Showing posts with label media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label media. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stop this ugly Aussie!

To David Cameron and Jeremy Hunt:
The outrageous hacking incidents revealed after years of News Corporation denials and cover ups show that the Murdochs aren't fit and proper people to run a major UK broadcaster. We call on you to stop the deal and ensure that regulators fully assess—on the basis of the public inquiries—whether the Murdochs are fit and proper people to run a broadcaster.

Sign the petition!

Dear friends, Hacking murdered children's phones, paying off police, destroying evidence of crimes, threatening politicians -- MPs are saying the Murdoch empire has "entered the criminal underworld". But Murdoch is still calling the shots and could still get the BSkyB prize. Yesterday, he pulled a cunning manoeuvre at the last hurdle, meaning regulators will review the deal solely on plurality, not the outrageous immorality of his company's practices. But British law says media owners must be "fit and proper" to be trusted with broadcast licenses. If we demand that now, we can influence the debate tomorrow in Parliament and kill the deal once and for all. People power has brought this deal to its knees -- our 160,000 letters last week were critical in getting the deal referred to the Competition Commission. But we cannot stop now: the hacking scandal is our best chance in a generation to end Murdoch's reign of fear and smear over our democracy. Let's make sure Cameron and Hunt immediately ensure the BSkyB deal is assessed on whether Murdoch is "fit and proper" to be given half our country's commercial media. Click to sign the urgent petition and forward this email to everyone -- we have just 24 hours until the Parliamentary debate.
Murdoch's media has corrupted our society, our politics and our police. From the News of the World to the Sun to the Sunday Times, his staff have listened in to grieving widows of soldiers who died in Iraq, a war that Murdoch's global media empire promoted. They stole a sitting Prime Minister's bank information and his family's medical records, and hacked into the phones, computers and homes of thousands of people. They paid the police for information, and got the first hacking investigation stopped after meeting senior officers. And James Murdoch approved cheques to hush up victims who threatened action -- a criminal obstruction of justice. As the Murdoch empire's vile dealings have been uncovered, he has fought back to try to save his lucrative BSkyB TV deal. First, he pulled the News of the World. Then, yesterday, he surprised Jeremy Hunt at the last minute by withdrawing his proposed undertakings for Sky News, forcing Hunt to refer the deal to the Competition Commission and buying time for the political temperature to cool to ensure the deal he so badly wants is judged only on market share, not his companies' criminality. So far the Murdochs have been protected by fear. They run smear campaigns against their enemies, threatening the career of any politician who challenges them. But the fear is melting away, and for the first time our politicians could take steps to stop him, by ruling Murdoch unfit to own our media and forcing him to give up control of his empire in the UK. Tomorrow Parliament could make this move -- it's a breathtaking chance to improve British media and democracy in one fell swoop -- let's bring a massive outcry to achieve it:

It won't be easy. When the hacking scandal broke in earnest a few months ago, David Cameron spent much of his Christmas week socializing with Murdoch executives. Murdoch's mafia power extends deep into our government. But together we have already pushed this deal to the limit -- now let's bury it. But if we act fast now, the government and regulators will have to subject this deal to the fullest public interest tests - which it simply cannot pass. With hope, Alex, Sam, Ricken, Alice, Amy, Brianna, Laura and the rest of the Avaaz team

Friday, July 8, 2011

Good riddance to rotten reporting

Although I've never been proud of the fact that my native land has bred a fellow such as Rupert Murdoch (whom I'm incapable of admiring, to put it mildly), it would be illogical and indeed wrong to equate him with the tabloid that he himself has just boldly eliminated.

Over the last few years, the behavior of some of the people at News of the World has apparently been frankly disgusting at times. Here in France, I have the impression that various "crash barriers" exist, making it unthinkable that would-be "journalism" could ever sink to such a degrading level, with certain operations akin to sadism.


