I decided not to blog about media stuff too much here as I usually write in contribution to other blogs and sites as part of direct action campaigns. But this recent story has send me scrambling into my other category.
Medialens.org is a site that discusses the broadsheets in the UK. That is, the intelligent free-press such as the Guardian or even the BBC, and not the tabloids. They analyse articles and write them up on the site, encouraging readers to engage the journalists in debate. The site has two editors, one of which is a committed pacifist and Buddhist. The site does not tolerate abusive E-mails sent out by readers and is the model of non-violent resistance through dialogue.
Just this week though, there was a chilling development. The latest alert on media performance in the build up to a possible conflict with Iran has provoked legal threats by Alastair Brett, head of legal matters at News Corp's UK wing. News Corp is a huge corporation that owns the Times, the UK paper in question, and is run by Rupert Murdoch. Legal action that would surely crush the site has been threatened if the site's article doesn't remove all quoted material from their writer Bronwen Maddox and Medialens readers must stop writing in to the Times about it.
This is an unprecedented attack by corporate media power on indymedia sites, basically to enforce non-accountability in the face of their involvement in oiling the war machine. So extreme is this incident that reaction is appearing within other corporate media bastions:
Here is the Guardian write up by Peter Wilby: Publish and be Damned
And here is the original alert by Medialens: Selling the Fireball