Archive for the ‘Old Media’ Category

Posted by Tim Ireland at April 9, 2009

Category: Old Media

Chris Cohen – The Daily Mail

I like this so much I’m going to throw in some bonus linky-love for the creator’s website.

While we’re pausing for some entertainment, you’ve probably already seen the fear-mongering billboard generator by now, but you may have missed the best use of it so far.

OK, all done? Right, let’s get back to it, then:

Guardian – G20 assault: how Metropolitan police tried to manage a death








Posted by Tim Ireland at April 8, 2009

Category: Old Media

The race to the bottom continues in Australasia…

Meet Stephanie Mills, who is a former Greenpeace campaign leader with some 20 years experience appearing in that link as a guest on the TVNZ ‘Breakfast’ show with hosts Alison Mau and Paul Henry (who also does his fair share of talk radio).

Stephanie had been invited on that show to discuss the French Government’s decision to compensate people made ill by its nuclear testing in the Pacific.

Now take a look at the moment where Paul Henry, with the aid of some anonymous viewers, reduces his guest and her contribution to one single, irrelevant word:

Meanwhile, across the southern pond, the ABC reports on yet another “spectacular example of lousy journalism”; this time the publication of faked raunchy images of Pauline Hanson.

(Psst! I wish the BBC could be as good as the ABC about transcripts on programmes like this.)








Posted by Tim Ireland at April 6, 2009

Category: Old Media

It is unclear if Glen Jenvey features heavily in War on the Web by Jeremy Reynalds, or if there are so many of his tall tales in it that his claim of being co-author is, ironically, quite credible:

Jenvey bio

Either way, Glen Jenvey describes Jeremy Reynalds as a friend, they worked together to some extent on a book that has yet to see the light of day, and Jeremy Reynalds recently wrote two articles that were quite sympathetic toward our Mr Jenvey (one of which has since been removed):

Richard Bartholomew – ASSIST News Service Scrubs Jeremy Reynalds Article on Glen Jenvey

(Psst! Don’t feel bad, boys; everybody who’s anybody is withdrawing articles without explanation these days, and I myself have a novel languishing in the doldrums.)

I’ve just been in touch with Jeremy Reynalds, who insists that he has “no advocacy position” on Glen Jenvey, and claims merely to have given Glen Jenvey an opportunity to tell his side of the story, as he felt there was an imbalance in reporting at the time; in his own words, Jeremy Reynalds’ intention was to “present Mr. Jenvey’s response to the charges against him and to share some of his perspective about why they surfaced,” as he felt this had not been done.

(For some reason, Mr Jenvey had little trouble getting his other conspiracy theories aired in tabloids, but could only rely on Jeremy Reynalds to air his claim that the Guardian were in league with extremists. This could simply be a budget-cutting credit-crunch thing, because lately even I have trouble getting any kind of response out of any of these people.)

However, after delivering one side of the story, Jeremy Reynalds appears to have failed to keep up with both sides of the story, as he now claims not to have heard from our Mr Jenvey in a month, and to be unaware of any accusations of sex crimes… i.e. the pile of turds currently at the centre of the story.

(Psst! A new round of freshly-crafted smears emerged at the weekend. All you need to know is that the only departure from the established plan/theme is that the perpetrator is no longer posing as a representative of the Daily Mail.)

One can only wonder when exactly the story ‘dried up’ for Mr Reynalds, because I didn’t catch any part where he pointed out that someone might have been wrong about the Guardian being in league with extremists thing, but at some stage he clearly stopped pursuing this dynamite story, so I can only assume that the leads stopped coming in… at about the time Mr Jenvey… stopped… calling………..*

… no, don’t mind me; I thought I saw a little revelation lurking in the shadows there, but it appears to be a trick of the light.

Anyway, as I’ve pointed out a couple of times now I’m experiencing some story imbalance myself in places, and Jeremy Reynalds appears to have dropped the ‘Guardian in league with extremists’ exclusive that was keeping him so busy… so I’ve asked him if he wouldn’t mind taking the time to tell my side of the story.

