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The News, and who decides what we should know in the world?

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Cowley

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This is just something I’ve been wondering about recently.
I’m really not into conspiracy theories whatsoever because they’re generally a load of ridiculous nonsense. But this is something that’s played on my mind for a while now and although I’ve done a little digging into it I’d be curious to see what everyone else thinks?

A few months ago I remember clicking on one of the main news sites and around third or fourth down the list was a horrendous story about a female police officer in Australia who’d along with her colleague stopped someone for speeding.
Basically there was a crash and the officer ended up dying, yet the person who they’d stopped was (verbally) completely out of order as the poor woman laid dying on the road.
This story was on that site and after a skim through it became obvious that it was actually on all of the main sites despite being on the exact opposite side of the world and having no relevance whatsoever to anyone in this country other than to make you feel awful once you’d read it.

This was something that I’d been thinking about for a while at the time so I started doing a bit of basic research.
All of the main news sites that night showed the same top 10 stories in various different orders and with various different spins, but basically they were pretty much the same top ten whatever site you looked at, and I’m pretty sure that if you did the same thing now this second you’d find exactly the same...

I understand that there’s lots of different background reasons that we’ve ended up with the media that we’ve got (owners behind certain platforms, traditional right vs left etc etc).
But despite all of that, and in a time where communication is incomparable to 30 years ago. How have we ended up where we’ve ended up?
 
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Gloster

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A few thoughts on this. Coincidentally, I happen to have been thinking over the last few days about how much of the news feed on my yahoo e-mail account is of matters that ought to be of no interest to people in this country, except for political or celebrity wonks. We have increasing globalisation, which means Americanisation. We share - sort of - a language with America and, in an age of downsizing and doing things on the cheap, it becomes easier to put up something in the same language, even if it is little or no real importance to this country. The main media owners have misused the need for a free press, taking the opportunity to publish items that suit their political or financial interests, and then anaesthetise the public’s thinking by filling up the rest of the space with anything that is cheap. I could go on...
 

Cowley

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A few thoughts on this. Coincidentally, I happen to have been thinking over the last few days about how much of the news feed on my yahoo e-mail account is of matters that ought to be of no interest to people in this country, except for political or celebrity wonks. We have increasing globalisation, which means Americanisation. We share - sort of - a language with America and, in an age of downsizing and doing things on the cheap, it becomes easier to put up something in the same language, even if it is little or no real importance to this country. The main media owners have misused the need for a free press, taking the opportunity to publish items that suit their political or financial interests, and then anaesthetise the public’s thinking by filling up the rest of the space with anything that is cheap. I could go on...
I think you’re pretty much on the money with much of what you say @Gloster.
It feels to me like the news has fashioned itself into a kind of clickbate soap opera over the last couple of decades, so much so that having taken a complete break from it for the last few months I have that feeling you get when you don’t watch Eastenders and someone at work asks you if you saw Fridays episode.
(I’m not even sure if it’s on on Fridays is it?).
 

takno

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A few thoughts on this. Coincidentally, I happen to have been thinking over the last few days about how much of the news feed on my yahoo e-mail account is of matters that ought to be of no interest to people in this country, except for political or celebrity wonks. We have increasing globalisation, which means Americanisation. We share - sort of - a language with America and, in an age of downsizing and doing things on the cheap, it becomes easier to put up something in the same language, even if it is little or no real importance to this country. The main media owners have misused the need for a free press, taking the opportunity to publish items that suit their political or financial interests, and then anaesthetise the public’s thinking by filling up the rest of the space with anything that is cheap. I could go on...
I think this is an important part of the problem. It certainly seems like that's what wrecked the Guardian - it's a UK newspaper but so obsessed with appealing to new audiences in the US and Australia that the content has become irrelevant, and designed to appeal to the rather dumb shallow politics that plays well there.

The loss of the regional press in the UK also makes it harder and harder to source interesting content from our own country, as well as meaning that nobody competent is holding regional or local government meaningfully to account.

