press censorship and non censorship

james armstrong james36armstrong at
Thu Nov 25 19:52:10 GMT 2010

To-days coverage of the  24 November student  demonstrations in London etc.

on BBC Radio 4 on the 6pm
News slot was brief.

The Financial Times ran a headline  ‘Start Up Protests’,   with pics.

 And inside  FT was more coverage with 4 pics

Daily Mail Front Page “ Rage of the Girl  Rioters” with pics

Guardian Front Page reads 
“Schools Out children take to the streets”

Inside  G. a double
page spread with pics

Daily telegraph reads “Student Protests turn to violence

And inside, “Revolution in the classroom.”


In September 09 the coverage of the Iran
presidential elections went on for days in UK
press  and t.v,. with interviews of the
opposition marchers.Only) 

Some days  later  BBC Radio Four
 8am reported (with some disappointment?)  ‘there were 
no demonstrations yesterday in Tehran.’


Listeners/readers will remember the wide coverage of a group
of  Gurkha ex-soldiers protesting outside
Parliament at receiving smaller pensions than UK
ex soldiers and being refused the right to residence in UK
on retirement.  I counted 18 protesters
in the group (plus Joanna Lumley) .and there were more reporters than
demonstrators.  JL was  quoted in full with a hapless Labour Minister
disconsolately  nodding approval as she
triumphantly repeated the Government’s concessions.   

At the time of the 
protest of the bhuddist monks  in Myanmar,
thousands took to the streets of Rangoon
.  BBC reporters, in spite of a Myanmar
Government ban  , managed to be present
and interviewed  protesters.   The events were given wide coverage on t.v.
and in the UK


  On a Sunday early in
 February 2003, some one to two million
people peacefully demonstrated against the imminent  invasion of Iraq, marching from the
Embankment  via Whitehall and along
Piccadilly massing in Hyde Park to hear a dozen or so speakers including Wedgie
Benn,  say ‘No’    Other demonstrations took place
simultaneously up and down the country and also in USA. 

Later that day I listened on the evening radio news programmes
for reports and heard nothing.  Next day
I  got the Observer- nothing .  The sole coverage had been a feature had been
a big article  in the Saturday Guardian
on the eve of the demo ( with pics ) 

  I could find no
reports  of this anti Iraq
invasion demo ,  nor pics nor radio
coverage in the days following. 

What does this say about freedom of the press?   Where are our fearless reporters?2003 was the largest UK political protest mawrch ever. (though  the Chartists collected 3million signatures (which were ignored) in 1848



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