Tag Archives: Media

Modern slavery and the media: What we don’t know can hurt us

This piece was originally published by René Cassin. Who has read about John Lewis and Habitat’s decision to stop selling a range of granite worktops over worries that slaves played a part in making them? When the news broke early this month, only The Guardian and The Metro gave it airtime. An imbalance is hardening in the British media. What the public knows about modern slavery relates overwhelmingly to the prosecution and conviction of criminals. But that’s only a fraction of the story – and, when it comes to slavery, what we don’t know really can hurt us. The more mugshots fill front pages, the harder it is to see the bigger picture. For newspapers chasing headlines, supply chains and victim protection rarely fit the bill. At the centre of Britain’s problem with slavery, though, are the hidden tentacles of networks that reach well beyond our borders. Modern slavery is as much about the businesses and …

Time to put a stop to celeb fever

“You’re not anyone in America unless you’re on TV”. In one fell swoop, Nicole Kidman proffered a sad indictment of a culture on the brink. As the consequences of ‘celebrity’ metastasise day by day, we wallow in a mire of intellectual degradation. Leave your dignity at the door, and enter if you dare. In the age of celebrity for celebrity’s sake, it’s less a case of what’s in the public’s interest, than what’s interesting to the public. And we’re hooked. It’s about time we went cold turkey. Twitterati illuminate the blogosphere like countless moths orbiting a light bulb, radiating their toxic gibberish, contaminating the rest of us. Enough is enough, don’t you think? Their noxious gases infect the morality of an increasingly globalised world, not to mention the money and time celeb-junkies waste to get their latest fix. If one of your family members is a drug addict, you’ve got …

Up in flames

Ignorance breeds intolerance; it’s just a shame to see the media fuelling it. The rapacious hounds of the tabloid press have played out the burn-the-Koran farce with their habitual feigned indignation, succeeding in whipping up a media tornado that serves only to fan the flames of hatred. A wisp of smoke billowing from a lonely Koran would hardly have changed the world. Yet as a media ruckus hysterically dramatises a non-event, we merely raise a plinth from which Pastor Jones’ contemptible preaching can reach a wider audience. As Jones’ unsubstantiated claims are disseminated through every available media outlet, the delirious pastor’s formerly paltry throng of disciples swells. His insensitive intention to burn the holy text of Islam, as a commemoration of those killed on 9/11, instantly received ubiquitous airtime. Before the fire was senselessly transformed into an incandescent blaze, this bigot was simply an oddball preaching in a tucked-away corner …