I front this programme for the Al-Jazeera ‘People and Power’ team. With more calls for a UK Mueller style inquiries, it seeks to explain the jiggery-pokery of the dodgy donors, dark money, voter manipulation and appalling failure of the Electoral Commission, politicians and police to tackle these issues in the immediate aftermath of the referendum.
I came across this piece I wrote for the New Statesman in 1995 that now seems quite prescient given the mental health crisis and the rise of the gig economy. There is a clear and obvious link the government – being Darwinian – refuse to make to this day.
7/7: A reflexive re-evaluation of journalistic practice
First Published September 3, 2018 Research Article
The suicide bombings of 7 July 2005 remain the most serious terror attacks in the United Kingdom to date in the so-called ‘war on terror’. Much has been published on the war on terror but few journalists have reflected on their practice post 9/11 and none on their domestic coverage of the 7/7 attacks. This article is written by a journalist who covered the London bombings for a UK national newspaper and more recently is a practitioner-academic. Using academic texts focusing on the domestic reporting of the war on terror as stimuli for scholarly reflection, this article reviews the author’s own coverage using reflexive practice and content analysis. This article places 7/7 in the continuum of reporting subsequent to 11 September 2001 (9/11) and issues discussed. Some 63 authored articles were considered from the period. Scholarly texts have proposed a range of concepts to analyse coverage from including political ritual, trauma, national wound and hegemony. This article concludes by noting that while many academic texts see coverage of terrorism as an elite discourse, dominated by political economy drivers and responding to events in a homogeneous reactivity, in practice, news organisations can have complex responses and journalists, agency in their coverage of major terrorism events.
Until the end of the Cold War the UK intelligence services were not officially acknowledged, and their personnel were banned from entering the public sphere. From 1989 the UK government began to put the intelligence services on a legal footing and to release the identity of the heads of the intelligence agencies. Since then, public engagement by the intelligence agencies has gathered pace. What this article hypothesises is that there is now, in the UK, an effective intelligence lobby of former insiders who engage in the public sphere – using on the record briefings – to counter criticism of the intelligence community and to promote a narrative and vision of what UK intelligence should do, how it is supported and how oversight is conducted. Content analysis and framing models of non-broadcast coverage of intelligence debates, focusing on the 36 months after the Snowden revelations, confirm an active and rolling lobby of current and former intelligence officials. The paper concludes that the extent of the lobby’s interventions in the public sphere is a matter for debate and possible concern.
Note: Subscription only for full access