Category Archives: media freedom

Critically support The Guardian and campaign for a better media


Earlier this month Brian Cathcart, author and long standing campaigner for media reform, wrote an article in The Byline Times questioning why The Guardian had joined the deal negotiated with the Government by the News Media Association (NMA). In return for publishing Government advertorial newspapers shared out £35 million in the ‘All In, All Together’ deal. You can read the article at:

Brian’s article asks reasonable questions about the newspaper’s participation in the Government three month advertising package and it is a pity that The Guardian appear to have not responded to all of them, more especially about its understanding of the character of the scheme, and the near exclusion of the independents from it. But then having taken the money maybe they won’t want to be critical of the scheme?

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Turkey –despite continuing oppression ‘there is hope’

This year’s Solidarity with the People of Turkey (SPOT) conference planned for 28 March in London was a victim of the pandemic lock-down, Since then attacks on democracy have been stepped up with continuing crackdowns on civil society, independent media and political opposition, especially members of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP). President Erdogan often accuses the HDP of having links to the PKK, but the party says it is being targeted because of its strong opposition to the president. Dozens of officials and elected HDP MPs were arrested during a crackdown after a failed 2016 coup bid and writing in the Morning Star on 24 June Steve Sweeney reported that 51 of the 65 municipalities won by the HDP at the  local elections in March 2019 had been taken over by government appointees and 22 of the party’s mayors imprisoned.

Meanwhile the economy continues to slip deeper into crisis worsened by the global Covid-19 pandemic. So the online conference on Sunday 21 June was of particular significance drawing together MPs, trade unionists and campaigners.

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Illness forces Assange to miss court hearing

Julian Assange was too ill to attend the latest court hearing in his extradition case at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on 1 June. The hearing which is described as procedural, heard from Julian’s barrister, Edward Fitzgerald QC that his client did not appear by video link because he was unwell. The court had previously heard that Mr Assange had received medical advice that using the prison facility could raise his risk of coronavirus infection.

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