Instead the news becomes whatever trash has been manipulated into the trending bucket on Twitter, as uncritically rewritten by an overworked intern, and headlined by a social-media obsessed alarmist.
 

Cowley

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I think this is an important part of the problem. It certainly seems like that's what wrecked the Guardian - it's a UK newspaper but so obsessed with appealing to new audiences in the US and Australia that the content has become irrelevant, and designed to appeal to the rather dumb shallow politics that plays well there.

The loss of the regional press in the UK also makes it harder and harder to source interesting content from our own country, as well as meaning that nobody competent is holding regional or local government meaningfully to account.

Instead the news becomes whatever trash has been manipulated into the trending bucket on Twitter, as uncritically rewritten by an overworked intern, and headlined by a social-media obsessed alarmist.
Yep very true, and I don’t really see a way that it’ll fight a way out of the corner that it’s digging its way steadily into.
At some point in their race to the bottom they’ll be overtaken by something new for the next generation and if I’m honest I’m worried about what that could be.
 

birchesgreen

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There is a vast gap in news coverage, as mentioned above the local media has been wiped out resulting in so many local stories being ignored, though "local" stories from Texas or New York are easily available!

The BBC should have stepped into the void but, like most of the British establishment, are too obsessed with America to care much about anything else.

At the end of the day though the main reason for this state of affairs is... the British general public. People don't want to pay for news anymore which is why so much local media has gone!
 

dosxuk

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There is a vast gap in news coverage, as mentioned above the local media has been wiped out resulting in so many local stories being ignored, though "local" stories from Texas or New York are easily available!

The BBC should have stepped into the void but, like most of the British establishment, are too obsessed with America to care much about anything else.
Most of the local media are owned by national companies who are only interested in getting as much money from adverts as possible while spending as little money as possible on actually producing content. Just look at the average local newspaper website to see this, they're basically unusable amongst the mountain of adverts, pop ups, "curated link aggregators" and so on.

The BBC have stepped up as much as they can. The government and BBC Trust have been lobbied by the above companies demanding that the BBC doesn't produce content that will compete with them and that the BBC links to their stories and websites to drive traffic to their websites. Further the BBC is the main sponsor of the Local Democracy Reporting Service, which uses local news resources to gather content for use by any of its members, including the local press. Effectively the licence fee is paying for a number of the stories you see on your local newspaper.

You say they should step into the void, but the local media actually want less BBC involvement, not more.
 

ComUtoR

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I use a news aggregator and cherry pick my news from a variety of sources. I use : https://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/

Something I have noticed when trawling across different news stories is that many articles are effectively stolen from another source. You often see "Original article here"
 

Bald Rick

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I think the Americanisation of news has been, in part, because of the previous President causing so much news. Anyone who watched the Last Leg last night would have Adam Hills say that there were so many things they haven’t talked about in the last couple of years, simply because there was so much to say about Trump. Hopefully that is changing now.

One thing to be thankful of - in this country our TV news has to be impartial and balanced. That’s not the case in the US, see Fox TV.
 

takno

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I think the Americanisation of news has been, in part, because of the previous President causing so much news. Anyone who watched the Last Leg last night would have Adam Hills say that there were so many things they haven’t talked about in the last couple of years, simply because there was so much to say about Trump. Hopefully that is changing now.

One thing to be thankful of - in this country our TV news has to be impartial and balanced. That’s not the case in the US, see Fox TV.
I'm not convinced our impartiality rules have served us all that well to be honest. It's just led to the BBC constantly digging out a bunch of largely-insane old professors and people from fringe interest groups to argue against positions which are, with the best will in the world, correct. Basically in an attempt to be "impartial" on matters of settled fact they've exposed the population to fringe ideas, and created loads of extremists.
 

Senex

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There is a vast gap in news coverage, as mentioned above the local media has been wiped out resulting in so many local stories being ignored, though "local" stories from Texas or New York are easily available!

