On 30 June, I was demonstrating outside the Department of Culture Media and Sport offices, just off Trafalgar Square in London. There was a general feeling that it was only a matter of time before Jeremy Hunt MP would waive through the takeover of BSkyB by News Corporation and we were there to tell whoever wanted to listen that the revised terms for the deal were not worth the paper they were written on.
I recently received a visit from an old friend of mine who now lives in Australia (Tasmania). It was on the day the Palace rolled out its programme for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations from 2 June next year and we quickly moved onto the subject of the coverage of the recent royal wedding. Of course the entire event, plus build up, was given extensive coverage in Australia (as it seems it was almost everywhere else!) but was also enraged her was a blatant act of censorship involving Clarence House (the private office of the Prince of Wales) and the BBC. It concerned the banning of a programme by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC – or ‘Auntie’ to some) to be presented by The Chasers. The Chaser’s War on Everything is an Australian television satirical comedy series broadcast on the ABC television station ABC1. The cast perform sketches mocking social and political issues, and often feature comedic publicity stunts. Anyway their take on the wedding at the end of April did not meet with royal approval, so it was pulled – just like this… Continue reading That wedding and Palace censorship
Free and independent news and information is essential in developing and defending democracy, the latest example is demonstrated courageously across North Africa and the Middle East right now. In this context, it is bizarre and inappropriate for the British government to axe essential parts of the international broadcasting institution which is the BBC World Service.