You know; to present my response to the charges against me and to share some of my perspective about why they surfaced, and like that.

I’ll let you know how I get on.








Posted by Tim Ireland at April 3, 2009

Category: Old Media

(Pardon my tense… there’s a few things I’d like to put in the past.)

For the benefit of the archive:

This post first went live when the Dunblane/Express petition was delivered, as elements of the mainstream media made false claims about G20 protestor violence on par with Hillsborough. At that time, it was mostly beyond the remit of the PCC to do anything about an article that wasn’t about you personally, and the libel laws were mostly a set of tools for rich bullies wishing to silence critics while denying them their day in court.

Recent events showed that few newspapers allowing comments were publishing any criticism of substance, and they rarely if ever engaged under comments, which is an entirely un-blog-like thing to do, and certainly not on during a phase where mainstream media companies were trying to horn in on the blogging action while rubbishing the reputations of those in their way (i.e. us).

Further, a combination of economic forces and selfishness was leading to widespread sackings and an alarming downturn in quality, as profit was shoved ahead of the public interest more often and to clearly unacceptable extremes.

On this blog/week alone, I found myself chasing editors of The Times, The People, the Daily Star, The Sun, the Daily Mail, the Express, the Sunday Express, The Scottish Sun and even The Independent with really quite valid concerns, but hearing back from none of them, presumably because ‘more money’ equals ‘better than’.

See also:
A recent announcement
Why ‘Media Watch Rock-a-Hula’?

– | –

media watch rock-a-hula

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve all seen the recent/sudden downturn in the quality and reliability of mainstream news and comment, coinciding with alarming outbreaks of carelessness and sheer malice in some places.

We’ve got at least one rogue publisher (Richard Desmond) thumbing his nose at the PCC, and while every news outlet is begging us for chunks of our private lives that they can publish for profit (with or without our permission), no bugger will answer our emails or address our concerns when something that is clearly false has been published, and no effort has been made to remove, correct or (Dog forbid) alert readers to the error. Meanwhile, pretty much the same applies to the (blissfully) few ‘leading bloggers’ who claim to be challenging the establishment.

The only news outlet that’s in any way compelled to answer is the BBC, who find themselves crippled since Andrew Gilligan shot off his fat gob, and under constant attack by the same parties described in the previous paragraph (i.e. those who demand accountability of others, yet think themselves above it).

Clearly the time has come for us to form organised squads and start hitting people with sticks.

If you’re of a mind to do something positive and powerful about outright lies in the media, I invite you to join the Media Watch Rock-a-Hula, now in progress.

Much like Sun Lies and Mail Watch, the job (described in detail here) is to target outright lies, document them where possible (on your own site if you wish), and pursue a correction with vigour when circumstances call/allow for it.

While I expect this to be a modest-sized crowd with maybe a few dozen experienced/dedicated bloggers, writers and researchers on board at first, there are roles that pretty much anyone can play.

Yes, even you.

You could easily be that one person in a thousand with the right expertise, contacts, access or influence required to get a specific job done quickly, and if not, someone has to carry the pitchforks and kerosene.

Anything you do will be on a strictly voluntary basis and you can do it with or without a website. You’ll probably even learn a few things as we go along, and as natural talent groups form within the crowd (as they usually do), we can casually give birth to little beasties like the long-overdue Express Watch and more.

And it is with that (and that only) in mind that you should join me on Twitter, as that is all I plan to use it for:

Join me on Twitter

More sign-up options (e.g. a mailing list) to follow. Comments and bloggage welcome.

Cheers all.








Posted by Tim Ireland at April 2, 2009

Category: Old Media

Earlier:
Jamie Ross – Here Comes The Sun
Bloggerheads – David Dinsmore steals from cancer patient

In the old days of ‘journalism’, if a hard-working reporter wanted to get hold of a family snapshot, he’d have to pocket a framed picture or two from the mantelpiece while the interviewee was making tea or being comforted/distracted by an accomplice.

