ICE blogs

January 12, 2018

Bumper Orwell journal issue focuses on teaching and Labour

Filed under: Blogroll, News, ethical space editors blog, Headlines, journalism, new books — news_editor @ 5:29 pm

A new, bumper, 148-page edition of George Orwell Studies has just been published featuring nine essays on ‘Orwell and teaching’ and ‘Orwell and the Labour Party’.

Tim Luckhurst and Lesley Phippen examine the 1944 controversy between Orwell and pacifist Vera Brittain in their chapter ‘Obliteration Bombing and the Tolerance in Wartime of Dissent in Weekly Political Publications’. Henk Vynckier explores the issues which arose when he dispensed with traditional textbooks and adopted e-texts and other online materials while teaching Orwell in Taiwan; Tim Crook investigates Orwell’s own experiences teaching; Jon Preston draws on his experience in the classroom to show how studying Animal Farm can help students discover their authentic voices; and Philip Palmer, in an article titled ‘The Rhetoric of Doublethink’, argues that Orwell was a visionary who attacked lies through a ‘plain’ prose that rang true in every phrase, yet he also used rhetorical strategies with skill and creative guile.

Finally, in this section, Sean Cubitt analyses how the theme of hate depicted in Nineteen Eighty-Four has been transformed in various representations – such as in the BBC’s live television production by Nigel Kneale and Rudolf Cartier in 1954 and in Ridley Scott’s commercial for Apple computers in 1984. He concludes: ‘The hate of today is not to be found on television, in advertising campaigns or festival documentaries but in Twitter storms and social media bullying.’ All these pieces follow on from the symposium held at Goldsmiths, University of London, in June 2017 on ‘Teaching Orwell’.

In the second special section, John Newsinger considers Orwell’s attitudes to the Labour Party and, in particular, the Atlee government; Philip Bounds looks in detail at Orwell’s assessments of Labour leaders Cripps, Bevan and Attlee while Paul Anderson asks: ‘So what kind of democratic socialist was Orwell?’

Completing the bumper issue, Oriol Quintana, in analysing Orwell’s Coming Up for Air (1939), asks whether it is a call for action or passive resistance and Harry Bark contributes a fascinating paper: ‘Death, Hegemony and Masks: Reimagining Theories of resistance Through the Writings of George Orwell.’

• George Orwell Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1; ISSN 2399-1267; details on subscriptions available at http://www.abramis.co.uk/george-orwell-studies/about.htm

December 12, 2017

How conflict is covered

T. J. Coles reviews Covering conflict: The making and unmaking of new militarism, by Richard Lance Keeble (Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, Abramis)

Richard Keeble has written a book about the anti-democratic, frequently deceptive ‘military/industrial/intelligence/media complex’ (p. 2) A second, updating edition of one of his previous books, Secret state, silent press (p. 1), the book is more a critique of the underlying structures of mass media and journalism than it is of individual journalists, many of whom do a fine job within the limits imposed upon them by the nature of the mass market and, of course, the secret state. By 1990, the UK had more than 100 laws prohibiting the disclosure of supposedly sensitive information, making it one of the most secretive states in the word (p. 23).

Keeble’s book is as much, perhaps more, about omission in mainstream media as it is about content: for instance, the lack of the coverage of underlying causes of war and of civilian casualties. This creates a framework in which power is unaccountable and government decisions are undemocratic.

In Chapter One, Keeble argues that the ‘old’ militarism was conscription-based. But, with the triumph of the Labour Party after World War Two, and, perhaps more importantly, the acquisition of nuclear weapons by the UK and US, a ‘new’ militarism gradually emerged. Private media, linked in various ways to the deep state, smeared any moves from sectors of the public and the Labour Party (then under Michael Foot) towards unilateral nuclear disarmament (p. 19).

