Mirror Mirror on the Wall: Brexit, Trump & the Media

As a Brit watching the unfolding theatrics of the American presidential election, I cannot help but think of the Brexit Referendum.

Here, the complex social, political and economic context - that created the environment - that facilitated the vote and the outcome were ignored. Instead the arguments and the ultimate decision put forth were oversimplified, the very framework of the debate, and in many ways society, were redefined within these terms.

As someone who has studied or worked in the media for 13 years, one of the biggest culprits – if not the biggest – is the media. We are being failed by our media. Fundamentally and almost absolutely. While online social media has its benefits, for the institution of journalism and media, it has been a nail in the coffin.

The media plays such an unbelievably pivotal role in society. But I increasingly struggle to see how it is doing anything other than taking us further and further away from reality. A reality that we must acknowledge, accept and understand before any real change or progress can be made. 

Of course, it’s not all bad. But...

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Munich: what does terrorism look like?

Police have said there is an “obvious link” between the Munich shooter and extreme right-wing terrorist Anders Breivik; the man behind the 2011 Norway massacre at a children's camp, who wrote a political manifesto and  in court gave a nazi salute. Breivik was even this Munich guys whatsapp profile picture. However, what is interesting is that I have seen repeatedly in the papers and on the tv news (and by the same police who have just said there’s an "obvious link" to Breivik) that this is NOT terrorism but a “classic killing spree”. The long and short of it is this; it is ridiculous to rule out terrorism whilst at the same time saying there are “obvious links” to a terrorist. This narrative that terrorism only belonging to Muslims and the disparity between how perpetrators of these attacks are treated is never so obvious than at times like this, when the media, politicians and police have decided they don’t want to apply the usual rules to a case...

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Goodbye To Our Independent...

Isn’t it too soon for me to be saying “that’s not how it was in my day!” But, alas, these are the days we live in. I’m told (mostly by women’s magazines) that 30 is the new 20…and apparently the new 60 too.

When I was studying print journalism (not long-ago enough for it to have become the outdated mode that it is today, but a little too long-ago for me to care to admit) there was no social media. Facebook and Twitter only launched to the public in my last year of university (I had a MySpace page that briefly held my attention…it was the post-teen equivalent of how I used to cover my books in high school and I really hope it is not still available online somewhere). Anyway, for the most part, student aspirations were still to somehow wriggle their way in to a job at a national newspaper.

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