The actions this week of Guardian joint political editor Heather Stewart, where she went in to bat for the Murdoch mafiosi after Labour grassroots organisation Momentum declined to accredit Sun hacks to their The World Transformed event in Liverpool, may have surprised as many observers as they dismayed. But there is very straightforward method in this particular madness, and it is, as so often, all about money.
For so long, the Guardian lost money. Now, following rounds of staff cuts, those losses have been stemmed, but there is always the need to secure advertising revenue. And it is in bringing in the advertisers that the paper has cosied up to Murdoch. Worse, this new closer relationship has involved compromising the paper’s reporting on matters that may reflect aversely on their new pals - a blatant case of self-censorship.
As the Guardian told earlier this year, “The Guardian’s parent company has joined forces with rivals News UK and the Telegraph to create an online advertising business … The Ozone Project has been launched in response to demand from advertisers for a one-stop shop to buy digital adverts across multiple leading news sites. When it launches in the autumn it will be possible for advertisers to buy online ad space on the Guardian, the Times, the Sun, and the Telegraph from a single site”.
One Zelo Street contact put it thus: “if Ford is launching a new car, instead of dealing with THREE different advertising and display teams on THREE different titles, they just deal with one pooled team at Ozone, who will do one set of adverts, which are used across all papers. It’s called ‘programmable’ or ‘programmatic’ advertising because a computer program distributes the adverts across all of the websites, by simply ‘pressing a button.’”
Neat, eh? But the consequences for the Guardian’s editorial independence have been grave. Not only did Ms Stewart do the previously unthinkable - back the Sun over a ban on its hacks in Liverpool - reporting of Murdoch wrongdoing has also been scaled back to the point where it has become all but invisible. Take, for instance, phone hacking allegations.
Earlier this year, the paper sided with the Murdochs over Leveson 2, abandoning victims of press abuse. As David Hencke put it, “The decision this week to join the rest of the press pack and welcome the demise of Leveson 2 - the inquiry which would have taken a cold hard look at how mainstream media - in particular the News of the World and the Mirror - indulged in phone hacking and other nefarious practices is profoundly disappointing”.
Independents like Byline Media are now far more likely to report the procession of claimants alleging phone hacking, blagging and other malpractice against the Sun, and indeed other Murdoch titles. The Guardian was distinctly lukewarm on the case of former Sunday Times blagger John Ford, who has now blown the whistle on his former title.
Thus the paradox of the modern-day Guardian: it has stabilised its finances for now, but in the process has joined so many others in selling out the causes it once championed. Expect more support for Murdoch hacks and less talk about The Dark Arts in future.
The cowards of Kings Place are complicit in covering up criminality. Sad but true.
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Please also note that Ozone's warm embrace has now been extended to that other paragon of journalistic virtue - The Mirror, whose presses run off the new tabloid Guardian. Burds of a feather
There's no "paradox" about the Graun of recent years. Quite simply it has become as corrupt and cowardly as the rest of corporate print and broadcast media.
Its propagators no longer require instructions on what lying shite they turn out. They KNOW what they have to do to go along to get along. Most of them are shit scared of their own shadow. This applies on both sides of the Atlantic.
This is how, for instance, a racist misogynist spiv like Trump can get into office. There is such widespread contempt for media lies people actually cheer when he sticks it to media shills in full public view. Trump merely exploits something that has been obvious for years, now accelerated by social media.
Which is why hardly anybody trusts a word vomited by corporate media. And the guilty propagators have fully earned that contempt.
I did recommend this article to Guardian readers but it seems to have contravened community standards.
From the last 2 days
Dou you think it could just be that you are reading too much into this?
Anonymous at 14:40.
The answer is No, given that rag's editorial direction since Viner took over.
The examples you quote are the exceptions that prove the rule.
If the Graun wants to recover what's left of its reputation - not much, admittedly - it would publicly separate all connections with the Murdoch thug and say why. But it won't, not while Viner's there.
Tim's bang on in this matter.
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