The BBC should have stepped into the void but, like most of the British establishment, are too obsessed with America to care much about anything else.

At the end of the day though the main reason for this state of affairs is... the British general public. People don't want to pay for news anymore which is why so much local media has gone!
The BBC has through the whole of my lifetime seemed to be obsessed with everything American. Even during the time when we were members of the EU, we got far fuller coverage from the BBC of Americal political, social, and local news than we ever got of similar topics in France, Germany, or Italy, let alone some of the smaller countries.

And no, people don't want to pay for their news. But which way round is this? Are people unwilling to pay because they don't like what they're beng offered? Or are the broadcasters being forced to cut back on theri local output because people no longer want to pay for their news? (And again, how much local news output is just utterly boring to many of us?)
 

LMS 4F

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My complaint about TV news programs is that a lot of what they broadcast isn’t news at all. This is especially true of Calendar on Yorkshire and Look North on the BBC.
At best they are magazine programs and usually have a trailer for a later show. It is possible to watch both and actually learn nothing about what has happened locally in the past 24 hours.
 

eMeS

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The BBC has through the whole of my lifetime seemed to be obsessed with everything American. Even during the time when we were members of the EU, we got far fuller coverage from the BBC of Americal political, social, and local news than we ever got of similar topics in France, Germany, or Italy, let alone some of the smaller countries.

And no, people don't want to pay for their news. But which way round is this? Are people unwilling to pay because they don't like what they're beng offered? Or are the broadcasters being forced to cut back on theri local output because people no longer want to pay for their news? (And again, how much local news output is just utterly boring to many of us?)
Back in the 1970s I actually paid for "The Guardian" to be delivered on a daily basis - after all, I was used to it, coming from a family where my parents had done the same, and then inflation happened, big time. My salary did rise somewhat to keep pace, but in no way could I continue to afford buying "The Guardian" whose price had rocketed. So for the first time in my life, I lived in a house without a daily newspaper being delivered.
Since then, I've felt that "The Guardian" has been taken over by a bunch of people totally alien to my current, or my late parents', views. Sad.
 

yorkie

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This is just something I’ve been wondering about recently.
I’m really not into conspiracy theories whatsoever because they’re generally a load of ridiculous nonsense. But this is something that’s played on my mind for a while now and although I’ve done a little digging into it I’d be curious to see what everyone else thinks?

A few months ago I remember clicking on one of the main news sites and around third or fourth down the list was a horrendous story about a female police officer in Australia who’d along with her colleague stopped someone for speeding.
Basically there was a crash and the officer ended up dying, yet the person who they’d stopped was (verbally) completely out of order as the poor woman laid dying on the road.
This story was on that site and after a skim through it became obvious that it was actually on all of the main sites despite being on the exact opposite side of the world and having no relevance whatsoever to anyone in this country other than to make you feel awful once you’d read it.

This was something that I’d been thinking about for a while at the time so I started doing a bit of basic research.
All of the main news sites that night showed the same top 10 stories in various different orders and with various different spins, but basically they were pretty much the same top ten whatever site you looked at, and I’m pretty sure that if you did the same thing now this second you’d find exactly the same...

I understand that there’s lots of different background reasons that we’ve ended up with the media that we’ve got (owners behind certain platforms, traditional right vs left etc etc).
But despite all of that, and in a time where communication is incomparable to 30 years ago. How have we ended up where we’ve ended up?
The priority is to get news out that is deemed newsworthy.

For example, suicide is a leading cause of mortality in young people. However a Covid death in a young person is deemed to be far more unacceptable and is, thankfully, very rare.

Therefore, the media don't tend to report on suicides (except locally) but the media are very keen to report on those incredibly rare occasions when a young person dies of Covid.

For example if a 25 year old dies of Covid, that is deemed newsworthy. But when as 12 year old commits suicide, that is not deemed newsworthy.

