Media Lens

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Media Lens
Media Lens Home Page
Screenshot from Media Lens (March 22, 2013)
Web address www.medialens.org
Type of site
Media analysis
Available in English
Editor David Cromwell and David Edwards
Launched 2001

Media Lens is a British media analysis website established in 2001 by David Cromwell and David Edwards. The aim of the website's two editors is to scrutinise and question the mainstream media's coverage of significant events and issues and to draw attention to what they consider "the systemic failure of the corporate media to report the world honestly and accurately".[1][2]

Cromwell and Edwards, who remain the site's editors, write regular 'Media Alerts' concentrating on those mainstream media outlets legally obliged to be impartial (the BBC and Channel 4 News) or usually considered liberal[3] like The Guardian[4] and The Independent. The site's editors frequently draw attention to what they see as the limits within which the liberal media operates,[5] and provide "a riveting expose of the myth of liberal media based on a variety of empirical case studies", according to Graham Murdock and Michael Pickering.[6]

Media Lens has gained the approval of John Pilger, who has written about the group's "remarkable website".[7] Other journalists, not necessarily identified with the left, have also made positive comments about the group, although it has come into conflict with others. The Observer's foreign editor Peter Beaumont asserted that the group operated a "campaign" against John Sloboda and the Iraq Body Count.[8] George Monbiot has also criticised Media Lens for their defence of Edward S. Herman against charges of "belittling the acts of genocide".[9]

Cronwell and Edwards invite their readers to challenge journalists, editors and programme producers directly via email, specifically discouraging abusive contact.[10] The site is financed by donations from its supporters.

Foundation and influences[edit]

David Edwards and David Cromwell of Media Lens receive the Gandhi Foundation Peace Award, 2 December 2007

By the late 1990s, David Edwards had concluded that there was a "media suppression of the truth about the effect of the sanctions" against Iraq, and an indifference to climate change: "the media were still celebrating the idea that Britain might soon be blessed with a Mediterranean climate."[11]

Meanwhile, Cromwell had found coverage of certain issues to be "paltry",[12] and had gained a negligible response from the newspapers to which he had written.[13] The two men first met in 1999, and Edwards suggested beginning a collaborative website.[14]

Central to Media Lens analysis is the Propaganda model, first developed by Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky, in their book Manufacturing Consent (1988).[15][16] The theory posits that the way in which news media is structured (through advertising, media ownership, government sourcing and others) creates an inherent conflict of interest which leads to systemic bias and propaganda for undemocratic forces.[15][16] In the opinion of Elliot Murphy, a PhD candidate at University College London, Cromwell and Edwards have "taken to heart" the hypothesis of Herman and Chomsky "probably more than any other writers in Britain".[5] Edwards has also cited Erich Fromm, who thought "a society that subordinates people and planet to profit is inherently insane and toxic",[11] and his practice of Buddhism as influences.[17][18]

Activities[edit]

Since 2001, in regular online Media Alerts, the editors scrutinise media coverage, the arguments used, source selection, and the framing of events to highlight what they see as incidents of bias, omissions, or direct lies. Their media alerts are distributed without charge by email to an international readership, according to Media Lens in 2009, of around 14,000 people.[19] The website is financed through voluntary subscription.[2]

The editors engage in email and Twitter exchanges with British journalists and editors,[2][5] encouraging their readers to do the same.[15][20][21] A blog article about Media Lens by Elliot Murphy of UCL was republished by the American radical website Z Net in May 2014. To the query "What can I do?" about a "corporate journalist who’s reporting" a subject "in a skewed or reactionary way" he wrote that the group gives the "one familiar answer", for example, to contact Nick Robinson "to let him know we’re onto him".[5] Murphy suggested that a "potential leftist" convert might see them as "more concerned with being correct than doing right".[5]

General arguments[edit]

According to Cromwell and Edwards, journalists in the mainstream media articulate an "'official' version of events ... as Truth. The testimony of critical observers and participants" and "especially those on the receiving end of Western firepower – are routinely marginalised, ignored and even ridiculed."[14] They assert that mainstream journalists gradually absorb an unquestioning corporate mindset as their careers progress, becoming unwilling to question their occupations or governments claims, rather than consciously lying.[22] In Cromwell and Edwards' opinion, western government actions have followed "a historical pattern of deception" going back several centuries,[23] while they assert that "the corporate media is the source of some of the greatest, most lethal illusions of our age".[23] Edwards has written, that because of these corporate distortions, "we believe, society is not told the truth about the appalling consequences of corporate greed for poor people in the Third World, and for the environment."[24] In an interview with the New Left Project website in August 2011, they thought journalist Seumas Milne "hints in this direction, but that’s all. And he is the Guardian's chief 'dissident' figleaf – he is as good as it gets".[25][26] Peter Beaumont argued in June 2006 that Media Lens "insist that the only acceptable version of the truth is theirs alone and that everybody else should march to the same step", and described them as "controlling Politburo lefties".[8]

