The relatively cozy relationship that existed between politicians and the press during the twentieth century began to seriously erode with Vietnam and Watergate. Irish media's cosy ties to politics and money require scrutiny the relationship between the main political parties in Ireland and the major journalistic outlets. . for independent journalism with a year-end gift to The Guardian. The News Media as a Political Institution Timothy E. Cook The Sedition Act was already set to expire in at the end of Adams's first (and only) term, officials or otherwise threatened the cozy relationship of politics and the press The.
It is a phenomenon hardly confined to Britain. All the same, her experience was something of a rarity in a country where many consider that the indigenous media is so relatively small that journalists do not need to leave their reporting posts to exert political influence. There is an uncomfortable cosiness about the relationship between the main political parties in Ireland and the major journalistic outlets.
Together, these quite separate forces amount to an existential crisis for Irish journalism.
Daily Mail — can the new editor keep Brexiters and remainers happy? Jane Martinson Read more Pleas to the government by the Irish branch of the National Union of Journalists to set up a media commission to study the situation have gone unheeded. They included journalists whose confidential sources may therefore have been compromised. Earlier this month, after a series of bitter court battles, a judge decided that the ODCE should send inspectors into INM to discover exactly what has been going on.
In his page ruling, one quote from Mr Justice Peter Kelly stands out: It is in the public interest to discover everything about, in particular, the data interrogation issue so as to find out if there were wrongdoings carried on by the company in the conduct of its business, or by persons connected with its management.
But, aside from governance, there have long been reasons to question the journalistic integrity of INM, especially at its flagship titles, the Irish Independent and Sunday Independent. So why do politicians continue to be obsessed with newspapers?#MeToo Impact: Suhel Seth Fired From Tata Sons After 6 Women Accuse Him
The conventional explanation is because they want their endorsement at election time. Yet no one has been able to find convincing evidence that newspaper endorsements actually make a difference to how people vote. Attempts by political scientists to find a correlation usually come up empty-handed, or worse.
Inthe same paper gloated: Newspapers can't control their readers, however much they might boast about it. Today, when they have such a hard time getting their readers to notice them at all, it seems incredible that anyone should believe they can.
What the politicians are frightened of is not newspapers that switch support between parties, but newspapers that stir up trouble inside the government. There is plenty of evidence that the thing that really turns off voters is a divided party. To take one example: This is the real secret of Murdoch's power: If newspaper ownership translated into block voting, this would enable him to fix every election. But he can't — Australian elections tend to be close, and don't always go the way of the Murdoch press.
Best frenemies: politicians and the press | Media | The Guardian
What he can do is destabilise any government once it is in power. So now the Murdoch press is doing its best to talk up her most plausible internal rival, and spread any rumour it can find about her imminent demise.
The name of this rival: Murdoch has always known that the power of newspapers is to play the big beasts off against each other.
In his appearance before the select committee, Rupert told his bemused audience how proud he was of his dad, whom he said was hated by the British political establishment for exposing the incompetence in the Gallipoli campaign. The Murdoch clan have always mythologised themselves as anti-establishment truth-tellers. What Murdoch didn't say was that his father tried to use his Gallipoli scoop to set British and Australian army generals against each other in an attempt to win the ear of their respective prime ministers.
That's the real Murdoch way — divide and conquer. And that's why the Australian political establishment ended up hating Rupert's father, too. But as well as threatening internal strife, newspaper barons can also do something else: Lloyd George always said of the two newspaper titans of his day — Beaverbrook and Northcliffe — that what he valued from them was not so much their editorial support as "their power to shut out his detractors".
Best frenemies: politicians and the press
But Blair did need the help of the Sun and the other Murdoch titles to help see off the one serious enemy he faced throughout his time in office: Brown early on befriended Paul Dacreeditor of the Daily Mail, and the Mail became a platform for talking up Brown's claims and Blair's inadequacies. But the Murdoch press never followed suit.
Had they done so, Blair would almost certainly not have survived his second term. If the court Blair paid to Murdoch and his minions helped to secure him this sort of devotion, then it was clearly worth it, though we can't be sure exactly what he had to offer to get it. Whether it was worth it for Murdoch and Brooks is another question, since Watson was there to lead the interrogation of both of them on the culture select committee back in July, all the while trying not to smile.
The ability of the Murdoch press to hold the line against Brown shows what prime ministers like about newspaper barons: New prime ministers are often surprised by how little power they actually have to make things happen. They arrive in Downing Street full of plans to get things done, and then they discover that when they click their fingers, nothing happens. As Jonathan PowellBlair's ex-chief of staff, writes in his Downing Street memoirs, The New Machiavelli"prime ministers soon become convinced that real power lies somewhere else… and keep enviously trying to see if they can seize it".
The people they most envy are the ones who can click their fingers and watch everyone jump. No one can do this quite like the owners and editors of newspapers.
Irish media’s cosy ties to politics and money require scrutiny
In fact, unlike prime ministers, newspaper editors often find out that they have much more power than they could have imagined before they took office: The parlous state of the newspaper business has done nothing to diminish the extraordinary executive power of the people who run it. If anything, it has increased, by making everyone's job more precarious. In this world, unlike in politics, people will do what they are told. As in any dictatorship, the leaders sometimes find that their underlings are trying to fulfil their wishes without having checked what they are first.
That's why politicians do not just fear newspapers. They also envy them. It's what makes their relationship with editors and proprietors so different from their relationship with, say, the BBC, which has much more power to influence the views of its audience not least because it is so much more trusted than the press. What the BBC does not have is the sort of internal power structure that politicians respect.
The director-general can't control his underlings in the way Murdoch can control his: The result is that the BBC irritates politicians in a way the press does not. It never does anything nearly so unpleasant as the worst excesses of the tabloids, but nor does it ever do exactly what it is told.
It's a bit like the police in this respect: Newspapers are more like the army: Politicians like that, which is why senior politicians so much prefer the company of generals and editors to chief constables and BBC executives. It makes them feel in control. Of course, the journalists and generalsfor all their disdain for politicians, like it, too. Getting to hang out with the prime minister tells the world that they matter.
Newspapers have another sort of power that politicians both fear and envy: Powell tells me this is one of the things that most infuriated him about the BBC when he was working in Downing Street: If this were true, fewer of them would come unstuck that way: Politicians have to be pretty thick-skinned just to survive, which makes them relatively hard to intimidate.
But most other people, including almost everyone who works in the media, hate to see themselves exposed in print and know the harm it can do. The most impressive display of raw power by a newspaper in recent years was not directed against a politician. It was directed against Jonathan Rossa man whose political views count for nothing.
But the Daily Mail, by showing it had the power to take a stray remark from Ross and turn it into an issue that not only cost him and his producers their jobs, but also forced the resignation of the controller of Radio 2the most successful station in Britain, let everyone know what it was capable of.
This is real political power because it is used to intimidate the people the politicians would need on their side if they wanted to stand up to the press.