If 1 person dies in a rail accident this is deemed infinitely more newsworthy than half a dozen people dying in a major road accident.

This does create the illusion among some people that rare events are more common than they are (and conversely that common events are rare); it creates irrational fears (such as fear of travelling by plane or train and a preference to travel by car) and poor decision making. There are some really good videos about our (often very warped) perception of risk; it is a fascinating subject.
 

Baxenden Bank

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Responding to the original post, 'who' is the editor.

Americanisation is partly the result of training regimes for journalists. I won't be able to find the article but I do remember a feature stating that all BBC journalists spend an amount of time based in the USA learning their craft, so it makes sense that there will be a steady stream of stories from the USA as a result of that.

It concerns me how few stories actually make it to air, considering how many thousands of potential news stories there are out there every day. On breakfast TV, most of the the content repeats every 30 minutes. On radio, the news bulletin repeats every hour throughout the day, unless a major story breaks. Then you get endless speculation and punditry until actual facts emerge - for example the recent rail crash in Scotland where few facts were known but that didn't prevent coverage of plumes of smoke from various angles.

Would it be so difficult to rotate items so that you don't get the same stories, repeated all day?

As for the printed press, I propose that there are two business models (applies to all commerce):
1) Where your principle aim is to provide news, whilst covering your costs and making a reasonable profit and,
2) Where your principle aim is to make profit, and news just happens to be how you do it this week.

People can decide for themselves where the current owners of local/regional press see themselves.

@eMeS - I took The Guardian every day from my student days until 2010 when I got fed up of the substantially higher than inflation price rises. Last year I took to reading the online version, and made voluntary contributions in return. I soon got fed up of the Corporal Fraser doom and Wokery tone. Currently I'm taking The Times - it's expensive but I cover the cost from Coronavirus savings elesewhere. The coverage is comprehensive and in depth, even if I find some of the columnists/opinion pieces not to my personal taste. Importantly, it gives me a reason to leave the house and get my daily exercise. Purchasing a newspaper is a legal reason for being outside your home during lockdown.
 

MotCO

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The OP asks who decides the news. Ultimately it will be a question of what sells, BBC aside, whether it is in the cover price of newspapers, or the adverts which pop-up on line. What has distorted the market are the free newspapers - the Metro and Standard. Are people more interested in getting their news for free, or paying for some 'decent' news coverage?

Other things which have changed are:
  • opinions being presented as news, rather than facts presented to allow the reader/viewer to for their own views;
  • a lack of balance in news - an example is Trump's allegations about voter fraud. Whether there is anything in it is irrelevant - the news is all one sided. There is no objective assessment of the allegations and whether or not any of the allegations have any substance;
  • the poor levels of grammar and proof-reading on on-line articles; and
  • quotes from the general public from tweets which can hardly be called representative.
All of these can turn people off mainsteam news, and as a result, the MSM is trying to compete for a reducing market.
 

DynamicSpirit

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Other things which have changed are:
  • opinions being presented as news, rather than facts presented to allow the reader/viewer to for their own views;
  • a lack of balance in news - an example is Trump's allegations about voter fraud. Whether there is anything in it is irrelevant - the news is all one sided. There is no objective assessment of the allegations and whether or not any of the allegations have any substance;
  • the poor levels of grammar and proof-reading on on-line articles; and
  • quotes from the general public from tweets which can hardly be called representative.
All of these can turn people off mainsteam news, and as a result, the MSM is trying to compete for a reducing market.

I agree with a lot of that, but must take issue with what you say about Trump's allegations of voter fraud. There has been a huge amount of objective assessment of the allegations. Some of them have even been brought before and analysed by courts. The verdict is clear and unambiguous: There is essentially no substance in the any of the allegations. They are basically lies, unfounded allegations made without evidence, and misrepresentations by Trump and large numbers of Republicans, apparently in an attempt to overturn a democratic election. Any objective news report will report that that is what those allegations are. Fortunately, outside of some very Conservative networks, most mainstream media has quite correctly reported that the allegations are generally unfounded.
 

brad465

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I think the Americanisation of news has been, in part, because of the previous President causing so much news. Anyone who watched the Last Leg last night would have Adam Hills say that there were so many things they haven’t talked about in the last couple of years, simply because there was so much to say about Trump. Hopefully that is changing now.