The editors reject accusations that their analysis depends on conspiracy theories, arguing that the patterns of bias they identify are the predictable consequence of media corporations subject to market forces operating within a profit driven system.[16][27] According to Cromwell: “there is, of course, no conspiracy. It is more subtle, powerful and pervasive than that”.[28] A former supporter,[29] the philosopher Rupert Read has criticised their use of "extremely dubious" source material including Michel Chossudovsky, whom he calls a conspiracy theorist,[29][30]

According to Cromwell and Edwards, the liberal wing of the mainstream media are gatekeepers "of acceptable debate from a left or Green perspective, 'thus far and no further'"[31] and insist that in a corporate system dissenting views have difficulty gaining attention.[2][3] They have contrasted positive comments the mainstream media make about western leaders, with the epithets used to describe politicians such as Hugo Chávez, Venezuela's former President.[32] Oliver Kamm has written that the "far-left pressure group" are "doughty defenders of Venezuela’s revolutionary regime",[33] while the journalist and academic John Rentoul has accused them of being defenders of the government of North Korea.[34]

Media Lens has been critical of dissenting voices, like John Pilger, who work in the mainstream media.[35] While considering the Australian-born journalist a "huge inspiration", they argue that Pilger's "work is used to strengthen the propaganda system‘s false claims of honesty and openness".[14]

In their view, "the corporate media is an extremist fringe" with which progressives should completely dissociate themselves.[36] In January 2015, they advocated "a collective of high-profile writers and journalists willing to detach themselves from corporate and state media, and to place themselves entirely at the mercy of the public" with their output freely available "from a single media outlet" and financed by donations.[37]

Oliver Boyd-Barrett, an academic specialising in Communications Studies, has said that they possess a "relentless commitment" to assessing the media "on criteria of rationality and humanity, for what they write and fail to write, and doing so in a tone that is determinedly polite and respectful, even when the content is highly critical."[2]

Guardian journalist Michael White, conceded in May 2016 that Cromwell and Edwards "do diligent and thoughtful work".[38] However, at the end of an article in January 2012, he addressed Media Lens directly: "Times are tough for all media, including the liberal media. Bear it in mind, comrades: who would you have to attack if we weren't there?"[39]

Other responses[edit]

David Wearing, writing for openDemocracy in September 2015, commented that while the group has "a vocal, dedicated following", it also has "a long record of alienating potential allies with their purity tests and aggressive oversimplifications."[40] "Alienating potential allies does not produce an effective affront to parliamentary or corporate power", wrote Elliot Murphy in May 2014. "At best makes a few hundred people (or sometimes thousands...) that bit more cautious and sceptical about what they read in the papers."[5] According to Murphy in the same article, Media Lens "claim to be driven by compassion, but their harshness and hatred of criticism (as though their very souls have been scalded) suggest otherwise."[5] Michael White in May 2016 thought their work suggests "their own editing priorities may be as partisan and un-self-aware as the corporates they so severely condemn".[38] According to Sarah Ditum in August 2015, Media Lens are "largely engaged in an endless project of separating the anti-war sheep from the goats to be purged."[41] Edwards in response to Ditum wrote: "We, of course, have neither the power nor the desire to 'purge' anyone for anything".[42]

John Rentoul has also been unimpressed with the approach of Media Lens' campaigners. An email exchange, he wrote in 2011

"may continue until journalist is too busy to reply or until the snarl of Chomskian-Pilgerism is unwittingly betrayed and journalist realises he or she has not been engaging with a reasonable person. At this point, Media Lens adherent then posts the email chain on the sect’s website, without notice or permission [beginning a thread]. This is supposed to embarrass the apologist for the corporate media/torture/Tony Blair and expose him to ridicule by other sect members."[43]

The email campaigns, according to Peter Beaumont in The Observer, amount to contact from "a train spotters' club run by Uncle Joe Stalin".[8]

The journalist Peter Wilby, is of the opinion that "their basic critique is correct" and occasionally commissioned Cromwell and Edwards while he was editor of the New Statesman,[4] In an article about them, John Pilger mentioned their first collaborative book, Guardians of Power (2006), and wrote that "not a single national newspaper reviewed the most important book about journalism I can remember",[7] including the left-wing Morning Star, although the newspaper did review their second book, Newspeak In The 21st Century, in 2009.[44] Wilby wrote in 2006 that "the Davids are virtually unknown; as leftist critics, they are marginalised."[4]