As British institutions appeared to become more democratic, the military, particularly in light of its new high-tech developments putting humans increasingly out of the loop, became more secretive. Parallel to these developments was the evolution in media of war as a spectacle. Perhaps the most important development was the manufacturing via institutional structures of faux audience participation. By this, Keeble (pp 7-8) refers to the ‘live’ nature of war coverage thanks to satellite television, as pioneered during the coverage of the Gulf War 1991. As secrecy intensified, commercial secrecy in the international arms trade, where Britain was and remains a big player, also grew (pp 18-19). Keeble argues that the state ‘was seen as vulnerable to threat from technological advances within the media. In the event, the US invasions of the 1980s culminating in the attack on Iraq, showed that the new media technologies were, in fact, highly vulnerable to manipulation by the state’ (p. 14).

Chapter Two concerns journalists and the secret state. In this chapter, Keeble, careful to emphasise that the security state is not monolithic, reviews the deep state nexus, documenting the incestuous connections of the police, military police forces, special forces, foreign intelligence agencies and the infrastructure that holds them together. Keeble then goes on to discuss those journalists who are connected in one way or the other to the intelligence services. Keeble’s subchapter on what he calls the ‘conspiracy theory conundrum’ (p. 65) argues that the entire military-industrial-media complex operates to a significant extent on conspiracy. Yet when researchers ‘highlight its significance [they are] accused of lacking academic rigour and promoting “conspiracy theory”’. Keeble concludes, cautiously, that ‘conspiratorial elements have to be acknowledged’ at times, when discussing media and war reporting.

Chapter Three concerns what Keeble calls an emergence of a new militarist consensus. There was a near-consensus against war in the US among the general public but, as Keeble notes, the public has become increasingly alienated from the workings of the state, due in part to the media. By the time of the Gulf War 1991, coverage had changed to distance audiences at home from the horror of carpet bombing (or ‘precision bombing’ in the propaganda nomenclature) abroad. In the UK, the Labour government under Jim Callaghan had prepared for an invasion of the Falklands Islands/Malvinas by Argentina (which claims the islands as its rightful, post-colonial territory) as early as 1977. The Falklands War of 1982 ‘set a hugely significant precedent’, says Keeble (p. 93), helping in the creation of a ‘permanent war economy’ (p. 95). Photographs, film and reports were deliberately delayed by the military, correspondents were embedded in heavily controlled pools with the armed forces while other journalists were blacklisted.

In Chapter Four, Keeble studies the cases of the US’s Grenada invasion of 1983 and the ‘Irangate’ scandal of 1985-1987. The idea that instant global communication allows unprecedented, uncensored access to war coverage is a myth, he suggests. In Grenada, a carefully managed media campaign succeeded in covering up the number of casualties, presenting the invasion as an instant response to alleged transgressions, exaggerating the threat of Grenada to US interests and selling the war to the American public with a 71 per cent approval rating. ‘Irangate’ or the Iran-Contra Affair, involved elements of the US military illegally selling arms, via conduits in Israel, to Iran, one of America’s official enemies, to fund its illegal activities in Nicaragua. The Pentagon-led media strategy over so-called Low Intensity Conflict ‘prioritised covert warfare’ (p. 121), making journalistic investigations very difficult. Interestingly, no significant investigation, both at the media or governmental levels, followed the revelations of the foreign editor of Hearst newspapers, John Wallach, concerning ‘Irangate’ in June 1985. It was only after a Lebanese newspaper reported on the events in November 1986 that the international media chased the story.

In Chapter Five, Keeble argues that the new militarism, being contingent on public ignorance of Third World dynamics, sought to portray Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq, as a villain in a simplistic struggle between good and evil. When Saddam was an ally of the US and Great Britain during the 1980s, media coverage of his atrocities was ‘restrained’ (p. 128). Keeble gives the example of Halabja 1988, when 5,000 Kurds were slaughtered. ‘Little blame was levelled personally at Saddam Hussein in the press’ (ibid). When Saddam became the enemy, he was rapidly labelled ‘Hitler’ (p. 134).

