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Bus found at South Pole fake

Making up the news and faking stories to fool or entertain is nothing new. In the 1980’s a UK national paper even celebrated this – stories such as WWII BOMBER FOUND ON MOON, or ATHLETE WITH THREE LEGS BREAKS SPRINT RECORD. These stories amused – and were immediately recognisable for what they are.

But the arrival of social media has meant real and fictional stories are now presented...

Post date: 48 weeks 6 days ago
Facebook used by German Police in Munich shooting crisis

Communicating in a crisis is difficult – everyone not directly involved wants information. But for those on the front line – well, they have a different concern about saving lives, preventing harm, and protecting property. The two don’t always mix well.
In Munich in late July 2016, a lone 18 year old gunman went on the prowl. He killed nine people, and then himself. O top of other...

Post date: 1 year 11 weeks ago
Social Media

Most company bosses now use social media – both for research and to talk about themselves and their companies. The Harvard Business School says 2015 has been the transition year. 80% of the world’s top 50 CEO’s actively use one or more social media sites. That’s up from 36% in 2010.

The CEO demand to understand and use social media is partly the perception that it’s the ‘modern’ way to...

Post date: 2 years 22 weeks ago
Boston Bombing April 14, 2014

In any situation the media compete. To be first, to have more facts, be on-site, better interviewees. And in a crisis that competition is huge. Better story, bigger audience, more advertising income.

And so CNN and others said two days after the Boston bombs that an arrest had been made. They quoted ‘unnamed police sources’. A significant and eye-catching development in the...

Post date: 4 years 26 weeks ago
Osama bin Laden watching television

The disclosure of documents seized in Osama bin Laden’s home confirm what many have often thought. Al Qaeda not only believes that the media are a useful weapon – but has a developed and well considered strategy for using the media to influence people.

Among the papers released by the United States is the concept for an insurgent publicity campaign for 2011’s tenth...

Post date: 5 years 24 weeks ago
Lord Leveson chair of Press Inquiry

A media which is free to say what it wants is one of the cornerstones of democracy. But with it comes responsibility. The free media can only be trusted so long as it is truthful, and working within the law, whilst respecting the rights of society and its private individuals. Just as it expects society to respect its rights to work unfettered. In Britain, we now find, that has broken down....

Post date: 5 years 43 weeks ago
Making a private phone call

Should the media ever be allowed to break the law in pursuit of a story? Their defence would be that it is in the public interest. But the public interest is less clearly defined than the law – and allowing this defence would lead to confusion.

It’s highlighted because of allegations that newspapers in Britain routinely hacked the voicemail of mobile phone users. They...

Post date: 6 years 17 weeks ago
Mobile phone filming a Libyan demonstration

Much is made of the role of the media in creating and supporting democracy. A key part of this is the ability of anyone to turn to the media, and on merit, have their story or point of view reported. Sometimes ordinary people create the content itself – ‘citizen journalism’ is a modern and powerful phenomenon. Recent protests sweeping North Africa and the Middle East prove...

Post date: 6 years 34 weeks ago
News feed screen

The media is driven by deadlines and competition. And both cause the sort of excitement which lead to reporters' mistakes. When the BBC published breaking news that thousands of confidential documents had been released on Wikileaks, it sent out a text to subscribers of its mobile news service. But the first story contained one vital error – the reporter had got their 'Wikileaks...

Post date: 6 years 46 weeks ago
House of Lords

Peer Of The Year and two days later he'd resigned as a Government adviser. Lord Young,  in The Daily Telegraph, said that most Britons had "never had it so good" despite the "so-called recession".  

The Prime Minister's enterprise adviser surely never expected his remarks could have such consequences.

While the views expressed in his...

Post date: 6 years 48 weeks ago