On 7 July 2008, Wilby reported in The Guardian that The Times' legal manager Alastair Brett had written to Edwards about "vexatious and threatening emails from visitors to Media Lens" received by journalist Bronwen Maddox, then with The Times, and threatened an application for a high court injunction to prevent their users from contacting Maddox.[45] In a case of alleged copyright infringement, Brett managed to gain the removal of emails from Maddox which had been incorporated into a Media Lens article concerning Iran. Although Maddox reported receiving dozens of comments, the only email directly quoted by the complainants was from "the second coming of Jesus Christ" with a threat to fire Maddox, which had also been sent in similar form to dozens of journalists and to Media Lens itself.[45][46] Wilby quoted Edwards asking "what world do these people live in that they have to be so protected from the rough and tumble of political debate?"[45][47]

On 2 December 2007, Edwards and Cromwell were awarded the Gandhi International Peace Award.[48] The award was presented by Denis Halliday, the former United Nations Humanitarian Co-ordinator in Iraq and himself a recipient of the award in 2003.[49]

Case histories[edit]

Iraq[edit]

Justification for war[edit]

Prior to the Iraq War in 2002, Media Lens argued that it was fraudulent for the UK and US government to claim justification for a war on the basis that Iraq still possessed a credible Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) threat and had an active WMD program.[50] Media Lens cited the work of former chief UN arms inspector Scott Ritter, who had stated 4 years previously, after thorough investigation by UN inspectors, that Iraq had been found to have "fundamentally disarmed" with 90–95 percent of its WMD capability eliminated. The editors further cited Ritter's opinion that it would have been impossible for Iraq to rearm "from scratch" within the four years since the UN had left given the level of scrutiny they were under.[50]

A 30 April 2003 Media Lens database search, covering the period leading up to and including the invasion of Iraq found that of the 5,767 articles published by The Guardian and its sister paper The Observer only 12 made any mention of Scott Ritter. According to Edwards, this constituted "a shocking suppression of serious and credible dissident views", which he said were "soon to be entirely vindicated".[51][52] This is a view shared by Eddie Girdner, who cites Media Lens as among those who drew this conclusion before the war began.[53]

According to Richard Alexander, writing in 2010 about the Iraq war, Edwards and Cromwell "trenchantly dissected the servant role the British media played in bolstering the lies to the British public purveyed by the UK government".[54]

Reporting of conflict[edit]

Media Lens in 2003 compared the BBC's reporting on the Iraq war to "Boys' Own war pornography".[55] They cited a rhetorical question posed by BBC correspondent Bridget Kendall in 2006, about whether the Iraq war was "justified" or a "disastrous miscalculation" as a demonstration of personal bias, which they see as being the "norm", rather than meeting the requirement for reporting to be impartial. In their opinion, this excluded the arguments of the anti-war movement and ex-UN secretary general Kofi Annan, who are considered to have seen the war as "an illegal war of aggression".[56]

To sustain their argument that journalists regularly present inflated assessments of the accomplishments of western politicians, they have cited comments made by Andrew Marr in 2003, while he was the BBC's political editor. They consider Marr to be overtly sympathetic to the former prime minister.[57] Cromwell and Edwards asserted in 2003 that "there never was an Iraqi threat" and "If Tony Blair and George W. Bush are not guilty of war crimes, who is?"[58]

Casualty figures[edit]

Media Lens have challenged the mainstream press coverage of the extent of killings during the conflict.[2][20][59] An example is the treatment of data from several academic surveys on the casualties during the Iraq War published in The Lancet by academics from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, which estimated that 655,000 excess deaths had occurred since the invasion, than would have been expected in the absence of conflict. Despite the survey using recognised statistical methods, its findings were rejected by US and UK governments, who cited a much lower figure, a position which was largely supported in US and UK media coverage.[20][60] Media Lens contrasted the media response to the Iraq study, with uncritical coverage of a similar study by the same researchers, using the same methods, which had estimated 1.7 million deaths in the Congo.[20][60] Following criticism from Media Lens over an article written for The Guardian, mathematician John Allen Paulos acknowledged he had been wrong to use a "largely baseless personal assessment", to call into question the findings of the Lancet study.[59][61]

Media Lens challenged The Independent's Mary Dejevsky to explain an editorial comment in the paper that, "by extrapolating from a small sample... While never completely discredited, those figures were widely doubted". Dejevsky responded that, while the sample may have been standard, it seemed small from her "lay perspective". Her main point "was less based on my impression than on the fact that this technique exposed the authors to the criticisms/dismissal that the govt duly made, and they had little to counter those criticisms with, bar the defence that their methods were standard for those sort of surveys". The response was considered incoherent by Edward Herman who stated it was "Massive incompetence in support of a war-apologetic agenda".[59][61] According to Mukhopadhyay, the exchange was evidence that journalists, who do not have the statistical expertise to evaluate technical reports, "do not always take the obvious step of seeking expert advice".[59] Reviewing Media Lens' engagement with press coverage of The Lancet study, Arvind Sivaramakrishna drew a similar conclusion stating, "Political correspondents are clearly ignorant of sampling frames and techniques, confidence limits, significance levels, likelihood estimators, and so on."[60]

