Director’s Commentary

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    Did broadcast stage-management create a vacuum for social media?

Did broadcast stage-management create a vacuum for social media?

The following article is my contribution to an excellent collection of political and media analysis of the 2017 UK General Election edited by Bournemouth University.

I described the 2015 election as “the banal theatre of the tightest, most sterile, stage-managed campaign ever”. Little did I realise that within two years we would see an even more closed on-screen campaign. But […]

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    Helmut Kohl: why can’t our present leaders match his record?

Helmut Kohl: why can’t our present leaders match his record?

One of the great figures of 20th century history, Helmut Kohl, the former German Chancellor, has died. We Brits tend to think Margaret Thatcher brought down the Berlin Wall and ended the Cold War, but in many ways Kohl had more significance in re-shaping Europe.

His decision to press ahead with the unification of Germany when everyone thought it would […]

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    How we report elections: time for a new agenda for political journalism after the 2017 shock?

How we report elections: time for a new agenda for political journalism after the 2017 shock?

In the wake of this shock result should journalists now abandon their previously-held beliefs about covering elections? Or is there a danger that we’re replacing one set of shibboleths with fresh myths?

Most political reporters and commentators (and most media academics, including me) called most of this wrong*. Some like veteran political commentator John Rentoul are coming out early and reflecting on their mistaken […]

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Never mind fake news, this was the fake politics election

The 2015 election was a mirage. The country thought it was choosing between the Tories and a coalition of Labour and the SNP because of misleading polls. This election is even more of a sham.

Bizarrely, the two main parties have not been fighting to win a General Election. They have been competing for victory over their own MPs.

Theresa May’s […]

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‘Post-truth’: a myth created by journalists?

Post-truth: how bullshit conquered the world by James Ball

Post-truth: the new war on truth and how to fight back by Matthew d’Ancona

John Lloyd has already reviewed these two books better than I could have done. I share his view that the existential threat of ‘fake news’ is sometimes exaggerated and that we’ve been in informational crises before. If Hillary […]

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