Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A level 4 essay must. . .

  1. Must show obvious knowledge of contemporary policy (BBFC, PCC, the law, government intervention)
  2. Must include some academic media theory (audience, media effects, children and protection, research, academic quotes)
  3. Must debate and discussion of the relevant social issues (issues of protection of society, freedom v responsibility, globalisation, the rise of the celebrity, the notion of privacy, web 2.0)
  4. Must be aware of current relevant developments (The Byron report, privacy and celebrity issues April 2011, The Digital Economies Act, Web 2.0 and implications, the rise of the citizen journalism and its impact on politics, culture and society)
  5. Must utilise well chosen examples
  6. Must make reference to the past 
  7. Must predict ahead 
  8. Must adapt learning to the chosen question
  9. Must have equal balance between film and press

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 2011: Gagging orders and super-injunctions - what are the implications?

Read here about the recent controversies over privacy law and celebrity scandals

Citizen Journalism examples: 2009

Read this article on The Hudson River plane crash 2009 and Twitter

Read this article about the Iranian uprising of 2009, the death of protestor Neda Soltani and Youtube

The Byron Report

The Byron Report - background

The Byron Report summary

10 things wrong with the Effects Model - David Gauntlett

1. The effects model tackles social problems 'backwards'
2. The effects model treats children as inadequate
3. Assumptions within the effects model are characterised by barely-concealed conservative ideology
4. The effects model inadequately defines its own objects of study
5. The effects model is often based on artificial elements and assumptions within studies
6. The effects model is often based on studies with misapplied methodology
7. The effects model is selective in its criticisms of media depictions of violence
8. The effects model assumes superiority to the masses
9. The effects model makes no attempt to understand meanings of the media
10. The effects model is not grounded in theory

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to . . . prepare a decent essay

This powerpoint offers some guidance to get you started on your essays:

The 4 topic prompts - The Press

The film version of this powerpoint was posted in Week 3: here is the press version to help you with your essay preparations:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Pain, Privacy and the Press Pack

This suggests that journalists are so keen to cover the story that they forget their responsibilities to the public.

There is a lot of competition and pressure from the recession.

The number of complaints to the PCC were low, yet large communities were upset - this suggests people were not aware of the service on offer by the PCC and that it is very difficult to pin down the specific evidence needed to bring a case.

It also raises the issue that after the event, the damage is done and the public are therefore resigned to the situation and feel nothing can be done.

A new compact between press and public - The Middle East

This article raises the point that the news media are working with citizen journalists (immediacy, eye-witness accounts) in order to maintain their audiences and remain current. Bloggers and Tweeters cannot present the news on their own - it is down to journalists to maintain professional standards, and to maintain consistency. This is the new journalism. By posting/blogging on regulated sites, bloggers are protected by professional standards.

Tibet, Lies and Videotape

Background: the Chinese authorities have a poor record on human rights and continue to restrict their citizen's access to blogging sites, Wikipedia, Youtube and Facebook.

Tibetan uprising in 2008 - push for freedom and independence from Chinese rule. China didn't want bad press about the uprising so supressed stories by banning the media. This was the Olympic year so a lot of interest.

Western Media reports were as a result predominantly anti-Chinese government. Chinese bloggers responded by hitting out at the Western Media for promoting inaccurate accountsof what went on, saying it created a simplified view that the authorities were violent towards protestors and the protestors were innocent Tibetan monks. This is ironic as China doesn't allow blogging, yet the bloggers were their own Citizens supporting them.

The Free Tibet campaign was promoted through FB, 100,000 signed up. 3 million people watched youtube videos about the protest. Hollywood stars got involved. The BBC put out an article saying there were significant challenges in dealing with the issue, considering the block on the Media.

Raises questions about the power of the Western Media. The bloggers have made the BBC and CNN rethink their approach to reporting on global issues, so have in effect promoted a more democratised media, by challenging the accepted norm.

Relevance for the exam: difficult to police this kind of debate online, yet really powerful because it was driven by the people.  This issue went viral and it wasn't possible to regulate who said what. The internet has enabled the world to see both sides of the argument. Audiences are being encouraged to question the dominant media and think for themselves about where they stand on the issue. Brings up wider issues about the relevance of regulation and the impact/role of the citizen journalist.