Peter Beaumont accused the group in April 2006, of a campaign apparently intended to silence John Sloboda and his Iraq Body Count project, because it produced a victim count lower than the Lancet study.[8][62][63] Iraq Body Count published a paper at this time, which accused Media Lens in particular of its opponents, of work which is "inaccurate and exaggerated, personal, offensive, and part of a concerted campaign to undermine IBC’s reputation among those who use our data".[64]

In the same month in 2006, David Fuller, a journalist on Newsnight, covered their critique of Sloboda and the IBC's methods and also summarised his findings on the BBC website.[65] The Media Lens editors considered Fuller's attack "the most distorted and damaging smear of our work" up to that point but the editors' decision not to accept invitations to appear on Newsnight, led Fuller to accuse them of "[refusing] to engage in any way that does not allow them total control of the interaction."[66][67] Sloboda said Media Lens "are a pressure group that use[s] aggressive and emotionally destructive tactics".[63] Media Lens in turn have accused Sloboda of not being an epidemiologist and therefore unqualified to undertake, or criticise, studies on unexpected mortalities in Iraq.[68] Sloboda acknowledged that Iraq body count were "amateurs" but strenuously denied this should have any negative connotations on their work.[69]

In August 2009 Z Net, the website has reprinted Media Lens alerts, published a article by Robert Shone accusing the editors of errors in its critique of the IBC, particularly its assumption that IBC only used western media sources in counting fatalities in Iraq.[70] Cromwell confirmed in a Green Left Weekly interview that they had responded to Shone "long ago", but their rebuttals had "dropped off the bottom" of the group's (then active) message board. About Shone’s ZNet article: "We learned a long time ago that constantly responding to unreasonable critics just feeds their obsession and inner turmoil. It’s why we stopped."[71]

Journalist Peter Oborne, when researching media coverage of the Iraq war, found the site "extremely useful". He described the site as "often unfair but sometimes highly perceptive".[72] Of Media Lens, John Pilger wrote "that, without their meticulous and humane analysis, the full gravity of the debacles of Iraq and Afghanistan might have been consigned to bad journalism's first draft of bad history".[7]

Srebrenica: Chomsky and others[edit]

Concerning the Srebrenica massacre of July 1995, the Media Lens editors asserted in November 2009, "Apart from affirming that a massacre did take place, we have written virtually nothing about Srebrenica".[73] The sources of conflict with their critics have been the distinction between a massacre and the act of genocide and the freedom to contest generally accepted evidence for historical events. In a 2006 alert, which took the form of an open letter responding to the BBC's correspondent John Simpson, who had reported from Belgrade during the wars in the former Yugoslavia, they wrote that "our argument is that the kind of points made by" Chomsky, Herman, Diana Johnstone, and Pilger, among others, "were almost never seen in the mainstream media, the BBC included".[74]

The Guardian newspaper published on 31 October 2005 an interview with Noam Chomsky conducted by Emma Brockes.[75] Chomsky complained about the interview in a letter to Ian Mayes the readers' editor on 3 November 2005, after which Media Lens responded with their first article on this issue on 4 November.[76][77] The Guardian apologised within a few weeks concluding that Brockes had misrepresented Chomsky's views on the Srebrenica massacre and his support for Diana Johnstone. According to The Guardian, neither of them "have ever denied the fact of the massacre".[78] Media Lens responded to The Guardian's change of mind in a second article posted on 21 November.[79]

The repercussions of the Brockes interview continued for some time. Ian Mayes, then the readers' editor of The Guardian, wrote on 12 December 2005 about "several hundred" emails from Media Lens followers, who were campaigning in support of Chomsky, to Mayes himself and Brockes.[80] In December 2009, Oliver Kamm wrote in his blog for The Times newspaper that Media Lens had removed from their website a reprint of open letter to Amnesty International by Edward S. Herman and David Peterson in which the authors, Kamm asserted, repeated false claims about Serb-run detention camps in Bosnia which had led in 2000 to a successful libel action brought against LM magazine (originally Living Marxism) by ITN.[81][82][83]

In June 2011 George Monbiot wrote that Media Lens of "maintain[ing] that Herman and Peterson were 'perfectly entitled' to talk down the numbers killed at Srebrenica".[9] (Media Lens editors had written in 2009: "Herman and Peterson, then, are not denying that mass killings took place at Srebrenica. They also do not accept the figure cited by [Oliver] Kamm and others, but that they are perfectly entitled to do.")[73] Monbiot wrote that Herman and Media Lens had taken "the unwarranted step of belittling the acts of genocide committed by opponents of the western powers".[9] Media Lens responded that their argument had been that that Herman and Peterson were "perfectly entitled" to debate the facts not that "they are entitled to falsify, mislead, wilfully deceive, or whatever 'talk down' was intended to suggest".[84] Jonathan Cook agreed. Cook, a journalist specialising in the Middle East who has contributed to their website.[85][86]

