the doomed Sky News show Outsiders, has maintained his silence about the eye-watering sum and how it will affect the Australian arm of the UK magazine.

Denis Wagner, one of four brothers to take legal action, told Weekly Beast the family just wanted justice after the magazine published an article, “Dam Busters! How Cater and Jones burst Grantham’s wall of lies”, which implied they were to blame for the Grantham flood. “We are pleased with the successful resolution of the claim, which vindicates the stance we have taken in this matter,” Wagner said. “We are now focusing on vindicating our reputations in our cases against Alan Jones and Channel Nine.”

Related: Muriel's Wedding the musical: how channelling Mark Latham brought Muriel up to date

Related: ABC chairman rejects government's request on salary disclosures

#ParadisePapers: @mwilkinson54 takes us inside one of the most notorious tax havens: More tonight on #4Corners

⚡️ “27 photos from 27 years”

Andrew Meares has left the building.

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Ken Clarke: Tories had deal with Rupert Murdoch for 2010 election

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:34:54 GMT2017-11-23T19:34:54Z

Former minister suggests deal involved appointment by prime minister David Cameron of Andy Coulson, former News of the World editor, to position at No 10

David Cameron may have done “some sort of a deal” with Rupert Murdoch to win the Sun’s support for the Conservatives in the 2010 general election, Ken Clarke, the former justice secretary, has claimed.

“Quite how David Cameron got the Sun out of the hands of Gordon Brown I shall never know,” Clarke said. “Rupert would never let Tony [Blair – Brown’s predecessor] down because Tony had backed the Iraq war. Maybe it was some sort of a deal. David would not tell me what it was. Suddenly we got the Murdoch empire on our side.”

Related: Ken Clarke’s revelations show Murdoch’s influence still needs investigating | Tom Watson

Related: Revealed: the deal between Rupert Murdoch and Tony Blair | Andrew Sparrow

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Teenybopper’s first love was David Cassidy | Letters

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 18:52:41 GMT2017-11-23T18:52:41Z

NHS drugs bill | Facebook | Holly Golightly | David Cassidy | Pronunciation of Italian words

If drug companies raise pricing when drugs are debranded (NHS taken for a ride?, 22 November), why do we not establish a company owned by the NHS or directly by the government to supply the drugs at cost? Surely we cannot afford an ideology that prevents this.
David Barnard
Cholesbury, Buckinghamshire

• Jonathan Freedland suggests “go to settings and select ‘show most recent’” (Opinion, 18 November). If you do this in Facebook, then exit and re-enter, you will find it has reverted to “Top stories”. So the algorithm overrides the user’s own choice. This is indeed sinister.
Tim Large

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Sir Brian Leveson asked to advise ministers on second press inquiry

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 18:16:01 GMT2017-11-23T18:16:01Z

Ministers are consulting with the judge on whether to press ahead with the second part of the inquiry into the British press

Sir Brian Leveson has been asked to advise ministers on holding the second part of a public inquiry into the British press and is reviewing submissions made by newspapers on future regulation of the sector.

The judge was asked by David Cameron to chair the first part of the public inquiry following the phone-hacking scandal but after recommending the creation of a regulator backed by statute in 2012, he left the subject behind.

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BT Sport’s fine Ashes partnerships blighted by commercial breakdowns | Simon Burnton

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 14:32:36 GMT2017-11-23T14:32:36Z

Matt Smith and co had a solid opening despite a late wobble, while there’s an Ashes bromance in the air for Graeme Swann and Damien Fleming, but the adverts did jar a little

Fade in. Interior, an extraordinarily messy room with a massage bed in the middle. Clothing and footwear are strewn across all visible surfaces and large bags are scattered haphazardly across the remaining floor space. Pads and bats are piled up, leaning against benches and walls. Exposed pipes meander around the ceiling, not in a trendy architect‑inspired Pompidou‑Centre way but just in a couldn’t-really-be-bothered-to-hide-them way. In the corner a television is attached tightly to the wall, so that instead of facing into the room it points straight ahead, allowing hardly anyone to watch it comfortably, especially given that it’s almost at ceiling height.

It is, anyway, off. Television is not being watched in this room, it is being produced. A solitary figure stands amid the clutter: it is Matt Smith, BT Sport’s Ashes anchor. “This is the England dressing room here at the Gabba,” he says. “This is where the magic or the misery happens. That [he indicates the only space in the entire room where someone has actually folded their laundry] is Joe Root’s corner. What he says in here over the next few minutes might be – might be – pivotal for what comes over the next few weeks.”

