Media

The America of Bill Buckley and Victor Navasky is gone. Elitist journalism is marginalised

In attacking the BBC, the Right is apeing outdated Marxist thinking rather than searching for the truth

David Astor was the man who made the Observer the most popular Sunday paper of its time

A Bill intended to open up family courts to the media will require major amendment if it is to achieve its aims. That has become abundantly clear to me after my experiences in defending the media at two separate events organised by family lawyers over the past 10 days.

Does the Sun’s switch in support matter? No, is the short answer. The media’s power is vastly overestimated both by politicians and, of course, journalists, but also by ideologues from all sides who blame the defeat of their hopes on the power of the Tory press, if they are left wing, or BBC bias if they are on the right.

While the BBC misuses its website as a surrogate national newspaper, and its regional websites to challenge what were excellent supra-local papers like the Western Mail or Yorkshire Post, now according to Andrew Gilligan, an increasing number of councils are getting in on the act. Something called Lambeth Life periodically drops through our letterbox. It consists of the “news” that our Labour couincillors are ‘active in this or that, or on our behalf’. I think the editor of the Guardian warned the other day that this is a challenge to local democracy, since Lambeth Life and its ilk are certainly not going to be reporting potholes or failing schools. The Mayor of London managed to chop Livingstone’s North Korean style London sheet. Perhaps our cash strapped councils could be prevailed on to use our tax revenues more sensible?

If you read the Saturday Telegraph, you may have noticed that its many sections include a great deal of eco-exortation.  It is evidently editorial and marketing policy at the Torygraf to push a Green agenda.