Now, in the marvellous age of digital photography, all newspapers have to do is get a snapper to rattle off a few pictures of your pictures.

He can then go on to sell copies, even if you don’t sign any paperwork giving him permission to do this, because from that point on, the photographer (or their agent) can claim copyright on these images of images.

Apparently.

epicscotland

I’ve contacted Epicscotland and the Independent to try to find out what’s happened here, but it doesn’t look at all right to me. Still, there’s an opportunity for David Dinsmore to indignantly bitch about the one thing that might not be his fault in the hope that it will distract us from the things that clearly are.

(waits)

Coming up next: Who wants to share my copy of a camera-recorded version of Watchmen? It’s free, and entirely legal, according to the newspaper people.

MINI-UPDATES – The online version of The Sun’s stunt has been withdrawn, and the journalist listed as author of the piece – Yvonne Bolouri – has issued a statement claiming that she has nothing to do with any of it, which puts David Dinsmore clearly in the frame. Dinsmore has not been in touch; he would instead prefer to bully/cajole Jamie by phone by the looks of things. Jamie has been advised that this is an old newspaper dodge to be avoided; if you suspect someone of being a liar and/or a cheat, conduct the conversation by email, *not* telephone.

When you’re ready, Mr Dinsmore…








Posted by Tim Ireland at April 1, 2009

Category: Old Media, Rupert 'The Evil One' Murdoch

You may recall the recent fuss about Dunblane survivors being attacked in the Scottish Sunday Express (that Martin Townsend has yet to get back to me about, despite past assurances that he is not trying to be in any way evasive about any of this).

Well, it looks like the regional versions of tabloids are seeing an sudden upsurge of lazy bastardness and web-nickery with the downturn in the economy. Someone should write a paper on that, but in the meantime, it’s time to kick arse all over again…

The Scottish edition of The Sun has been caught stealing from a cancer sufferer and using material from his online journal out of context and without his permission:

Jamie Ross – Here Comes The Sun: They edited it to within an inch of its life, as if they were hell-bent on whittling it down to the twenty least entertaining and most disjointed words of each blog. It makes me look like an utterly abysmal writer who got in the paper thanks to a dying wish foundation scheme. They put words such as “MOCKED”, “FORCE” and “SILENCE” in huge emboldened letters outwith the main text, presumably for the benefit of the vast majority of Sun readers who can’t read full sentences. They’ve specifically chosen words which make it sound like I’ve been living in a Nazi concentration camp for the past seven months. I may have used these words at some point but, if they really had to summarise seven months of weekly entries in three words, I’d have suggested “TESTICLE”, “BALLS” and “COCK”. They inexplicably used a picture I had never seen in which my eyes are closed. They used a family photograph which I only allowed to be used in The Independent. They made me inadvertently write in the fucking Sun, effectively destroying all the good work that’s gone into my writing CV recently. All of this, need I repeat, without asking me, notifying me, paying me or consulting me.

At one stage the author (and rightful owner of this material), comedian Jamie Ross, submitted a comment under his own story on The Sun’s website – and they deleted it!

(This not only adds insult to injury, it also shows that The Scottish Sun are determined to stand by their unique version of reality, despite what they may claim about wanting to set this right. Like Iain Dale, they are far too precious to let readers know when they’ve made a grievous error.)

Even worse, when Jamie got in touch via email, they offered him the pittance of £300 as payment.

Time will only tell if they have the audacity to declare in their defence that a vulnerable young writer initially accepted these terms; stealing is stealing, damage is damage, and a pittance is a pittance.

(Perhaps someone at News International will cry ‘poor’ after throwing all their money at Jade Goody… who, we can only assume, had a rare form of cancer that stops tabloids from stealing from you. Either that, or we’ve finally arrived at the stage where tabloids can take what they like from you and do what they want with it if you’re not willing to give Max Clifford 15% of the take.)

