On 12 March 2018 the BBC website reported on the harassment of its Persian staff. It stated that it was making an unprecedented appeal to the UN to stop Iran from harassing its Persian service staff in London and their families in Iran. It said that Iran had intensified its campaign of intimidation, including threats, arrests of relatives and travel bans. According to the broadcaster, Iran began targeting the BBC’s Persian service after the disputed 2009 presidential election, when Tehran accused foreign powers of interference. The Iranian government disputed the allegations and accused BBC Persian of spreading false information to encourage the overthrow of the regime. Continue reading Stop the harassment of BBC Persian staff
Last Saturday saw the launch of the Media Reform Coalition’s (MRC) Media Manifesto 2019 at their well attended Media Democracy Festival in London. The festival was built around the theme of democratising the media and the various diverse workshops looked at just how this should be done.The manifesto is built on extensive research and a number of briefing reports from a wide range of specialists and media reform campaigners. It follows in the tradition first established by the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (now disbanded) which had for many years published a Media Manifesto in advance of general elections to place policy choices for media reform in front of the public and political parties. Continue reading What sort of media do we want?
Almost a year ago the government announced the setting up of a commission chaired by Dame Frances Cairncross to examine the future of local journalism. It reported earlier this month. Its purpose was to look into the sustainability of high-quality journalism, and threats to journalism, brought about by technological change and consumer behaviour. (See my blog ‘The Cairncross Review – can it reverse the decline of local and regional press?’ 8 July 2018 at : http://thespark.me.uk/?p=1019 )