Aside from Holocaust denial, which Media Lens finds particularly insidious "because of the extreme racism and hatred motivating the doubt in this particular instance", they wrote in August 2011

To be clear, we reject the right of any court, any government, indeed anyone, to apply labels like 'genocide' to historical events and then, not merely argue but demand that they be accepted. The assumption that human institutions are in possession of Absolute Truth belongs to the era of The Inquisition, not to serious debate.[73][84]

The Times commentator Oliver Kamm, ("[o]ne of our most relentless critics"), wrote in October 2012: "The International Commission on Missing Persons (ICMP) has revealed the identity of 6,598 people missing since the fall of Srebrenica, through DNA analysis of human remains in mass graves. It estimates the total number of victims as around 8,100. If ML maintains that deniers [Herman and Peterson] are 'perfectly entitled' to their position, it must believe that the ICMP has faked that analysis".[30][73] In his opinion, Media Lens "stands with genocide deniers" in its connection with Herman and his colleague, David Peterson.[30] The Media Lens editors wrote in November 2009, that they had only written "defending Noam Chomsky" against the Guardian's claims in the rescinded interview by Brockes.[73]

Syria[edit]

Rupert Read, an academic and Green Party politician, has written that Media Lens tends to talk up the numbers of victims from western actions but minimise those of regimes in conflict with the west, such as those of Milošević and Bashar al-Assad in Syria.[29] He has written that the editors use dubious source material on fatalities in the conflicts in Syria from Aisling Byrne and Robert Dreyfuss,[29] which serves "tacitly to increase the credibility of Assad’s black propaganda".[87] David Edwards responded that Pilger, David Peterson and others, responded positively to their alerts on Syria and that "We have received literally one negative response – from Rupert Read".[88] This issue was also raised by Oliver Kamm later in 2012.[30]

The cartoonist and writer Martin Rowson in June 2012, suggested in Tribune that the Media Lens editors indulge in "shilling for tyrants", following an exchange with them on Twitter in which the editors accused him of depicting a bloodstained Bashar al-Assad after the Houla massacre, without having evidence of the Assad regime's responsibility for the atrocity and for using only his "'cartoonist's hunch'" as proof.[89][90] They asked Rowson on Twitter: "Would you rely on a 'hunch' in depicting Obama and Cameron with mouths smeared with the blood of massacred children?"[90] According to Rowson though, accusing them of advocating literalness in his work: "despite my repeated requests, they still won’t or can’t tell me why they don’t also demand my evidence for alleging that Merkel [Angela Merkel] and Lagarde [Christine Lagarde] have really truly desecrated corpses".[89]

Further reading[edit]

The editors of Media Lens have co-authored two books:

David Cromwell's Why Are We the Good Guys?: Reclaiming Your Mind from the Delusions of Propaganda (September 2012, Alresford: Zero Books, ISBN 978-1780993652) also draws on Media Lens' contact with journalists.[93]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "What is Our Objective?". Media Lens. Retrieved 14 December 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Boyd-Barrett, Oliver (2010). "Newspeak in the 21st Century - Book Review" (PDF). Media, War & Conflict 3: 371. doi:10.1177/17506352100030030903. Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Neil Clark "The Left vs. the Liberal Media", The American Conservative, 15 May 2013
  4. ^ a b c Peter Wilby "On the margins", New Statesman, 30 January 2006
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Murphy, Elliot (6 May 2014). "There Will Be Tweets: Media Lens and the Death of Friendship". Z net. Retrieved 22 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Murdock, Graham; Pickering, Michael (2008). Narrating Media History. Routledge. p. 169. ISBN 0415419158. 
  7. ^ a b c John Pilger "The cyber guardians of honest journalism", New Statesman, 29 November 2007
  8. ^ a b c d Peter Beaumont "Microscope on Medialens", The Observer, 18 June 2006. See also "A Superb Demolition – Part 3 – Squeaky Spleen – Beaumont Strikes Back", Media Lens, 28 June 2006
  9. ^ a b c George Monbiot "Left and libertarian right cohabit in the weird world of the genocide belittlers", The Guardian, 13 June 2011
  10. ^ At the end of each alert is the advice: "The goal of Media Lens is to promote rationality, compassion and respect for others ... we strongly urge you to maintain a polite, non-aggressive and non-abusive tone." See for example: Edwards and Cromwell "Three Little Words: WikiLeaks, Libya, Oil", Media Lens, 22 June 2011
  11. ^ a b Sam Walby "Interview with David Edwards from Media Lens", UK Indymedia, 10 May 2011.Interview also reproduced at "Interview with David Edwards", Now Then magazine, [June 2011]
  12. ^ David Cromwell Why Are We the Good Guys? Alresford: Zero Books, 2012, p.30
  13. ^ Cromwell Why Are We the Good Guys?, p.35
  14. ^ a b c Joan Pedro "Interview with David Edwards and David Cromwell of Media Lens", alterzoom website, 6 October 2007
  15. ^ a b c Freedman, Des (2009). "‘Smooth Operator?’ The Propaganda Model and Moments of Crisis" (PDF). Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture 6 (2): 59–72. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c Edwards, Cromwell (2006). Guardians of Power: The Myth of the Liberal Media. Pluto Press. pp. 4–5. ISBN 0745324827. 
  17. ^ David Edwards "Life or Death: Media watchdog David Edwards spurs Buddhists to action", Tricycle, Fall 2005
  18. ^ See the last chapter of Newspeak in the 21st Century (London: Pluto, 2009) where Edwards explains this part of his life.
  19. ^ Judith Townend "Q&A: Media Lens – 'Our book will likely be more or less ignored, as other similar books have been'", Journalism (website), 2 December 2009
  20. ^ a b c d Brock-Utne, Birgit (2011). Expanding Peace Journalism: Comparative and Critical Approaches. Sydney University Press. p. 86-. ISBN 1920899707. .
  21. ^ See for example "The Balance of Power – Exchanges With BBC Journalists", Media Lens, 15 October 2009.
  22. ^ Media Lens, About Us, retrieved 2 March 2010 
  23. ^ a b Quoted in Dan Raymond Barker "Rax Interview with Media Lens", New Internationalist (blog), 12 January 2011
  24. ^ David Edwards "An eye to media compassion", Dharma Life, No. 22, Spring 2004
  25. ^ Medialens; Lewis, Ed (15 August 2011). "Hackgate: A Triumph For The Liberal Media?". New Left Project. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  26. ^ See also Cromwell, David (4 July 2016). "Liberal Journalism and Its Corporate Sponsors: Interview". telesur. Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  27. ^ "[FAQ:] Are you saying that the mainstream media is some kind of a giant conspiracy to keep the public ignorant?" Media Lens, 27 September 2010
  28. ^ Cromwell Why Are We the Good Guys?, p.35. See also Sally Churchward "Is this the most controversial book of the 21st century?", Southern Daily Echo (Southampton), 28 January 2013
  29. ^ a b c d Rupert Read "Syria: my enemy’s enemy is not my friend", opendemocracy, 19 February 2012. Specifically Read was responding to a two-part alert: "UN 'Travesty': Resolutions Of Mass Destruction – Part 1", and "...Part 2", Media Lens, 14 & 16 February 2012. These alerts were reprinted on the New Internationalist website here and here. Media Lens responded to Rupert Read on their forum on 21 February. A later version of Read's piece: "The Left must support the Syrian uprising!" New Internationalist (blog), 23 February 2012 was partially disowned by NI.
  30. ^ a b c d Oliver Kamm "Media Lens: a warning", The Times (Beta Opinion blog), 22 October 2012.
  31. ^ Ian Sinclair "All Eyes on Media Lens", Morning Star, 13 November 2006
  32. ^ Barnfield, Graham (12 November 2009). "Newspeak in the 21st Century". Times Higher Education (London).  For Media Lens articles on this point see "Ridiculing Chavez – The Media Hit Their Stride – Part 1", Media Lens, 16 May 2006 and David Edwards "Death Of A Bogeyman - The Corporate Media Bury Hugo Chávez", Media Lens, 13 March 2013
  33. ^ Kamm, Oliver (27 February 2016). "The Pedant: Orwell was wrong: let’s embrace passive constructions". The Times (London). Retrieved 27 February 2016.  (subscription required)
  34. ^ John Rentoul "North Korea, Land of the Free", The Independent (Independent Minds blog), 8 June 2009. The article Rentoul cites is "Cartoon Korea: Filtered to Fit", Media Lens, 8 June 2009
  35. ^ Pilger: "I have worked all my career in the mainstream. I’ve done this by expending a huge amount of energy in maintaining my place, and fighting my corner. It has been often and literally a struggle, but in time I learned to navigate through and sometimes around institutions. Learning to navigate is critical for young, principled journalists." Interview with Michael Albert, Znet (Zcommunications), 16 February 2013
  36. ^ Ian Sinclair "Fourth estate agents", Peace News, No.2556, April 2013
  37. ^ David Edwards "Feral Journalism - Rewilding Dissent", Media Lens, 29 January 2015
  38. ^ a b White, Michael (16 May 2016). "Iraq, Syria and the cost of intervention (and non-intervention)". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  39. ^ Michael White "Media Lens shows it doesn't get the whole picture", The Guardian, 27 January 2012. White was responding to "Silence Of The Lambs: Seumas Milne, George Monbiot & ‘Media Analysis’ In The Guardian Wonderland", Media Lens, 25 January 2012 and "Snow, White And The Two Daves – The Guardian Responds", Media Lens, 2 February 2012 was the response to White's article.
  40. ^ Wearing, David (2 September 2015). "Six problems with Sarah Ditum’s article about Iraq and the left". openDemocracy. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  41. ^ Ditum, Sarah (24 August 2015). "Being right about the Iraq war has made the left insufferable". New Statesman. Retrieved 24 August 2015. 
  42. ^ For the response and context, see Edwards, David (4 September 2015). "Corbyn And The End Of Time - The 'Crisis Of Democracy'". Media Lens. Retrieved 15 September 2015. 
  43. ^ John Rentoul "Banging the Drum Against Human Rights", The Independent (Eagle Eye blog), 27 February 2011
  44. ^ Daniel Coysh "Newspeak In The 21st Century", Morning Star, 25 September 2009
  45. ^ a b c Peter Wilby "On the press: Publish and be damned", The Guardian, 7 July 2008
  46. ^ Peter Barron, the former editor of the BBC's Newsnight commented in November 2005 that although Cromwell and Edwards "are unfailingly polite", he had received "hundreds of e-mails from sometimes less-than-polite hommes engages - they're almost always men - most of whom don't appear to have watched the programme" as a result of complaints instigated by Media Lens. See Barron, Peter (11 November 2005). "Could you do better". BBC News. Retrieved 11 November 2005. 
  47. ^ See also David Peterson, et al "Guest Media Alert: David Peterson Responds to Oliver Kamm", Media Lens, 26 June 2008
  48. ^ Greenslade, Roy (30 November 2007). "Media Lens win Gandhi award for exposing the faults of liberal journalists". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2016. 
  49. ^ Omar Hayat. "Gandhi International Peace Award 2007 citation". 
  50. ^ a b "Iraq and Arms Inspectors - The Big Lie, Part 1". Media Lens. 28 October 2002. Retrieved 20 March 2013. 
  51. ^ Edwards, David (2010). Peace Journalism, War and Conflict Resolution. Peter Lang Publishing. p. 309. ISBN 1433107260. 
  52. ^ Cromwell and Edwards wrote in The Guardian in December 2004 about the limited media references to Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, both of whom resigned from the UN over the sanctions they had administered in Iraq. See Cromwell, David; Edwards, David (15 December 2004). "Balance in the service of falsehood". The Guardian. 
  53. ^ Girdner, Eddie (2008). USA and the New Middle East. Gyan Publishing House. pp. 26, 53. ISBN 8121210011. 
  54. ^ Alexander, Richard (2010). Framing Discourse on the Environment. Routledge. p. 110. ISBN 978-0-415-88835-6. 
  55. ^ "Horror, Cruelty And Misery – The Real Meaning Of 'Liberation'", Media Lens, 9 April 2003
  56. ^ David Cromwell and David Edwards "BBC controversy: Impartial, independent and trustworthy: Really? Try Looking at the Evidence", The First Post, 14 September 2009 (extract from Newspeak in the 21st Century, 2009)
  57. ^ Edwards and Cromwell "A Journey Unchallenged – Andrew Marr Interviews Tony Blair", Media Lens, 17 September 2010. Marr was one of their earliest critics, he described one argument they presented as "pernicious and anti-journalistic", see "The BBC's Political Editor Responds", Media Lens, 13 October 2001. For a hard copy version of this exchange see Edwards and Cromwell Guardians of Power, London: Pluto Press, 2006, pp. 105–108
  58. ^ Edwards and Cromwell "Adventures in Media Surreality – Part 1", Media Lens, 19 August 2003.
  59. ^ a b c d Mukhopadhyay, Swapna (2007). "How Many Deaths? Education for Statistical Empathy" (PDF). The Mathematics Enthusiast. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  60. ^ a b c Sivaramakrishna, Arvind (23 February 2010). "Critique of the mainstream press". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 March 2013. 
