Monday, March 03, 2008

What the media commentators are saying

Not suprisingly the Harry affair dominates.In the Independent Steven Glover reflects on the episode

A surprising number of people, not all of them diehard republicans, think the media were wrong not to report Prince Harry's front-line role in Afghanistan. They point out that there was no issue of national security at stake.

But he thinks that the blackout was justified

After Prince Harry was prevented from fighting in Iraq last year, it was clear that he could only avoid unacceptable risks in Afghanistan if his presence there was not publicised..... It is difficult to see how anyone, apart from the Taliban, has suffered."

Peter Wilby in the Guardian though is less complementary and perhaps a touch cynical

Kings and princes used to go into battle at the head of their soldiers, standards flying. Nobody thought it right to hide Henry V or Richard III while they were doing battle with the enemy. But the modern military wants the symbolic benefits of royal leadership without undue risk to the royal personage. In the case of Prince Harry, the Ministry of Defence had its cake and was allowed by the media to eat it as well.

Staying with the Guardian Emily Bell asks

What happens when anyone can publish anything, about anyone, anywhere at any time? It is an interesting philosophical and legal minefield which we pick our way through on a daily basis, tin hats awry. One thing in a world of uncertainty is certain - the old levers of control are inadequate - and this is becoming apparent to the most obtuse controller.

Refering to

Nick Robinson's online comments on the row about House of Commons speaker
she says the furore surrounding it was

an intense overreaction to a new type of journalism - Robinson, after all, was summing up the issues around the case on an open blog rather than presenting them as a bulletin item.

Matthew Norman at the Independent looks back to the Mail's campaign on bin bags and asks

Has there ever been a more spectacular smash-and-grab raid on any issue than the Daily Mail's thunderous campaign against the plastic carrier bag? Suppressing a wry grin at the chutzpah isn't easy. Papers such as this one bang on about green matters day after day, year after year, while the Mail prefers the insights of such revered global warming sceptics as Richard Littlejohn, Mad Mel Phillips and Professor Tom Utley, FRS, the climatological autodidact who slew false fears about melting ice caps with the observation (regarded in the scientific community as the most important of its kind since Archimedes took his bath) that when the ice in his G&T melts, the liquid doesn't flood over the side of the glass

FinallyMaggie Brown at the Guardian gives some useful tips to Peter Fincham on what to do with ITV,

Fincham will need more than good luck - that is no secret. But what exactly lies in store? And what do senior figures in the television industry see as the greatest challenges facing him?

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