Jamie advises me that The Scottish Sun have also issued a private apology, but they’ve laid in heavily with the mitigation and tried a few cons in the process (such as claiming that a similar feature being in The Independent gives them the right to steal his content and hack it to bits because it’s “in the public domain”), so I for one doubt their sincerity; people who are sincere typically don’t lie to you during an apology.

Besides, any apology for a public deed should be conducted in public (and given equal if not greater prominence than the stunt that calls for an apology).

Jamie may yet decide to keep/bank the payment that may cover use of the material to some small extenet, but this does nothing to address the harm done to this man and to his reputation by their reordering and repurposing his material in a way that makes him out to be a tabloid hack who is desperate for victim status*.

(*Ironically, judging by the repeated/shameless tabloid thievery I’ve seen over the years, his status as a cancer victim may be the only thing that earns him a proper apology.)

The offer of payment also fails to address the personal photos that they used – without permission – when presenting Jamie’s material out of context.

This is not only a copyright issue, but also one of reputation and harm.

But even The Scottish Sun deserve a chance to set things right a second chance to set things right.

As we’ve learned in recent weeks, there’s a way of doing these things, and the first order of business is to contact the editor involved so they can initially ignore us, and then issue a few pathetic legal threats.

The details you need appear below, along with a copy of my letter… Round Two to follow:

David Dinsmore
Editor
The Scottish Sun
124 Portman Street
Kinning Park
Glasgow G41 1EJ

E-mail: david.dinsmore@the-sun.co.uk

Dear David,

I am writing to you to demand a public apology (in print) for your disgraceful treatment of Jamie Ross.

That apology should make clear that Jamie’s material was used in your newspaper without permission, edited* without his permission and presented next to personal photos that you did not have permission to use.

(*’Hacked to bits and wanked to the max’ is a better description, but I’ll leave that up to you. You may also wish to apologise for refusing Jamie a right of reply by deleting feedback that he submitted to your website in good faith.)

If I have to explain why this apology is called for, then there really is no hope for you, and we may as well cut straight to the legal threats, because in this open letter (and therefore on my website) I describe you as a shockingly careless editor, if not a manipulative money-grubbing cad, and this – along with the headline ‘David Dinsmore steals from cancer patient’ – will be a top search result for your name in less than an hour.

Make this right. Now.

(Or come and have a go at me because you’re far too precious to apologise. Your call.)

Cheers

Tim Ireland
www.bloggerheads.com








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 26, 2009

Category: Old Media

Charlie Brooker on the subject of media coverage and mass murderers (via):








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 26, 2009

Category: Old Media

As you can see, I’ve been a busy boy this lunchtime.

Below is the first round in what I hope won’t have to become a series of open letters:

Open letter to James Harding (editor of The Times)
Open letter to Lloyd Embley (editor of The People)
Open letter to Dawn Neesom (editor of the Daily Star)
Open letter to Rebekah Wade (editor of The Sun)
Open letter to Paul Dacre (editor of the Daily Mail)
Open letter to Peter Hill (editor of the Daily Express)
Open letter to Martin Townsend (editor of the Sunday Express)

Apart from the minor overlap with the Dunblane matter, today’s list of targets in this (ahem) polite letter-writing campaign results from a quick run-down of newspapers running with a recent Anjem Choudary story, those carrying older stores likely to involve Glen Jenvey and his unique brand of ‘research’, and/or names shamelessly dropped in some as-yet-unpublished audio in my possession.

On the subject of the recent Anjem Choudary story, I will happily state that so far it merely stinks of Jenvey’s involvement, and there is only the suspicion* that Jenvey was trying to flush out Choudary and/or his supporters when he planted false claims in Anjem Choudary’s Wikipedia entry claiming [sic]; “His wife left him when she found out he was Gay in 2008”

(*It’s clear that he did this thing, but we cannot be sure of the exact motive at this time.)

