I have just finished reading ‘Unleashing Devils’ by by Craig Oliver, David Cameron’s former spin doctor (Director of Politics and Communications to give him his official title, a position which he held from September 2011 until Cameron’s resignation in July 2016). It’s an insider’s story of the decision to call the ill-fated (and in my view irresponsible and divisive) referendum and other key moments, through to defeat and resignation. It may seem odd that I’ve read a book written by someone who is diametrically opposed to most of the things I believe in, but it’s fresh history, published just a few months after the victory for the leavers and there are many questions and deeper concerns posed by it, regardless of how you voted in the referendum. Continue reading Making the broadcasters raise their game
In my blog of 25 September ‘Defending journalism in Turkey’ I described the interview I gave with Ugur Güç, TGS president, on an evening news programme on IMC TV. We discussed the increasing number of prosecutions against journalists and during the interview presenter Banu Güven, mentioned that their television station had been threatened with closure. Within two weeks the station had been taken off air, their equipment seized and the journalists and other media and support workers joined the growing numbers of unemployed, reported on the EFJ web site at 2,500 – see http://europeanjournalists.org/blog/2016/10/24/turkey-107-journalists-in-prison-and-2500-others-left-unemployed/ of 24 October. Recently I received an eye witness account of the raid leading up to the closure of IMC TV which is reproduced below:
I was in Sarajevo for my last meeting as a member of the EFJ steering committee (board) and the Federation’s general meeting held between 24 – 27 April. Having served three three yearly terms over the past 12 years, I was longer eligible to stand for the steering committee.
Sarajevo is best known for three events. The first is the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his wife on 28th June 1914, which led to the outbreak of the First World War. The second is that it was the venue for the winter Olympic Games in 1984. The third and more recent is the siege of the city for 1,425 days between 5 April 1992 and 29 February 1996, during the civil war in the former republic of Yugoslavia. Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was encircled by the army of Republika Srpska and by the time the siege was raised a total of 13,952 people had been killed including 5,434 civilians. It had lasted a year longer than the siege of Leningrad. A year later a report by the Council of Europe’s Committee on Culture and Education commented: