The Oxygen of Publicity?

In an oft-cited speech given in 1985, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher argued that newspapers and television helped terrorism thrive because terrorist acts make compelling viewing. ‘The hijacker and the terrorist thrive on publicity’, she said. ‘They see how acts of violence and horror dominate the newspaper columns and television screens of the free… Continue reading

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Ahora Almodóvar: Spanish filmaker calls for radical political change

Filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar is among the 120 leading cultural figures who have signed an open letter calling for political change in Spain. Praising the 15-M movement that saw thousands of people from the grassroots occupying the main squares of Spanish cities in 2011, the signatories have called attention to the electory victories of Ahora Madrid… Continue reading

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UK Media Bias

  Responses this week to publication of the recently re-elected British government’s budget resonate with the longstanding claim that the Conservatives and substantial parts of the British press enjoy a warm relationship. The rightwing Daily Mail depicted the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, as ‘fearless George’ slaying the dragons of the lazy and the… Continue reading

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The Daily Show and the Scottish referendum

An encounter between comedian Jon Stewart and Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, underlined both the global appeal of The Daily Show and the performance skills that contributed to the success of the Scottish Nationalist Party in the British general election. This success prompted a jibe from Stewart who, commenting on the fact that the SNP… Continue reading

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Prince and Peace

After weeks of protests and unrest after the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray in police custody, thousands turned out to hear Prince at his Rally 4 Peace concert. Envisaged by the organizers as a ‘catalyst for pause and reflection’, the concert was replete with political statements as well as songs. Prince called for members of… Continue reading

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