Changing the Denominator: Spinning Election Results

It is amazing how commentators spin the results of an election. You would think that a candidate wins or losses, but no, it can be (and most often is) spun to make a win sound like a loss or vice versa. The recent example I have in mind is Liz Truss winning the Conservative Party … Continue reading Changing the Denominator: Spinning Election Results

Lessons from the UK Leadership Selection Marathon

On 7 July 2022, Prime Minister Boris Johnson resigned as leader of the Conservative Party, kicking off a selection process that the winner, Liz Truss, minutes after her selection, would describe as one of the “longest job interviews in history”. Liz Truss, the UK’s Foreign Minister, won by a vote of 57 percent of Conservative … Continue reading Lessons from the UK Leadership Selection Marathon

Opinion Night: Both, One, or No Sides-ism

I thoroughly enjoyed watching Emily Maitlis’ MacTaggart Lecture online, which she delivered at the Edinburgh Television Festival. A gifted speaker, she was able to raise key editorial issues facing broadcast news for public service broadcasting in the UK, but arguably for news programming everywhere. Each of her general points, such as on avoiding self-censorship, were … Continue reading Opinion Night: Both, One, or No Sides-ism

Sad News for Comedy

As an American in Britain, I have found one of the most endearing traits of Britons, and people living in Britain generally, is their ability to laugh at themselves. They don’t take themselves so seriously that they can't see “what fools" we "mortals" can be. So how sad to learn in today’s paper that “Mock … Continue reading Sad News for Comedy

Implications of the War in Ukraine on Internet and Society

The destruction of cities, infrastructures, including telecommunication and media, and deaths of thousands resulting from the Russian Federation's invasion of Ukraine from 24th February 2022 are increasingly well documented. Cyber-attacks have been one aspect of this larger war that have undermined the public and private sectors, as well as individuals. Nationally and globally, it might … Continue reading Implications of the War in Ukraine on Internet and Society

Its Personal: Incivility Begins with Maligning Individuals

A lack of civility in politics and society is a problem that I have focused on before, but surprise, surprise – it is not diminishing.[1] If anything, it seems ever more rampant. It is important because it is at the base of growing polarization, what some have called ‘affective polarization’, which means that opposing political … Continue reading Its Personal: Incivility Begins with Maligning Individuals

Empowering Public Access to Information: Read News Critically but also Source Information

The public are being constantly warned about the risks of fake news and misinformation on social media, the internet, and even some broadcast television outlets and newspapers. Should you abandon social media or only read the elite press or what? My suggestion is to read or view the news critically but don’t rely only on … Continue reading Empowering Public Access to Information: Read News Critically but also Source Information

Political Narratives of the Russo-Ukraine War

A rising discussion of political narratives seems to have reached a crescendo in the first months of the David and Goliath Russo-Ukrainian War. The idea of a narrative is an attractive way to help people stay on script, but if you stick with a narrative, surely it must square with the facts. The Russian narrative … Continue reading Political Narratives of the Russo-Ukraine War

Wars will be televised

Speculation about why the Ukraine War has been so closely followed around the world has been ongoing, often critical of the attention given Ukraine in comparison with other conflicts across the world. But one reason must reside in the incredible, breathtaking coverage on broadcast and news media, but also over new alternative media, including social … Continue reading Wars will be televised