Click the photo to access a short article that tries to explain who's who in this fascinating family.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Most boring day of the year

For the second year, the French web daily Rue89 has launched the concept of the Most Boring Day of the Year. It falls in the first fortnight of August, when many French people are on summer holidays, and the flow of interesting news events drops almost to zero. The exact date varies slightly each year, for technical reasons. This year, it happens to fall on August 11: today. And, since the early hours of the morning, observers have been astounded to discover that today is indeed an exceptionally boring day in France.

This morning, the media dullness got off to a good start with a perfectly boring video showing the French president Nicolas Sarkozy riding his bike down on the Rivera, and halting briefly to savor a dish of frittered courgettes (zucchini) at a roadside tavern… where a TV crew just happened to be ready to shoot the event.

The instigators of the Most Boring Day of the Year phenomenon were thrilled to find that their media colleagues on the other side of the English Channel apparently shared their enthusiasm for dull news by publishing a perfectly boring front-page story with a photo of the unshaven president and his wife.

For the moment, everything's going fine in France. All the news stories of the day (which I don't intend to summarize) have turned out to be incredibly boring. With a bit of chance, unless a major catastrophe occurs in the next few hours, the day will be a total success.

Naturally, I've been wondering whether this special day could be celebrated simultaneously, in the same exciting fashion, in the Antipodes. A rapid perusal of today's Australian press reassures me that it was a remarkably dull day Down Under. A splendid example was a story about a football player who got mixed up in drug abuse. A dull 30-second video trailer on this subject is said to be "sending shockwaves across the country". Another great front-page news item reveals that a white van hit a woman in Melbourne, injuring her seriously, but failed to stop. Then we were invited to enjoy another boring item of news: a fine specimen of Australian reporting about hugely wealthy individuals and their pricey possessions. We have here, on the front page of today's web edition of The Australian, a photo (accompanied by an article) of a flamboyant 10-bedroom house near Brisbane that can be purchased for just over 8 million dollars:

Now, the trouble with labeling a particular date "the most boring day of the year" is that the day in question immediately becomes interesting, precisely because it's claimed to be exceptionally boring. In the case of the lucky individual who saw that photo and immediately grabbed his checkbook to purchase that house, the 11 August 2010 will surely go down in his personal history as a tremendously significant date. And I would not be surprised if he were to get around to inviting all his friends along to the house for a poolside barbecue, every 11th August, to celebrate this most happy event.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Family fashion

On the point of writing a blog article about a fascinating TV show I watched last night, it was funny for me to consult the excellent weekly Télérama and to find, by chance, that the stuff I was reading was signed by the journalist Emmanuelle Skyvington... who writes remarkably well indeed (in French, of course). OK, I'm not going to post a blog about the intended subject (a nasty murder affair of secondary interest). There's no point in having two Skyvingtons talking simultaneously about the same things. It's weird, here in this grand nation where I still see myself as a guest, to discover that a certain media item might be handled in a kind of family fashion.

Friday, August 24, 2007


That's a new French word: pipole. In fact, it's a humorous French phonetic spelling of the English word people. And this word designates talked-about individuals in general: celebrities, aristocrats, politicians, criminals, etc. Consequently, the expression presse pipole designates magazines that earn their living by tracking, photographing and chronicling such individuals. In fact, my post yesterday entitled Photoshop surgery [display] was typically pipole. And reports reveal that people magazines are immensely popular in France. A recent survey indicates that French vacationers scoop them up at the same time, and with the same regularity, as summer ice-creams.

For the moment, I don't have any new photos to display, but they're surely coming up... Don't forget that Europe is still globally on vacation. Apparently, one of France's leading pipole publications has just published paparazzi photos of François Hollande—general secretary of the Socialist party, and former companion of former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal—in the intimate company of his new flame: a journalist from the very pipole weekly Paris-Match. Not so long ago, the editor of that prestigious weekly got kicked out, inexplicably, after the publication of romantic photos of Madame Sarkozy with a gentleman in the USA. Today, it's less likely, of course, that anybody will lose their job as a consequence of this latest scoop pipole. I'll do my best to keep you informed...