Journalist ethics

Profiting From The Web: The Ethics Of The New Media Environment

These are my notes from a talk given to the Web Science Conference, ‘Profiting From the New Web’ on Monday May 23rd, 2011 at the Royal Society. You can see the slides here. I want to start by saying that yes, everybody and every Company is now a media company. We all create and consume media. Media is now environmental.[1]


Scandal! An 18th century drama of micro-blogging and super injunctions

Is there nothing that can stop the spread of scandal in the digital age? Whether false or true, gossip has always been a fact of human social life in all its destructive and revelatory forms. The supposed hey-dey of Habermas’ public sphere  was in the coffee shops of Georgian London. But if we believe the great dramatist of that age, […]

May 21st, 2011|Journalism|0 Comments|

The messy reality of law, privacy and media freedom

It’s an interesting time for journalism law experts.  Here here’s my quick take on today’s significant three decisions/issues:   Max Mosley is an intelligent and determined critic of media abuses. I thought he was right to sue the News of the World, but I was worried that one bad case might encourage wider limits on the media’s right to expose aspects […]

May 10th, 2011|Journalism|0 Comments|

Should They Publish the Osama Bin Laden Photos? (Survey)

It appears Obama has decided not to publish the photos of the dead Osama Bin Laden – do yu think he is right? Please complete our very short, deliberative survey:


‘Like ticket touts at Stamford Bridge’ LSE’s Howard Davies on Journalists

Technically, Howard Davies was my boss at the LSE until he resigned over the donation from Libya. Along with that he can also be accused of having created POLIS, the journalism think-tank that I run. Therefore, I have more than a passing interest in his views on media coverage of the story that forced his departure. I liked Howard a […]


Al Jazeera: Leading The Citizen Media Revolution

We take it for granted now, but coverage of the uprisings in the Middle East this year would hardly have happened at times without social media. Put aside the silly debate about whether Twitter ’caused’ revolution and look instead at how it helped tell the story. Perhaps most important is how social media helped inform people in the region, catalysing […]


Are celebrities good for charities? Some new research (guest blog)

When Sharon Stone says she will kiss just about anybody for peace in the Middle East then a hostile reaction to the idea of celebrity activism is understandable. The juxtaposition of serious suffering and a glib actress can jar. But charities are getting better at matching their cause with a famous face who also thinks about the issues. POLIS and […]


The Line of Verification: a guide to social media & objectivity

[Update 8.2.2012: Sky News has announced new guidelines on the use of Twitter that is causing an interesting debate – my take on that is here] We all know that the Internet means that there is a superfluity of information out there, much of it partial, inaccurate and even false. There are so many perspectives and complexities around any issue […]

January 21st, 2011|Journalism, Media|3 Comments|

Media Pluralism: How Rawls can help us think about Newscorp’s BskyB bid (guest blog)

One of the things that has intriqued me about the arugment over the Newscorp/BSkyB bid has been the range of responses from the legalistic to the emotional. In the end Jeremy Hunt will have to show that he has acted on rational grounds. It is a political decision, but it must be based on rationality. Otherwise, some highly-paid lawyers are […]

January 18th, 2011|Journalism, Media|0 Comments|

Secrecy is the problem, not leakers: Wikileaks on the global stage

Wikileaks is now at the centre of a global battle between media and those in power but what’s the value of what Julian Assange is doing? This article was written for the United Nation’s Global Expert Finder website, part of the UN’s Alliance of Civilisations.  It sets out how Wikileaks is much more than just another journalistic scandal, it is […]

January 3rd, 2011|Journalism, Politics|2 Comments|