In case you missed it, here’s The Canary’s Editor-in-Chief dropping a truth bomb on Question Time [VIDEO]

Kerry Anne Question Time Media

On Thursday 29 June, The Canary‘s Editor-in-Chief Kerry-Anne Mendoza made her first appearance on BBC Question Time. And when an audience member posed a question about the mainstream media, Mendoza had a few home truths to point out.

What’s the point of the mainstream media?

The panel were responding to a question from ‘Dave’, who asked [49.00]:

Do the mainstream media still serve any useful purpose?

Mendoza said [from 50.40]:

The issue is a painful lack of diversity in our mainstream media… First, you have a lack of diversity in terms of ownership. 80% of our media is owned by six corporations. That’s unacceptable. But that lack of diversity then permeates into the newsrooms.

Corporate wealth

This lack of media diversity is shown by the handful of people who own the press:

  • Billionaire Rupert Murdoch owns The Sun and The Times.
  • The Barclay brothers, worth £7.2bn [paywall], own The Telegraph.
  • With a fortune of £2.5bn [paywall], Richard Desmond owns The Star and The Express.
  • Viscount Rothermere, whose family is worth almost a billion [paywall], runs The Daily Mail.
  • Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev owns The Independent with his son.

LBC host Nick Ferrari said Mendoza’s point was “rubbish”. But she went on to quote a study by the Social Mobility Commission which shows that 51% of journalists were educated at public schools. This compares to just 7% of the wider population.

Read on...

“Mad ramblings”?

She continued:

So what you end up with is a mostly white, mostly male, mostly middle-class media based mostly in London… And the problem with that… is that narrow slice of humanity doesn’t know what it doesn’t know… It shouldn’t be a controversial point to say that the newsrooms of the British media should look and sound like the modern Britain in which they sit.

But Ferrari wasn’t having it. He said [from 52.48] that he had been “in and around” the mainstream media for “fifty years”; and that “never has the mainstream media been more important”. Also, he accused some new media of being akin to “the mad ramblings of the man on the top deck of the bus, speaking into his hand”. But Mendoza came back with an uncomfortable truth:

Swathes of the mainstream media have been happy to give a platform to Katie Hopkins, although she has now been sacked by LBC. She has called migrants cockroaches and claimed she didn’t care about “coffins and bodies floating in the water”. Just recently, a Muslim man was reportedly knocked unconscious and his home was spray-painted with words echoing those written by Hopkins after the recent Manchester attack.

A free and fearless media?

Studies show the mainstream media in the UK has a bias and freedom problem. For example, Reporters Without Borders has now ranked the UK 40th in its Press Freedom Index.

Nordic countries lead the index. Norway is first, followed by Sweden, Finland, and Denmark. And ahead of the UK are three former Soviet countries: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Also ranking better than the British press are Costa Rica, Jamaica, Namibia, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, and Uruguay.

Reporters Without Borders says of the UK ranking:

A heavy-handed approach towards the press – often in the name of national security – has resulted in the UK slipping down the [index]. Parliament adopted the most extreme surveillance legislation in UK history, the Investigatory Powers Act… posing a serious threat to investigative journalism. Even more alarming, the Law Commission’s proposal for a new ‘Espionage Act’ would make it easy to classify journalists as ‘spies’ and jail them for up to 14 years for simply obtaining leaked information.

Subverting democracy

A combination of corporate influence, government interference, and an ever-decreasing talent pool has caused the UK media’s grip on power to wane. And it is noticeable in the rise of both independent outlets and social media. But much still has to change before the country finally has a free and fearless media that doesn’t subvert democracy. So until such time, it’s important that the public know the truth about our mainstream media. And it’s crucial that The Canary, and others, hold it to account at every available opportunity.

You can watch the full exchange here:

Get Involved!

Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.

– Read and support other independent media outlets that hold the powerful to account:

Media DiversifiedNovara MediaCorporate WatchRed PepperNew InternationalistCommon SpaceMedia LensBella CaledoniaVox PoliticalEvolve PoliticsReal MediaReel NewsSTRIKE! magazineThe Bristol CableThe Meteor, Salford StarThe Ferret.

Featured image via screengrabs

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed