Academic critiques The Vietnam War

Michael Stewart Foley has published a critique of Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary about the Vietnam War. The essay appears in The Sixties, a journal of history, politics and culture from Taylor & Francis. Foley is a professor at the Université Grenoble Alpes in France and has previously worked at universities in Groningen and Sheffield. His deliberately provocative essay accuses the documentary of not telling … Continue reading Academic critiques The Vietnam War

The media need to go back to basics

I have written before on this blog about the urgent need for media organisations to raise standards. Having seen the front pages today and read some of the tweets from professional journalists I am compelled to write again. Much of the coverage of Theresa May’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference focuses on the antics of a self-aggrandising ‘comedian’, problems with the set and poor … Continue reading The media need to go back to basics

Come on Google, don’t just make money!

The latest story about the behaviour of Google is very important and it is worth thinking about in more detail. To summarise, Google have been placing advertising by some of the most well-known brands and Government agencies alongside extremist content on the video sharing site YouTube. In my view Google have been too busy making money to accept or appreciate any ethical responsibility for the … Continue reading Come on Google, don’t just make money!

Higher standards will combat fake news

There has been much fuss recently about the concept of fake news.  The professional media have expressed outrage, alarm and astonishment at the phenomena which spreads quickly via social media and threatens the existence of the established mass media outlets.  But I’m afraid the professional media are partly to blame. Following the development of the internet much of the established mass media decided to give … Continue reading Higher standards will combat fake news

BBC Four should screen When We Rise

I have been reading about the new television drama created and produced by Dustin Lance Black. When We Rise follows the stories of four activists fighting for LGBT rights and spans five decades of struggle. The series sounds fascinating and seems likely to inform, educate and entertain. In America, When We Rise is being broadcast by ABC, which is owned by Disney.  It has yet … Continue reading BBC Four should screen When We Rise

George Michael, rest in peace

When someone in the public eye dies I always find it interesting how sections of the media explode into a paroxysm of praise. Yet while these people have been alive these same sections of the media have published lewd, prurient and unjustifiable stories about their private lives. George Michael was a musical great.  But while he was alive some journalists focused on his private struggles … Continue reading George Michael, rest in peace

The media must increase coverage of Yemen

The BBC journalist Alan Johnson recently revealed during a conversation on BBC World service that there was a widespread feeling across the Corporation there had not been enough coverage of Yemen. One of the Arab world’s poorest countries Yemen is in the grip of a terrible war between forces loyal to the government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to a Houthi rebel … Continue reading The media must increase coverage of Yemen