Meanwhile, Jenvey is still at it in more ways than one, spreading his smears each and every night until the wee small hours, and more than one provider of interwebs services is proving to be a little bit useless on the customer support front. Ho-hum.








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 26, 2009

Category: Old Media

Dear James,

I am writing to you about the ‘terror expert’ Glen Jenvey (aka ‘Richard Tims’) and his associate Michael Starkey.

In January, The Sun published a story for which Jenvey was the primary source in which it was claimed that a number of celebrities had been targeted by extremists.

Evidence later emerged suggesting that it was Jenvey himself, posing as a radical Muslim, who had posted the relevant forum messages and named these celebrities as ‘targets’.

The PCC has since launched an investigation, and one of the celebrities named (Alan Sugar), has announced that he is taking legal action.

I’ve been looking into it myself, and I’ve uncovered further evidence proving Jenvey to be a fraud, a liar and a fantasist (first link is a summary if you can’t be bothered with evidence/depth):
http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/obsession-pundit-in-meltdown/
http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/patrick-mercer-mp-makes-statement-on-glen-jenvey/
http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2009/03/michael_starkey.asp
http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2009/03/glen_jenvey_audio.asp

Keeping in mind that Glen Jenvey’s response to all of this has been to declare (a) that the PCC is in league with extremists and (b) that I am a notorious sex criminal…

– Could you (please) get back to me with a statement about the reliability of Glen Jenvey’s claims and if you still regard him to be a credible source?

– Could you also (pretty please) provide me with a complete list of stories on extremism or terrorism that are based in whole or in part on claims made, evidence presented or research conducted by Glen Jenvey (or Michael Starkey or a ‘Richard Tims’)? I’ve included a link to what I suspect to be a recent example:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5908534.ece

There’s no big rush with the list, but if you could issue that statement immediately/today, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Cheers

Tim Ireland
www.bloggerheads.com








Posted by Tim Ireland at March 26, 2009

Category: Old Media

Dear Lloyd,

I am writing to you about the ‘terror expert’ Glen Jenvey (aka ‘Richard Tims’) and his associate Michael Starkey.

In January, The Sun published a story for which Jenvey was the primary source in which it was claimed that a number of celebrities had been targeted by extremists.

Evidence later emerged suggesting that it was Jenvey himself, posing as a radical Muslim, who had posted the relevant forum messages and named these celebrities as ‘targets’.

The PCC has since launched an investigation, and one of the celebrities named (Alan Sugar), has announced that he is taking legal action.

I’ve been looking into it myself, and I’ve uncovered further evidence proving Jenvey to be a fraud, a liar and a fantasist (first link is a summary if you can’t be bothered with evidence/depth):
http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/obsession-pundit-in-meltdown/
http://barthsnotes.wordpress.com/2009/03/21/patrick-mercer-mp-makes-statement-on-glen-jenvey/
http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2009/03/michael_starkey.asp
http://www.bloggerheads.com/archives/2009/03/glen_jenvey_audio.asp

Keeping in mind that Glen Jenvey’s response to all of this has been to declare (a) that the PCC is in league with extremists and (b) that I am a notorious sex criminal…

– Could you (please) get back to me with a statement about the reliability of Glen Jenvey’s claims and if you still regard him to be a credible source?

– Could you also (pretty please) provide me with a complete list of stories on extremism or terrorism that are based in whole or in part on claims made, evidence presented or research conducted by Glen Jenvey (or Michael Starkey or a ‘Richard Tims’)? I’ve included a link to what I suspect to be a typical example:
http://www.people.co.uk/news/tm_headline=madonna-targeted-by-muslim-fanatics-over-israel-s-attack-on-gaza&method=full&objectid=21032190&siteid=93463-name_page.html

There’s no big rush with the list, but if you could issue that statement immediately/today, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Cheers

Tim Ireland
www.bloggerheads.com

PS – Not that it matters, but is reporter Daniel Jones a relative of your deputy editor Gary Jones?








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