Chapter Six highlights the lack of media questioning concerning the motives for supporting dictators and arms sales, and in waging war. Sticking with the example of the Gulf War 1991, Keeble notes that few reports of the period asked what the war was really all about. The veneer painted by the media was that of Saddam raving against Kuwait for stealing Iraq’s oil and blaming US allies for driving down oil prices. A deeper context is imperialism, particularly British, given the UK’s role in the war. Keeble goes on to note ‘secret’ wars (i.e., those ignored or marginalised in the corporate media) in the decades leading up to the Gulf War. These include Oman (1968-1977) and the inevitable collusion with the expanding US empire.

In Chapter Seven, Keeble argues that the media shaped public opinion about war in several ways. After Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, ‘Most of the press had no time for talk – they wanted war and right now’ (p. 165). The tabloids’ warmongering was predictable. But what were the motivations of the so-called left-leaning press? Keeble quotes the Guardian’s then-principal feature writer, Martin Woollacott, who says that his colleagues were divided over how to cover the war, referring to diplomacy versus military action. By the end of August 1990, however, the majority of Independent articles supported war. Keeble then goes on to document how newspapers sought to exclude critical voices. On the manipulation of public opinion, the supposedly more liberal media constructed polls as to avoid the option of peace negotiations and even asked the public if they would support assassinating Saddam (p. 176).

Chapter Eight concerns the modes of censorship employed by the Ministry of Defence and the media itself in (mis)reporting the war. Correspondents were ‘pooled’ in hotels and carefully managed by the US military. ‘The highest contingents in the press corps’ were American and British (p. 184). The non-pooled journalists were expected to stay in hotels. Learning their lessons of embedding in the Falklands War, direct censorship was not needed because journalists had ‘bonded’ (p. 191) with their military counterparts and were thus less likely to write critically about them.

Returning to the theme of high-tech war, as ushered in by the nuclear age, Chapter Nine traces the history of ‘nukespeak’ (Chilton quoted on p. 198) to the development of so-called high-precision weapons as used in the Gulf War 1991. Coupled with the other factors analysed in previous chapters, the media’s handling of high-tech weapons further sought to dehumanise Iraqis.

Chapter Ten argues that the casualty disparity between the allied forces and the Iraqi forces was so large that it was not really a ‘war’: more a series of massacres of a largely defenceless ‘enemy’. On the occasion that civilian atrocity stories did make it to print or television, the mantra was to blame Saddam Hussein.

Chapter Eleven moves on from the Middle East and into Somalia and Yugoslavia. As the United States launched Operation Restore Hope in 1992, supposedly to end a famine which was ending anyway, the US government ensured its business relations with US energy giants operating in the country remained secure. In Serbia in 1999, NATO launched a supposed humanitarian war to save Kosovar Albanians, some of whom (such as the Kosovo Liberation Army) were linked to al-Qaeda and trained by US and British forces. In defence of the KLA, the US-led NATO bombed Serbia, preparing the way for the independence of Kosovo nearly a decade later in 2008. Just as the US blamed Saddam for US-led atrocities in Iraq, Serbia’s President Milošević was blamed for what NATO did to his country.

In Chapter Twelve, Keeble argues that the Gulf War of 2003 was a ‘myth’ (p. 265): the threat posed by Saddam and his supposed Weapons of Mass Destruction was almost entirely a fabrication, the Iraqi armed forces collapsed quickly, and massive fire-power (‘shock and awe’) quickly destroyed the civilian infrastructure. Media management was essentially a repeat of the Gulf War 1991 and Serbia 1999: the Pentagon devised a large-scale (dis)information campaign, the secret state operated without public or media oversight and, disturbingly, the number of Western journalists killed in the war reached 15.

The concluding Chapter Thirteen is unusual in that it criticises the pretext for war in Afghanistan in 2001: something that many scholars, including those critical of the invasion of Iraq 2003, failed to do. The war script – a deadly enemy, precision weapons, etc – was rehashed, this time to more effect than in previous conflicts due to the then-recent 9/11 atrocities which convinced most Britons and Americans that al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, together with their Taliban sponsors, must be destroyed. As the US-British occupation continued, the enemy used ever-deadly methods of resistance, or terrorism as Western media called it. These included suicide bombings and improvised explosive devices. In 2010, Britain and France signed a defence cooperation treaty. Within a year, both countries joined the US via NATO in destroying Libya. Keeble also deals with the 2013 war, led by France, against elements operating in Mali.