Related: Australia rally as England’s Joe Root falls late on even Ashes opening day

Related: Ashes 2017-18: Australia v England: first Test, day one - as it happened

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I got a 'don't block my drive' note on my ambulance: this is what happened next

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 13:07:42 GMT2017-11-23T13:07:42Z

Crews are used to getting these messages but the tweet of this one spiralled out of control

My ambulance made headlines this month because someone left a note on the windscreen saying, “You may be saving lives, but don’t park your van in a stupid place and block my drive”. A colleague tweeted a picture of it that went viral.

We noticed it after arriving at hospital with a patient in a critical condition. It had been our first job of the day and when we had pulled up outside the property, people were waiting outside to meet us. I could tell from the expression of one man that he was very concerned. We weren’t going to be at the scene for long. The patient was vomiting blood. I told my colleague to get a stretcher.

Crew alerted an extremely poorly patient to hospital... minimal on scene time, arrived at hospital to find this note... this patient was TIME-CRITCAL. @OFFICIALWMAS

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At the Stranger’s Gate by Adam Gopnik review – a prose stylist on New York

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 10:00:27 GMT2017-11-23T10:00:27Z

A memoir by the New Yorker staff writer becomes overburdened with ease. It is least successful when he reflects on home and married life

I never tried cocaine,” Adam Gopnik admits in his latest memoir. “I don’t think I was even offered cocaine. Or maybe I was, and was so dim that I didn’t know it was cocaine I was being offered.”

With that admission, readers will deduce that punk, grit, flash and excess will be missing from this account of New York in the 1980s. With sneakers on his feet and Sting on his Walkman, Gopnik’s former self sets out into the city, confident in who he is and what he will ingest: champagne, mostly, as well as a lot of Rhône valley wines, accompanied by Gershwin. This alchemical mixture will hopefully allow him to emerge as his desired New York self: “some odd amalgam of EB White and Lorenz Hart”.

Gopnik’s sentences build into paragraphs that are architectural feats

Related: Adam Gopnik on American artists and Paris

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Facebook to tell users if they interacted with Russia's 'troll army'

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 09:45:55 GMT2017-11-23T09:45:55Z

Social network says tool will let users see if they have liked or followed accounts created by organisation that carries out misinformation operations

Facebook has promised to tell users whether they liked or followed a member of Russia’s notorious “troll army”, accused of trying to influence elections in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The social network says it will create a tool allowing users to see whether they interacted with a Facebook page or Instagram account created by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a state-backed organisation based in St Petersburg that carries out online misinformation operations.

Related: From Peppa Pig to Trump, the web is shaping us. It’s time we fought back | Jonathan Freedland

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Labour's extra borrowing would pay for itself, says McDonnell

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 09:15:54 GMT2017-11-23T09:15:54Z

Shadow chancellor refuses to be pinned down on specific cost of servicing debt from party’s spending plans, accusing BBC presenter of ‘trite journalism’

The shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, has refused to put a figure on the cost of Labour’s plans for extra borrowing and dismissed being challenged on specific numbers as “trite journalism”.

Asked nine times by BBC Radio 4’s Today presenter Mishal Husain how much extra it would cost to service public debt under Labour, McDonnell refused to give a figure. Instead he repeatedly claimed that extra borrowing would “pay for itself”.

Related: Budget 2017: Hammond dismisses claim stamp duty cut will just push up prices - Politics live

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Refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani released after arrest on Manus

Thu, 23 Nov 2017 06:26:35 GMT2017-11-23T06:26:35Z

Boochani held by PNG’s paramilitary Mobile Squad and says he was pushed, had his belongings broken and was accused of ‘reporting against us’

• PNG police move into detention centre and tell refugees to leave

Papua New Guinea’s paramilitary police officers detained and then released refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani during a raid on the Manus Island detention centre.

On Thursday morning PNG police, the paramilitary Mobile Squad and immigration officers entered the centre to force out the remaining hundreds of refugees who for more than three weeks have camped in deteriorating conditions.

Related: Manus Island: PNG police move into detention centre and tell refugees to leave

They are looking for me and Behrouz they found him but they are not going to find me. These are police are taking Behrouz.

We are blockading right now. So many police and immigration officers are around us at this moment. They destroyed everything and our belongings and right now are shouting at us to leave the prison camp. I am tweeting from a toilet right now.

Related: Twelve former Australians of the Year condemn government and urge action on Manus

I’ve just been released. They hancuffed me for more than two hours in a place behind the prison camp. The police commander yelled at me ‘you are reporting against us.’ They pushed me several times and broke my belongings. Will write more about it later.

Finally my friend Behrouz is free and safe thank you for your solidarity and support am sure with your help we gonna make it together✌️✌️✌️

Related: Behrouz Boochani wins Amnesty International award for writing from Manus

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