Case study: The McCanns

Read this article -which explains how the McCanns won their libel case against the Express Group

The McCann Case - what issues does it raise

The article shows how the papers routinely edit and select material in order to present a particular viewpoint, and how easy it is to create a perception of someone in the eyes of the public. If that perception is misleading or inaccurate, this can do untold damage (think Max Mosely too) and it is difficult for anything to undo this peception, once the damage is done.

The McCann's chose to take the legal route and didn't go to the PCC at all. Perhaps they believed the PCC couldn't help them. Certainly, on a the question of taste and decency, there would have been nothing they could do. They could have ruled on the issue of defamation (libel) but would only have achieved an apology. Damages seem more suited to such a serious case, involving over 100 articles.

With freedom comes responsibility - this case arguably undermines the notion that the press is largely responsible and that self-regulation is enough to keep the balance in check.


This article explains the history of the press regulation in the UK, and raises some of the relevant issues:

History of UK Press regulation

Here is a timeline of changes and developments in the guidelines:

Here is a summary of the history of the PCC:

Historical case study example 1:

Princess Diana case study background: read this article

For further information, have a look at these links:

In the late 1980s there was concern about press intrusion. Two cases in particular caused outrage.

Historical case study example 2: A long lens was used to take photos of TV presenter Russell Harty as he lay dying in his hospital bed in 1988; 

and the Sunday Sport published photos and an alleged interview with actor Gordon Kaye as he was recovering from brain surgery following a serious car accident in 1990.

Historical case study example 3: GORDON KAYE v THE SUNDAY SPORT

In 1990, the Allo Allo actor, Gorden Kaye, was photographed in hospital by two Sunday Sport journalists while he recovered from brain surgery. The reporter and photographer had disguised themselves as medical staff.
Kaye suffered serious head injuries in a car accident  on 25 January 1990. Although he cannot remember any details of the incident, he still has a scar on his forehead from a piece of wooden advertising boarding that smashed through the car windscreen. While recovering in hospital from emergency brain surgery to treat injuries sustained in the accident, Kaye was photographed and interviewed by Sunday Sport journalist Roger Ordish. He sued the Sunday Sport, but the British Court of Appeal held that his privacy had not been invaded — a decision once said to be the low point of British privacy law.

Mr Justice Eady was strongly influenced by the absence of any legal protection against publication for Mr Kaye, saying that there was "a serious gap in the jurisprudence of any civilised society, if such a gross intrusion could happen without redress."

Mr Justice Eady, the most senior libel judge in England and Wales, sat on the Calcutt committee in 1990 which considered the introduction of a privacy law. He was in favour of a law, but journalists opposed it. The law was never introduced, but the Human Rights Act, which came into force in 2000, enshrined a right to privacy under Article 8. Legal observers say that that Mr Justice Eady believes the law must apply the Act and weigh the rights to privacy against freedom of expression.

Gordon Kaye in 'Allo Allo'

PCC Evolution

PCC Teacher's Resource Pack

Historical film examples


From the BBFC talk
Billy the Kid
The Dam Busters
The Life of Brian

From Aminatta Forna’s documentary
The Birth of the Nation
Straw Dogs
Romper Stomper
Perdita Durango

From Mark Kermode’s documentary
I Spit on your Grave
Breaking the Waves
Henry, Portrait of a Serial Killer

From the DVD documentary clips
A Fool there Was
Battleship Potemkin
The Cabinet of Dr Caligari
The Seashell and the Clergyman
Love on the Dole
Pastor Hall
Night and fog
Brighton Rock
The Wild One
Yield to the Night
The Room at the Top
The L-shaped room
Women in Love
The Devils
Straw Dogs
Clockwork Orange
The Exorcist
Evil Dead
Driller Killer
Cannibal Holocaust
The Karma Sutra
The Lover’s Guide
Child’s Play 3
Natural Born Killers
Boy Meets Girl
Pulp Fiction
Reservoir Dogs
The Last House on the Left

Friday, April 1, 2011

We Media

We Media Democracy and Convergence

Media and the McCanns