In the Conclusion, Keeble summarises the grim reality of war: civilian casualties, soldier casualties, and financial expenditure, which could have been invested in more progressive programmes at home. The high-tech, highly-controlled informational nature of the so-called new militarism has morphed into ‘disaster militarism’ (p. 315).

Keeble’s book balances accessibility with scholarly rigour. It is an important contribution to the literature concerning media coverage of conflict and the growth of an increasingly out-of-control security state.

Dr T. J. Coles is a guest of the School of Art and Humanities at the University of Plymouth, UK, and the author of several books, including Britain’s secret wars and Fire and fury (both Clairview Books). His latest, Human wrongs (Iff Books), is due to be published in 2018.

April 28, 2016

Media’s role in challenging ‘criminal state’

Filed under: Blogroll, News, ethical space editors blog, Headlines, politics, new books — news_editor @ 1:07 pm

A call for publics to use social media technologies to assert themselves against established authority is made by Dan Hind in his latest publication, The public and the mass.

Hind, author of the acclaimed The return of the public, argues: ‘The public forming platforms would need to have a very different character from, say, Facebook. Rather than monetising their consumers from panoramic surveillance they would generate defined data outputs that would be shared among those who create them. The design would enable us to learn more about what people think, to change minds and have our own minds changed. The emphasis would be on meaningful privacy, public transparency and equality in speech.’

To help inspire a new movement promoting constitutional liberties, Hind looks back to the colonies in the period leading up to the American Revolution. ‘They did so through a discussion of constitutional forms using public meetings and cheap and easily pirated pamphlets. It was a matter of forming new publics for the purpose of creating a new political order.’ Their activities were centred on the publishing industry and epitomised by Thomas Paine’s donation of his royalties from Common sense (1776) to the cause of ending royalty on the continent.
‘Is it so far-fetched to imagine that another wave of public formation, drawing on the capabilities of the software sector and intent on securing individual liberty might develop and distribute the powers needed in a new constitutional order?’

Hind begins by highlighting the distinction made by the celebrated American sociologist C. Wright Mills (1916-1962) between the mass society and the public: ‘The idea of a mass society suggests the idea of an elite of power. The idea of the public, in contrast, suggests the liberal tradition of a society without any power elite, or at any rate with shifting elites of no sovereign consequence.’ Elites play down the constitutional significance of their effective control over the communications system. And they panic when ‘the nature of the relationship between elite rule and the communications system threatens to become visible’ as happened following the Chelsea Manning/WikiLeaks and Edward Snowden/Guardian revelations.

The files did not reveal isolated examples of state criminality. ‘They set out the substantial integration of the state and the corporate sector, including the major media, around a project encompassing aggressive war, torture, and the indiscriminate seizure of private information.’
But in the end, Hind is hopeful: ‘The same technologies that permit both mass surveillance and the massive infiltration of the citizen body can be used both to clarify public opinion and establish its superiority over private interests and secret bureaucracies.’

• The public and the mass, Commonwealth; see http://commonwealth-publishing.com/shop/the-public-and-the-mass/.

March 20, 2013

Little confidence new system of regulation will work: CPBF

The Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom has issued the following statement following the recent announcement of a new system for regulating the press

The legal basis for a new system of press regulation gives the national press a chance to commit themselves to a means of properly policing their own behaviour. The CPBF does not have great confidence that they will take this opportunity seriously.

The way it was introduced, by a series of surprise moves in parliament, appears to have thrown the editors into disarray. They are now trying to decide whether to co-operate or to revert to type and refuse.

