The Sun

The Hillsborough Disaster and the Fresh Dangers of Media Manipulation

The long-overdue answers about police conduct during the appalling Hillsborough disaster have captured the media, and particularly the red-top, imagination. It’s small wonder- the tragedy is ingrained into our national psyche to a degree unmatched by any comparable event. Understandably, the families of the 96 have campaigned unrelentingly for justice, but the fascination extends beyond(…)

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Red or Black: a [Bad] Publicity Factory Closed Down Too Soon?

As Simon Cowell’s ‘Red or Black?’ approaches its end, the viewing figures tell an interesting story. The nosedive from its inaugural 6.4m audience to 4.47m on Sunday was splashed gleefully all over the press and the show was proclaimed to be Cowell’s first failure (certainly not true: remember Rock Rivals? Battle of The Stars? Of(…)

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Hapless Jacqui Smith, PR Maniac and foot shooting expert

You almost feel like applauding; Jacqui Smith has done it again. Obviously deciding that, since she isn’t quite so busy with politics anymore, she may as well give The Sun something to do. It emerged yesterday that Smith recently borrowed two day-release lags from a charity run by Maureen Smith- a former political ally- to(…)

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After the Phone Hacking: Networking Sociably on the Social Networks

Back in February, I wrote an entry about the ‘lost art of the long lunch’, which lamented an unfortunate consequence of the modern, social media-dominated environment and its ten minute news cycle. With most conversations now conducted via mouthpiece or screen, and quickly at that, it strikes me that the generations of hacks cutting their(…)

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Power PR: Matthew Freud and the Murdoch Empire

Many media commentators are speculating on who exactly has the most to lose from the precipitous events caused by the News of the World hacking scandal. The obvious casualties are the hundred journalists who have been pushed out into the cold. Murdoch has withdrawn from BSkyB bid. Other titles are in a definitive tailspin. Andy(…)

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Anarcho-Royalism in the UK

In 1981 serious riots swept the country, but the Royal Wedding still comforted and distracted the great unwashed with sumptuous street parties and lit beacons of hope. 30 years later, thanks to the digital enlightenment and the forces of social media, we might well find ourselves experiencing significant social unrest at the wedding of Prince(…)

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Katie Price, Vengeful Goddess of the Tabloids

Ever since Tom Paine’s book Fame: From the Bronze Age to Britney came out, I have been looking more and more at the way celebrity and myth intersect – and now the news, and Katie Price specifically, has presented another killer analogy. In Celtic mythology, the Year King would be feted and loved and cherished(…)

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Leaders, Prime Ministers and the Next Generation

A couple of first nights have grabbed my attention in the last few days, and both of them have presented interesting conundrums to consider. The first is the production of Yes, Prime Minister that has just transferred to the West End. It’s a great show; very funny, very well acted and rather more radical than(…)

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No More Heroes: The media, football and built in obsolescence

Today’s edition of the Sun features an exposé of Wayne Rooney’s recent night on the tiles as his team-mates “completed rigorous pre-season fitness tours”. It is a typically irked and excitable article, chipping away at the veneer of sporting heroism that has been liberally applied to Rooney and his sporting colleagues in the past. The(…)

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Hauling England Over the Coles

There is no hope for the England team – every time one of them opens their mouth they put their foot in it and someone (usually the press) helpfully shoves the boot in too. What do we really expect, though, when the players have too much time, money and self-regard on their hands? Take Ashley(…)

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