You may have noticed that, since the tragedy of 7 October in Israel and its aftermath in Gaza, the Russo-Ukraine War has almost disappeared from the news agenda.[i] It is hardly mentioned on the 24-hour news channels and relegated to the back pages of major newspapers. In this and other ways, the Israel-Hamas War has … Continue reading Airtime Given Coverage of the Israel-Hamas War
In the preface to Harold D. Lasswell’s (1936: v) book entitled Politics, he famously defined politics as the study of ‘who gets what, when, and how’ – also the subtitle of his book. He went on to argue that influence is central to politics and that “[c]oncepts for the study of influence must be changed … Continue reading Cognitive Politics
Donald Trump's flight to NYC on 3 April 2023 from Mar-a-Lago, Florida, seemed initially to have all the making of an extraordinary media event. The press was out in force. UK's Sky covered it continuously, with ‘breaking news’ announcements, such as "Trump Force One has just entered the airspace over North Carolina"! Truly extraordinary coverage, … Continue reading Trump’s Flight to New York City: No Media Event
In the UK, over 100,000 WhatsApp messages between a former health secretary and government ministers during the COVID-19 pandemic were leaked. The former health secretary, Matt Hancock, shared his WhatsApp messages with a journalist, Isabel Oakeshott, with whom he was collaborating on his book entitled Pandemic Diaries (Hancock with Oakeshott 2022). They essentially co-authored the … Continue reading Confidentiality Online?
As a social scientist, I spend much of my working life sorting out spurious claims about cause and effect. In any social science, particularly when it is impossible to adequately control many variables such as through an experimental design, the analysis and attribution of causality is inherently problematic. Too often, that is not the case … Continue reading Causality Journalism: Can Academics Help?
Should Elitists Get Off Twitter? An opinion piece in the Financial Times by Janan Ganesh (2022) argued that the real reason to get off Twitter was that it “reeks of low status”. Stay on it long enough and you can “catch” its tone of “domestic mediocrity”. Even elites who use this micro-blogging site should beware … Continue reading Should Elites Get Off Twitter?
The UK government has committed to a strategy for levelling up economic activity across the UK. While I am not a geographer or an economist, one need not be to see ways forward on this strategy. The Internet has been seen as a force that might reconfigure the geography of work – what jobs go … Continue reading Levelling Up the UK with Information
Twitter debates might put freedom of expression back on the agenda
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
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