The new regulator itself is being set up by the office of the Press Complaints Commission. If the bigger, right-wing papers decide to boycott it there will be utter chaos. The editors should remember that it is the conduct of the press, and the press alone, that has brought down this crisis upon their heads. And it is by their conduct and theirs alone that any new system will be judged, not by parliamentary legalities.

The CPBF is pleased that the political parties have taken the issue seriously and persuaded the government to set up the structure. But we will believe there has been a real improvement in self-regulation when we see the first front-page apology or the first million-pound fine, as trumpeted by David Cameron.

It would be even better if there were never any more false, deceitful or cruel stories that might lead to such penalties, but the CPBF has even less confidence in the likelihood of that.

December 8, 2012

Assange: ‘WikiLeaks to continue - despite attacks’

In his most extended interview in months, Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has spoken to the progressive US radio show, Democracy Now! from inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has been holed up for nearly six months. Assange vowed WikiLeaks would persevere despite attacks against it.

The European Commission recently announced that the credit card company Visa did not break the European Union’s antitrust rules by blocking donations to WikiLeaks. Assange commented: ‘Since the blockade was erected in December 2010, WikiLeaks has lost 95 percent of the donations that were attempted to be transferred to us over that period…Our rightful and natural growth, our ability to publish as much as we would like, our ability to defend ourselves and our sources, has been diminished by that blockade.’

Assange also speaks about his new book, Cypherpunks: Freedom and the future of the internet. ‘The mass surveillance and mass interception that is occurring to all of us now who use the internet is also a mass transfer of power from individuals into extremely sophisticated state and private intelligence organisations and their cronies,’ he says. Assange also discusses the United States’ targeting of WikiLeaks.

‘The Pentagon is maintaining a line that WikiLeaks inherently, as an institution that tells military and government whistleblowers to step forward with information, is a crime. They allege we are criminal, moving forward,’ Assange says. ‘Now, the new interpretation of the Espionage Act that the Pentagon is trying to hammer in to the legal system, and which the Department of Justice is complicit in, would mean the end of national security journalism in the United States.’

• For the interview, see http://www.zcommunications.org/on-wikileaks-bradley-manning-cypherpunks-surveillance-state-by-julian-assange

September 25, 2012

Correction

Filed under: Uncategorized, Blogroll, ethical space editors blog, Headlines, journalism, new books — news_editor @ 9:54 pm

To The Phone Hacking Scandal: Journalism on Trial, edited by Richard Lance Keeble and John Mair (Arima, second edition, 2012)

Page 50 should read:

Whom do the tabloids represent? Let’s hear from Paul McMullan, former News of the World deputy features editor. He told Leveson: ‘Circulation defines what is the public interest. I see no distinction between what the public is interested in and the public interest.’ [Note: In the original version, this quotation was wrongly attributed to Neville Thurlbeck for which we apologise].

McMullan added that the readers ‘are clever enough to make a decision whether or not they want to put their hand in their pocket and bring out a pound and buy it’.

And he hadn’t finished: ‘I think the public are clever enough to be the judge and jury of what goes on in the newspapers and they don’t need an external judge and a jury to decide what should and shouldn’t be published, because if they had any distaste for it, they would stop buying it.’

Journalism is the first very rough draft of history. But it needs to be very accurate all the same. We mucked up this time and send our apologies to Neville Thurlbeck. Do buy the book or order for your library. It is a cracking read.

March 18, 2009

a newspaper and its wartime past

Filed under: News, Headlines, journalism, politics, conflict, human rights, new books — news_editor @ 9:26 pm

The German newspaper publisher, M. DuMont Schauberg, has published a history of its Nazi past. According to Deutsche Welle (via EJC media news), this is the first such historical reappraisal by a German newspaper group. The consequences of the loss of independence were clearly more severe within 1930s-40s Germany than many other places, but I wonder how many other media groups will be willing to follow its lead. History belongs to the victors, but maybe not their own history. I’ve not seen accounts from within the BBC, for example, of its promotion of colonialism, and the official Reuters history doesn’t search very deep either.