One thing to be thankful of - in this country our TV news has to be impartial and balanced. That’s not the case in the US, see Fox TV.
Depends how popular this new "GB News" channel becomes, then we'll have our own Fox News in this country.

Journalist George Monbiot did a very good piece from an emerging form of alternative media, Double Down News, which explained how the US Capitol Riots happened, and ultimately one of the problems is the Media prefer to talk about/report on "Spectacle, not substance". This is why Trump, a TV Personality, was able to get into power, and why we hear so much political stuff from the likes of actors.

Mainstream journalism has in many areas sunk over the years and accountability has been allowed to slide, which ultimately has allowed weak politicians to gain power and make poor decisions in office or be corrupt/do immoral things and not worry about being held to account on it.

What we also really need is to reach critical thinking more in schools and workplaces, because the media not only have their own agendas that many fall for, but we have allowed them to think for us, not just report news. This is particularly the case with advertising and opinionated newspapers as to why consumerism is such a big thing.

If Media Outlets reported news impartially and Politicians were unable to be influenced by them and other lobby groups, then we'd hear more about tax avoidance, excessive CEO pay in general, that Brexit is about becoming a low tax, deregulated economy like Singapore, among other things.

There is a thing known as "throwing a dead cat", which describes any news story, even a bad one, used to try and distract the audience from a much worse news story; there have been countless dead cats thrown about in the last year to try and distract from disastrous Covid handling, and in some cases one of Covid or Brexit has acted as a dead cat for the other. The whole debate about migrant boats in the channel is also a major dead cat, which, while a serious issue that needs addressing (by not getting engaged in so many wars that cause them to flee in the first place preferably), it's been the perfect distraction from Brexit, Covid, the fact billionaire tax avoiders affect worker pay far more than immigrants do, among other things.
 

yorksrob

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I was quite happy paying for my newspaper for many years - until it got too expensive to be worth it (£1.60 a day) and I gave up. I know we're all supposed to pay for the website, but its not the same at all.
 

Bevan Price

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Personally I have not bought a daily newspaper since the 1980s - I got fed up with reading how marvellous Thatcher was.

In my opinion, TV News spends too much time "speculating" about events rather than reporting about what happened (especially about accidents and politics.) They also pay too much attention to what appears on twitbook and other social media. Newspapers in the tabloid area a mostly a misnomer -- the content seems to be mostly about so-called "celebrities", a.k.a. mostly nonentities full of their own self-importance, some of them "famous" only for the size of "their assets", or someone who managed to have a brief spell of minor success in "showbiz". Many with real, long-lasting talent are ignored unless they get involved with someone else's husband / wife / lover, etc. Even the BBC has lowered its standards - their actions in the "Cliff Richard incident" were more what one would expect from the (former) Nudes Of The World than from a responsible broadcaster.

Local news or sport coverage is getting poorer even on BBC. Local Radio in the North is more likely to cover Arsenal or Moneybags United than to report football or cricket results from local smaller towns with clubs in the "minor leagues".
 

DB

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I was quite happy paying for my newspaper for many years - until it got too expensive to be worth it (£1.60 a day) and I gave up. I know we're all supposed to pay for the website, but its not the same at all.

I used to buy the Guardian on Saturday and sometimes midweek, but that reduced to just looking at the website as the standard went down, and these days I've not even looked at the website for ages - constant identity politics, naff 'lifestyle'-type stories and trying to appeal to the US market means that apart from a few columnists it was no longer worth reading.
 

yorksrob

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I used to buy the Guardian on Saturday and sometimes midweek, but that reduced to just looking at the website as the standard went down, and these days I've not even looked at the website for ages - constant identity politics, naff 'lifestyle'-type stories and trying to appeal to the US market means that apart from a few columnists it was no longer worth reading.

