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joe emersberger



Joined: 24 Jan 2004
Posts: 513
Location: Windsor, Onatrio, Canada

Post Post subject: to Guardian Reply with quote

Dear Mr. Rusbridger (or whoever wrote the leader):

You wrote that "BBC journalists must go on probing, must go on asking awkward questions - and must go on causing trouble." Good advice, although "go on probing" should read "begin to probe, "go on asking" should read "begin to ask" etc... Careful studies have shown that the BBC is very pro-governmnet compared to other British media outlets. [1]

Why don't you give the BBC a good example in asking tough questions by publicly debating the editors at Media Lens about how effectively and aggressively the Guardian challenged Blair's claims about Iraqi WMD before the war? Wouldn't that set a high standard for asking tough questions? You could also publish letters written by Media Lens readers in your letters page. That too would set a good example.

Regards,

Joe Emersberger

[1] "A study of British broadcasters carried out by Cardiff University concluded that the BBC had the most pro-war agenda of the lot. In a summary of his report, Professor
Justin Lewis revealed that the BBC relied on government and military sources to a far greater degree than did other broadcasters." The New Standard; A.J. Doherty : http://newstandardnews.net/content/?action=show_item&itemid=156

"As the media analyst David Miller points out, a study of the reporting of the war in five countries shows that the BBC allowed the least anti-war dissent of them all. Its 2 per cent dissenting views was lower even than the 7 per cent on the American channel ABC." John Pilger: Znet Commentary; http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=21&ItemID=3517

Mr. Mayes:

Paul Brown engaged in a very lively debate with Medialens and it readers about the Guardian's coverage of climate change, and the constraints placed on the media, in particular the Guardian, through its corporate structure and reliance on advertising revenue. Why doesn't this debate appear in your newspaper?

The issues debated by Paul Brown and Medialens were addressed in scores of emails to the letters page. You wrote an article on January 24 that was prompted in part ( I would guess largely) by letters sent by Medialens readers, but you did not address the most important points raised in those letters. Your readers are entitled to see the letters you responded to. They should also see the debate bewteen Brown and Media Lens. If you can't expose your readers to certain ideas and debates, no matter how reasonable and important, isn't that conclusive evidence of the truth of everything Media Lens has been saying?

Regards,

Joe Emersberger

Mr. Rusbridger:

I have put many polite, rational queries to you over the past year like the one below. I understand that you are a busy man, but why do you never respond?

I have received thoughtful replies from people at the Economist, the Independent, the BBC, various newspaper in Canada, and even the Guardian, but never from you. I can't help but believe that this very fact alone speaks to the lack of accountability of the mainstream media to its readers.

Regards,

Joe Emersberger
Fri Jan 30, 2004 5:55 am
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