July 2, 2008

Beyond churnalism: the brave new world of journalism online

Filed under: ethical space editors blog, Headlines, journalism, new books, seminars — news_editor @ 12:15 am

Optimism shines through as three top writers ponder the future of journalism. John Mair reports on a fascinating debate

Journalism tomes are like buses: you wait for them and then they come along in threes. This summer has seen the publication of three works of substance; Nick Davies’ Flat earth news (see my review in the last Ethical Space), Adrian Monck’s Can we trust the media? (reviewed in the next Ethical Space) and Charlie Beckett’s Supermedia: How we can save journalism and journalism save the world (also reviewed in the next ES). The three authors all appeared on one platform (literally) at the Groucho Club on London at a Media Society mini-debate in June. Fascinating it was too.

Davies is the star of the show. So far Flat Earth News has sold 17,000 copies and generated much debate, some heat and some light. He has confirmed the prejudices of some, annoyed a good many others. Davies is no ingenue: he’s a former Journalist of the Year, Reporter of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year. He used his skills with words to the full at the Groucho debate staying well away from the well-worn ‘churnalism’ theme of his book. Instead, he took out his crystal ball and gazed to the online future - even then hedging his bets. ‘There are too many variables to make any firm predictions,’ he told his distinguished audience, ‘but the old financial model is dying and something needs to take its place.’

That might be the online newspapers. But, he added: ‘Clearly, asking people to pay for content does not seem to be a viable proposition, so newspapers have to rely on online advertising, which is not able to generate anywhere near the revenues that print advertising does.’ This was a circle which was difficult to square.

Davies applauded Alan Rusbridger, editor in chief of Guardian Newspapers, and his online strategy: ‘Rusbridger is trying to build a massive global brand with the Guardian and Observer online - and the attractions of this seem clear in terms of the savings from not having printing and distribution costs.’ Rusbridger’s Guardian was moving into international brand cyberspace along with the BBC, CNN, The New York Times and others. ‘You move from being a national newspaper competing for market share with other national newspapers to an internationally recognized information source’ was his analysis of their aim. But he acknowledged the Guardian was a special case because of its unique ownership arrangements: ‘As a trust it does not have the same overwhelming commercial imperatives as the media corporations.’

In this brave new world, others would not be so lucky, or so careful, or so mindful of quality. ‘I think it is likely that with the new financial models required by newspapers in the digital age, though, that the big media corporations will cut corners - in terms of journalistic quality - in order to maintain their profits’. Back to one of his central themes in Flat earth news.

Professor Adrian Monck, of City University, London, is poacher turned gamekeeper. Former ITN and Sky News journalist now heading one of the most prestigious academic departments in the UK and a weekly sage on the Press Gazette; Monck was up-beat. ‘This is a very exciting time to be a young journalist and that’s not just about technology - things like FoI [Freedom of Information] are very new and have very exciting possibilities for journalists which are only just beginning to be explored,’ he asserted.

Monck sees his role as a pricker of the balloon of moral myths. As he put it: ‘The whole problem is trust anyway: not just in the media but in a wider variety of institutions. There is a breakdown of the old sense of trusting a few institutions and authority figures to deliver the truth.’ Because information was so accessible everyone could find things relatively simply and quickly. ‘Take medical conditions, for example - you can read up a lot before you even go to see your doctor.’ Information for all meant more freedom for all. ‘That access to information is extremely liberating,’ Monck argued. The consequences for the information-providers were positive: ‘It means that people are becoming more aware of the issues around journalism…’ and, as a result ‘…there’s certainly hope for all of us!’

Charlie Beckett is the new kid on the journo academic block. Another poacher turned gamekeeper, he’s a former BBC and ITN producer now the founding director of the think-tank polis@lse. Supermedia, his new book, is a closely argued case for ‘networked journalism’ in which the old one way didactic form adapts to the new interactive media world of bloggers, Twitters and more and incorporates them all in their everyday practice. As he puts it in the book: ‘Networked journalism is a process not a product. The journalist still reports, edits, packages the news. But the process is continually shared. The networked journalist changes from being a gatekeeper who delivers to a facilitator who connects.’ He sees the results as enriching. ‘Think about how this opens up the space for a more participatory politics at all levels. Imagine how it can inform a more deliberative democracy. Instead of claiming a special dispensation, the journalist will now become part of a network of responsibilities and relevance. It’s where I have always thought good journalism belonged’. Some manifesto.