  61. ^ a b "Burying the Lancet - Part 2". Media Lens. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  62. ^ MediaLens (10 April 2006). "Iraq Body Count – A Shame Becoming Shameful". Retrieved 3 October 2009. 
  63. ^ a b transcript of an interview with David Fuller for Newsnight (2006), used for an item about Media Lens, criticises the sampling methods utilised by The Lancet study.
  64. ^ Hamit Dardagan, John Sloboda & Josh Dougherty "Speculation is no substitute: a defence of Iraq Body Count", Iraq Body Count. April 2006
  65. ^ David Fuller "Virtual war follows Iraq conflict", BBC News, 28 April 2006
  66. ^ Edwards and Cromwell "Maelstrom of Vitriol – The BBC Smears Media Lens", Media Lens, 3 May 2006
  67. ^ David Fuller "A cracked lens", The Guardian, 6 June 2006. See also "Iraq Body Count – Media Lens responds", BBC Newsnight, 28 April 2006
  68. ^ Newsnight Iraq Body Count – Media Lens responds 28 April 2006 Retrieved 26 September 2012
  69. ^ Newsnight Interview transcript – John Sloboda 28 April 2006 Retrieved 26 September 2012
  70. ^ Robert Shone "Media Lens's errors on Iraq Body Count", Znet/Z Communications, 14 August 2009
  71. ^ Mat Ward "How an activist fathered a media critic", Green Left Weekly, 4 August 2012
  72. ^ Oborne, Peter (2008). The Triumph of the Political Class. Pocket Books. p. 272. ISBN 141652665X. 
  73. ^ a b c d e Edwards, David; Cromwell, David (25 November 2009). "Dancing on a Mass Grave – Oliver Kamm of The Times Smears Media Lens". Media Lens. Retrieved 21 September 2012. 
  74. ^ Edwards, David; Cromwell, David (14 June 2006). "The BBC's John Simpson Responds Again". Media Lens. Retrieved 24 March 2016. 
  75. ^ Brockes, Emma (31 October 2005). "The Greatest Intellectual?". The Guardian.  Reproduced on chomsky.info/ . The readers' editor had advised the paper to remove the interview from their online archive, see Mayes, Ian (12 December 2005). "Open door". The Guardian.  The removal was something Chomsky had not asked The Guardian to do, and it is his official website on which it is reproduced.
  76. ^ Mayes, Ian (12 December 2005). "Open door". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  77. ^ Edwards, David; Cromwell, David (4 November 2005). "Smearing Chiomsky – The Guardian in the Gutter". Media Lens. 
  78. ^ "Corrections and Clarifications". The Guardian. 17 November 2005. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  79. ^ Edwards, David; Cromwell, David (21 November 2005). "Smearing Chomsky – The Guardian Backs Down". Media Lens. 
  80. ^ Ian Mayes "Open door", The Guardian, 12 December 2005. This article was in response to a complaint about the newspaper's retraction of Brockes' interview with Chomsky by David Aaronovitch, Oliver Kamm and Francis Wheen.
  81. ^ Kamm, Oliver (10 December 2009). "Retreat of the Srebrenica deniers". The Times. Archived from the original on 12 July 2010. 
  82. ^ Edwards, David; Cromwell, David (6 December 2009). "Deleted Thread: 'Open Letter To Amnesty International'". Media Lens (forum). Archived from the original on 24 February 2010. 
  83. ^ See also Simpson, Daniel (23 January 2010). "On Media Lens, Lying, and the Balkans". Balkan Witness. Retrieved 2 January 2016. 
  84. ^ a b Edwards, David; Cromwell, David (2 August 2011). "A 'Malign Intellectual Subculture' – George Monbiot Smears Chomsky, Herman, Peterson, Pilger And Media Lens". Media Lens.  Monbiot returned to this subject in a slightly later article: "Media Cleanse", monbiot.com, 4 August 2011
  85. ^ See for example Jonathan Cook wrote that Media Lens' position had been "that Herman and Peterson should be allowed to make their case about Rwanda and Bosnia.""Kidnaps by Israel – The British Media And The Invasion Of Gaza", Media Lens, 30 June 2011; "A Comparative Review Review of 'Flat Earth News' and 'Newspeak'", Media Lens, 20 November 2009 and "Guest Media Alert – Tilting Towards Israel", Media Lens, 4 January 2011
  86. ^ Jonathan Cook "The Dangerous Cult of the Guardian", Counterpunch, 28 September 2011. See also "Our response to Monbiot's June 13, 2011 article", Media Lens forum, 16 June 2011
  87. ^ Rupert Read "The Left must support the Syrian uprising!" cited above.
  88. ^ Media Lens "Response to Rupert Read's latest", Retrieved 26 September 2012
  89. ^ a b Martin Rowson "Life through Medialens – but not as we know it", Tribune, 17 June 2012
  90. ^ a b "The Houla Massacre", Media Lens, 31 May 2012. Media Lens wrote "We recognise the bloody ruthlessness of the Syrian Baathists, epitomised by Assad's father and continued now by his son, Bashar".
  91. ^ Guardians of Power, Media Lens, 12 November 2010
  92. ^ Newspeak In The 21st Century, Media Lens, 8 November 2010
  93. ^ Ian Sinclair "Why Are We The Good Guys? Reclaiming Your Mind From The Delusions Of Propaganda" Morning Star, 25 November 2012
  94. ^ a b Hackett, Robert; Carroll, William (2006). Remaking Media: The Struggle to Democratize Public Communication. Routledge. p. 63. ISBN 0203969928. 

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