Tuesday 19 July 2011

Free press my arse

Freedom is one of those words that are often bandied about by the right as justification for their actions. When right-wingers use the term what they really mean is ‘the freedom to exploit or oppress others’. And so it is with our press. We don’t have a free press in this country. We have a press of vested interests. We have a press that is owned by a rich, powerful and minute minority, a press that wants to reduce the power of government. In other words a press that wants to reduce the power of the people. The press isn’t free. It is very much un-free. Beholden to their rich masters. We are deluding ourselves if we think that our press represents a vast cross-section of society. It doesn’t and it probably never will. I also happen to think that the newspaper has had its day. It is now in decline and the Murdoch mess has hastened the process. The ‘free press’ has only ever been the stuff of dreams and never a reality.

".... you should understand
That those who own the papers also own this land
And they'd rather you believe
In coronation street capers
In the war of circulation, it sells newspapers
Could it be an infringement
Of the freedom of the press
To print pictures of women in states of undress

When you wake up to the fact
That you paper is tory
Just remember, there are two sides to every story"

It Says Here – by Billy Bragg

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