Wednesday, 13 June 2007

When will Governments do something about the unfettered power of the Mass Media

Dear Friends,

When will Governments actually do something about the unfettered power of the Mass Media. It appears that Politicians only speak out against the media when it is close for them to retire, otherwise even the Politicians are afraid of the immense power the Media Corporations wield. Have a look at what Prime Minister Tony Blair has stated now that he is about to retire and compare that with our previous article about what former Justice Brian Sully said about the Media in Australia.


Blair attacks media 'beast'

13 June, 2007

British Prime Minister Tony Blair defended his legacy on Tuesday, including the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and rounded on the media for acting like a "feral beast", ripping reputations apart.

Blair, who is due to stand down on June 27 after a decade in power, insisted he would not apologise for his backing of US military actions after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

"I don't mean to sound obstinately unapologetic, but I do remain of the view that an interventionist foreign policy in today's world is the only sensible one for us," he told reporters.

The British leader, who has led his Labour Party to three consecutive election victories, saw his poll ratings seriously hit by the war in Iraq and his close alliance with US President George Bush.

Blair said he would leave historians to work out whether Iraq would forever cloud his legacy.

"We will debate this and I will debate our foreign policy for a long time," he said.

But in outspoken comments on the media, he warned of a "dangerous" trend towards sensationalism which he said was a consequence of the growing competitiveness of broadcast, press and online media.

"Today's media more than ever before hunts in a pack. In these modes it is like a feral beast, just tearing people and reputations to bits. No-one dares miss out," he said.

And he asked: "Is it becoming worse? Yes. In my 10 years I've noticed all these elements evolve with ever greater momentum.

"I do believe this relationship between public life and media is now damaged in a manner that requires repair," he told a seminar at the headquarters of British media giant Reuters.

"The damage saps the country's confidence and self belief; it undermines its assessment of itself, its institutions. And above all it reduces our capacity to take the right decisions in the right spirit for our future."

Blair was widely criticised, in particular during his early years in Downing Street, with being obsessed with media "spin" - or getting good headlines - at the expense of substantive policy.

The British leader admitted this may have been the case after he led New Labour to power in 1997 after nearly two decades in opposition.

"We paid inordinate attention in the early days of New Labour to courting, assuaging, and persuading the media," he said.

"In our own defence, after 18 years in opposition and the, at times, ferocious hostility of parts of the media, it was hard to see any alternative. But such an attitude ran the risk of fuelling the trends [I am now lamenting],"
he said.

But later on he realised that he needed to approach the media with "greater distance and realism than we did in the early days".

At first "I was a bit, wanting to be all things to all people, and then as I got into the job (I) realised that decisions had to be taken, and that in the end you can't please all the people all of the time".

Reflecting on his time in power, he added: "Indeed you're doing quite well if you please some of the people some of the time. Occasionally I think it was none of the people any [of the time]," he joked.