I bought The Times for years - it was always a good read.

You just don't find articles on the web page in the same way, compared to the paper when you would scan over each page and pick up things that you wouldn't ordinarily search out.
 

Cowley

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Evening everyone.

I set this thread up to see what people thought about the subject. I haven’t got much to say at the moment because I’ve just been thinking about the replies.
Thanks for your thoughts though, they’ve been interesting to read I must say.
 

DynamicSpirit

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If Media Outlets reported news impartially and Politicians were unable to be influenced by them and other lobby groups, then we'd hear more about tax avoidance, excessive CEO pay in general, that Brexit is about becoming a low tax, deregulated economy like Singapore, among other things.

I think you may be confusing your own opinions with 'impartially' there. Personally I think tax avoidance is an awful thing. However, the extent to which you rate tax avoidance and CEO pay as something that should be prioritised in the news is purely a value judgement - especially when neither is strictly speaking, 'news' (in the sense of being actual events taking place) - they are more akin to information about our society. I don't see any grounds for thinking that an 'impartial' news source would prioritise talking about CEO pay more (compared to, say, Covid developments, the state of Government investment, BLM stuff, World affairs, etc. etc.). As for Brexit being about becoming an economy like Singapore - that's a prediction being made by many on the left, not an established fact. It's something that might or might not turn out to be true, and therefore certainly not something that a truly impartial media would report as fact.
 

Class465pacer

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As has been mentioned in this thread in regards to the decline of local news, it doesn’t help that local news websites are bloated with ads and pop ups and pretty much unusable. Repeat offenders here include JPIMedia (successor of Johnston Press), Newsquest, and Reach plc (formerly known as Trinity Mirror)
 

alex397

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As has been mentioned in this thread in regards to the decline of local news, it doesn’t help that local news websites are bloated with ads and pop ups and pretty much unusable. Repeat offenders here include JPIMedia (successor of Johnston Press), Newsquest, and Reach plc (formerly known as Trinity Mirror)
I certainly agree with you here. Local newspaper websites are often unbearable, and usually make the browser crash.

Going back to media in general, I think it is concerning that Johnson is set to put Paul Dacre, the rather controversial former editor of the Daily Fail Mail and current editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail Group, is set to be appointed chair of Ofcom! I find that deeply concerning. Surely a figure in such a post should be impartial and less biased? (I would feel similar if a Labour leader appointed a prominent lefty as Chair). It is not definite yet, so I hope it doesn’t happen.

Observer article here . For balance, the Express is also reporting this.

Johnson poised to appoint Paul Dacre chair of Ofcom​

PM’s choice of controversial former Mail editor is part of his election promise to radically overhaul the BBC​