Charlie was also upbeat: ‘There is the threat of “churnalism” but I think there is a very healthy future for journalism - the basic business proposition is sound and the demand for information and journalism is insatiable.’ Things were changing and had to change. The public was interested in journalism wanted more, not less. As journalists embraced this idea of public participation, journalism would improve.

  • John Mair is director of events for the Media Society and produced this debate. He is a senior lecturer at Coventry University and a former television producer for the BBC, ITV and Channel Four.

March 12, 2008

Promoting new forms of ethical reflection

Communication Ethics Now, which draws together articles from Volume 2 (2005) of Ethical Space: The International Journal of Communication Ethics, is to be published on 15 July 2008. In a foreword, Cees Hamelink, Professor Emeritus of International Communication at the University of Amsterdam, comments: ‘Ethical inquiry needs to be more creative and deconstruct situations that look like dilemmas into configurations of a wide variety of moral options and challenges. We are very fortunate to have such important platforms as Communication Ethics Now for this exercise in new forms of reflection!’

He adds: ‘This book convincingly demonstrates how lively and relevant today’s ethical reflections on communication can be. The chapters of the book cover such an exciting and broad range of topics.’

Edited by Richard Keeble, joint editor of Ethical Space, the 25 chapters are divided into five sections. In the first, which focuses journalism ethics, John Tulloch examines the British press’s coverage of the CIA torture flights (better known as ‘extraordinary rendition’) while Julie-ann Davies reports on the media’s increasing use of anonymous sources. Jane Taylor takes a particularly unusual look at the media’s obsession with celebrity focusing on the coverage of Carole Chaplin, Cherie Blair’s ’style guru’ and broadcaster, novelist and columnist Libby Purves expresses outrage at the media’s daily diet of ‘unkind intrusions and falsifications’.

In an international section, leading Nigerian academic Kate Azuka Omenugha explores the representation of Africanness in the British press, Susanne Fengler and Stephan Russ-Mohl express concern over the slump in media standards in Germany while Angelika W. Wyka focuses on journalistic standards and democratization of the mass media in Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.

In a section that takes a historical perspective on journalism ethics, Jane Chapman’s chapter looks at ‘Republican Citizenship, Ethics and the French Revolutionary Press 1789-92′ while Martin Conboy’s focuses on Wooler’s Black Dwarf, a radical journal of the early 19th century.

Another section on communication ethics and pedagogy draws on papers at the 2005 annual conference of the Institute of Communication Ethics with contributions from Raphael Cohen-Almagor, John Strain, Brian Hoey, Brian Morris, Simon Goldsworthy and Anne Gregory. The philosophical dimensions of communication ethics are explored by Karen Sanders, Hallvard Johannes Fossheim (in an interview with Kristine Lowe) Robert Beckett, Moira Carroll-Mayer and Bernd Carsten Stahl. In the final section on business and communication ethics, Kristine Lowe interviews Paul Jackson, of Manchester Business School.

Editor Richard Keeble, in an introduction, says: ‘The Institute of Communication Ethics (ICE) stresses in its mission statement: “Communication ethics is the founding philosophy for human interaction that defines issues according to their impact on human well-being and relationships.” And it is this caring for people - the desperately poor, the inarticulate, the oppressed - along with a sense that honesty, integrity, clarity, respect for difference and diversity are some of the core principles underlying human interaction and, ultimately, communication ethics that drive the many writings in this volume.’

  • Communication Ethics Now is published by Troubador, Leicester, for £12.99. It follows the success of Communication Ethics Today, also published by Troubador, which drew on articles in the first volume of Ethical Space.

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