6 Responses

  1. Reblogged this on Dreams of Liberty.

  2. Does this documentary only (or mostly only) cover the UK media?

  3. Interesting, but I must confess I am suspicious that there could be an ulterior motive operating here. The Leveson Inquiry (as with nearly all govt inquiries) didn’t achieve what it was supposedlt set up to do – rein in corporate media – but appears to have been more of a trojan horse to more broadly limit freedom of speech in UK – and we don’t have much to begin with.

    Yes, we need urgently to do something about media ownership – no question about that. But the film offers no clear answers and simply hints at some form of increased state control – potentially an extremely dangerous move (do I need to say Pravda?)

    And I note that it appears to be expressing views of the “Media Reform Coalition.” Well, if you visit the “About” page you will see from the address that: MRC [is] c/o Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre (i.e., a part of Goldsmiths College at University of London).


    Then visit Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre and you discover that “The Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre was founded in 2007 with a £1.25 million grant from the Leverhulme Media Trust.”


    Apparently, “The Leverhulme Trust was established by the Will of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of Lever Brothers.” And “Trust Board members are recruited from the highest levels of Unilever, the descendent of Lever Brothers.”


    Unilever – I probably don’t need to remind you – is “the world’s third-largest consumer goods company measured by 2012 revenue” at least according to Wikipedia, and bigger than Procter & Gamble and Nestle.

    Moreover, if you read down the list of appearances in the film you find that 1st and 2nd credits – and not due to alphabetical order – are:

    Dr. Natalie Fenton: Professor of Media & Communications, Goldsmiths/Vice-Chair, Hacked Off [which is itself a rather dubious pressure group]

    Prof. Des Freedman: Professor of Media & Communications, Goldsmiths/Chair of Media Reform Coalition

    There is also (from Goldsmiths):

    James Curran: Press historian, Professor of Communications, Goldsmiths


    For a film that hammers the point about corporate ownership and influence on our media isn’t this all a bit fishy?

  4. Thanks a lot, Scott. I would have missed this excellent documentary.

  5. An 80 minute documentary about the media- and not a single word about who owns and controls it.

  6. As the film-maker, 2 comments. For “Mudhole” – I rather surprised you didn’t hear the bits where the interviewees explained the relation between Murdoch, Thatcher and Blair and how the latter enabled the former’s media empire. I’m surprised you missed the bit about Richard Desmond’s acquisition of the Express, and I’m surprised you missed the graphics we used to represent News Corp’s global ownership, so “not a single word” is utterly incorrect.

    As for “Wall of controversy”…I’m baffled again, more so this time. Liz and I made the film with bugger-all money. None. Nothing. She edited it on a 8 year old plastic MacBook. We didn’t even have funds to travel, so much of the cutaway footage was Liz strolling around her town, or me on my way to work. Most of the interviews we travelled to we had to pay for out of what little money we had. As the end of the filming a university gave me a few hundred pounds to pay someone to do the sound editing and another to do the picture-grading

    I know Des personally, and used him to get interviews with Natalie and James C. If you read James’s brilliant Power Without Responsibility, the insinuation that they’re lackies of Leverhume. Des and Natalie are, you might saw, rather left wing.

    If you know anything about academia you’ll know that in order to survive they have to apply for funds. Leverhume is one of many. They’re all corporate. That’s why we call out system capitalist, because its driven by the interests of capital. If you know any sources of funding for research that aren’t given by people with money, then I can pass the details on to them.

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