Vanessa Thorpe
Paul Dacre

Arts and media correspondent
Sun 31 Jan 2021 10.45 GMT
Last modified on Sun 31 Jan 2021 11.04 GMT
For many who work in public service broadcasting, it is the nightmare that refuses to go away. Could Paul Dacre, former editor of the Daily Mail, really now have the chance to oversee the statutory regulation of British TV and telecommunications? The Brexiter and longtime bête noire of liberals and leftwingers is understood to be very close to being offered the influential role of chair of Ofcom.
According to Whitehall and media sources, Boris Johnson is preparing to announce the controversial appointment soon, and will later reward Dacre with a peerage. The remit will be to target the BBC.
“This is an appalling idea,” said one leading figure in British TV management. “A key role for Ofcom in the coming months will be focusing on improving the nation’s broadband, which is vital not just for business but for social inclusion. Dacre knows nothing about any of that.”
He does, however, have one attribute likely to go down well with many in the media. Associates report that he maintains his long-held dislike of the big internet platforms. Organisations such as Google and Facebook have effectively destroyed the advertising market that supports the newspapers in his stable.
The 72-year-old journalist is still editor in chief of Daily Mail Group, publisher of the right-leaning daily newspaper, and the Mail on Sunday, the London free title Metro and the MailOnline website, for which he is paid a large salary. Ofcom staff, in contrast, adopt political neutrality.
When Dacre’s candidacy for the Ofcom chair was first mooted at the end of last summer, many politicians, academics and television executives expressed great alarm. Former Labour minister Lord Adonis said back then that Dacre “demonstrably doesn’t believe in impartially and statutorily regulated media”, and therefore would be presiding over an institution he did not believe in.
Although a date has not yet been set, the prime minister is believed to be hoping to announce the appointment quickly, but he is said to still be meeting some resistance within government circles. The permanent appointment to the role of Ofcom chair has been held open since early last year, when economist Lord Burns announced he was stepping down.
Burns is believed to have tussled with the prime minister over the appointment of a new Ofcom chief executive. Eventually he agreed to leave in order to get his own choice of Melanie Dawes.
Dawes stepped across from her high-ranking civil service job in February last year. Announcing the move, Dawes, who is married to Benedict Brogan, political editor of the Daily Mail under Dacre, spoke of “a big agenda ahead”. That includes handling the most vulnerable moment in the BBC’s recent history.
Johnson came to power with promises to seriously reform the basis on which the BBC operates. These plans were interrupted by the pandemic, but he has now set up a government panel to consider the future role of public service broadcasting.
Charles Moore, former editor of the Telegraph, was initially considered for the role of BBC chairman. In the Times earlier this month, journalist James Forsyth, husband of Downing Street spokesperson Allegra Stratton, wrote that Johnson had eventually agreed to appoint a less contentious BBC chairman in the shape of financier Richard Sharp, who will take up the job in the next few days. It is thought that, as consolation, the PM hopes to regain the support of anti-BBC Conservative backbenchers by making Dacre the figurehead of Ofcom.
 
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Altrincham

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Evening everyone.

I set this thread up to see what people thought about the subject. I haven’t got much to say at the moment because I’ve just been thinking about the replies.
Thanks for your thoughts though, they’ve been interesting to read I must say.
There’s something I’ve noticed in recent years with news coverage that highlights a difference (to me) in how news stories are followed-up compared with news from years ago.

I can’t quite put my finger on it but a trend these days seems to heavily cover a news story in a very short space of time, but with very little follow-up (or none) some weeks later. Some recent (non-COVID) news stories worthy of follow-up end up disappearing without trace.
 

Gloster

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I once went to a talk in a hall in Liskeard by a chap who a studio cameraman, or something like that, for (I think) ITN. I asked him if there was a tendency to choose less important news items that had pictures over more important ones without pictures. His reply was that there definitely was: this was in 1985, so it’s not new.
 

brad465

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I certainly agree with you here. Local newspaper websites are often unbearable, and usually make the browser crash.

Going back to media in general, I think it is concerning that Johnson is set to put Paul Dacre, the rather controversial former editor of the Daily Fail Mail and current editor-in-chief of the Daily Mail Group, is set to be appointed chair of Ofcom! I find that deeply concerning. Surely a figure in such a post should be impartial and less biased? (I would feel similar if a Labour leader appointed a prominent lefty as Chair). It is not definite yet, so I hope it doesn’t happen.

Observer article here . For balance, the Express is also reporting this.
They've been trying to appoint him for a while but resistance or something has held off the appointment so far. The perhaps more extreme appointment they tried was to get Charles Moore as BBC chair, who has a great loathing for the licence fee and apparent BBC bias, although fortunately he wasn't interested. The guy chairing it now does have a Tory past although seems to be more moderate, and has called the licence fee "the least worst option", so I don't think radical change is happening anytime soon there.
 
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