Armin Medosch on Thu, 13 Jan 2005 14:34:34 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Working on article about the need for a


I am not going to join this 'do we need a progressive media' debate', 
but there is a particular point to be made about the BBC. Not just in 
the case that Ronda pointed out, but by default, always and in any 
case the BBC is now taking a neoliberal stance in political 
economical questions. It is like all the editors have swallowed 
Thatchers "There Is No Alternative" pill. The BBC is funded by 
licence fees from their viewers which are quite high. Somewhere in 
its charta there must be a paragraph about objective or balanced 
reporting. Having a neo-liberal default position is certainly not 
balanced, so the BBC is breaching its own rules day in day out. The 
BBC is constantly attacked by media from the Murdoch empire and 
has been kowtowed by the government over Iraq through the Hutton 
inquiry. So it is constantly drifting further to the right. Outside Britain 
it is still seen by many as this shiny example of the public broadcast 
model when actually it is feeding its viewers sh*t. Well, cynics and 
anarcho-libertarians on this list may say they just don't care and 
create another fringe online magazine (nothing against those, btw) 
but i think it is an issue when an institution that was deemed central 
for the functioning of democracy is acting in such a suicidal way. The 
question may now be if we feel the need to accelerate its death or if 
someone can save it from itself. Maybe the BBC should be sued for 
neglecting its obligation of balanced reporting. Even those 
programmes which pride themselves of asking tough questions to 
politicians such as newsnights with lead dogs Jeremy Paxman and 
Kirsty Wark can only be watched nowadays if one is capable of a 
certain degree of masochism because, yes, they are asking/barking 
tough questions, but they are asking the _wrong_ questions, taking 
positions almost identical with the tabloid media, anticipating that the 
socalled public opinion is identical with what those outlets say; they 
are asking questions which are often implicitly or even explicitely 
racist, for example when it comes to issues such as aid for Africa or, 
again, Iraq. The new top dog Jackson guy has already successfully 
destroyed Channel 4 so we can only expect worse to come ...

On 12 Jan 05, at 19:49, wrote:

> i bet that the difference between needing a progress media and producing 
> an effective media is a more relevant inquiry.  there is a diverse radical 
> press you can find in most book stores and most certainly online, if a 
> person was motivated to find it.  in my opinion business week is the most 
> successful radical rag on the market, but not in a good way.  but it is 
> far more influential than the progress press, particularly due to the 
> audience and culture it addresses.  so my question is who is the 
> progressive press addressing- voters, the "oppressed," workers, or 
> intellectuals?  if i could offer a critique of The Nation and similar 
> magazines, they 1) do not make people angry, 2) do not provide a summary 
> of actions for solutions.  it is supposed in these media that the answer 
> to bringing "progress" is with the ballot.  and granted, if by progressive 
> media you mean simply educating the voting publicity, your relevance to 
> building a progressive movement ( or inferior goal of progressive 
> government) by itself is unlikely.

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