The Terror News Cycle – Des Freedman

27 05 2017

On the BBC’s Today programme on Tuesday some nine hours after the horror of the Manchester bombing, Nick Robinson was speaking to Chris Phillips, a counter-terrorism expert. ‘Terrorists don’t care who they kill,’ Phillips said. ‘It’s the number of bodybags that determines success.’ ‘And the publicity,’ Robinson interjected. ‘And the publicity,’ Phillips agreed. Read the rest of this entry »





Murdoch’s access to British prime minister shows media power still in hands of the few – Des Freedman and Justin Schlosberg

8 02 2017

In 1996, when the web was in its infancy, the American technology writer Nicholas Negroponte predicted that the coming digital revolution would facilitate a “cottage industry of information and entertainment providers”. Read the rest of this entry »





Public service broadcasting: when the status quo won’t do – Des Freedman

2 12 2016

broadcastingAcademics like to talk of ‘critical junctures’: moments of great instability when different pressures and crises come together to produce the possibility of dramatic change. Read the rest of this entry »





The BBC and public service TV has a future: but it must change to survive – Des Freedman

9 07 2016

BBCWhat is the future of television, in an era of extraordinary technological change that has brought new challengers to the established broadcasting companies and their scheduled programmes? Who should it be aimed at and how will it be paid for? Read the rest of this entry »





Decoding the BBC White Paper – Des Freedman

13 05 2016

OfcomThe good folk at the Cambridge University Conservative Association must be a little disappointed. Having listened to culture secretary John Whittingdale tell them only last month that the disappearance of the BBC was “a tempting prospect”, they will now have noticed that his white paper on the future of the BBC is planning to do no such thing. Read the rest of this entry »





This isn’t public policy: the prelude to the BBC White Paper – Des Freedman

4 05 2016

PA-25302070It is hard to know whether the recent rumours about the contents of the forthcoming White Paper on the future of the BBC should be seen as light entertainment or crime drama. Three leading Sunday newspapers revealed that the government plans to interfere in the scheduling of popular programmes such as Strictly Come Dancing, Silent Witness and the News at Ten. Read the rest of this entry »





The Restoration of the House of Murdoch – Des Freedman

2 02 2016

James MurdochJames Murdoch, younger son of billionaire media mogul and keen tweeter Rupert Murdoch, has been appointed as chairman of the UK’s biggest broadcaster, BSkyB. Normally, top boardroom appointments would merit perhaps a mention in business blogs and the City pages of the press but this is more significant for what it tell us about corporate power and governance in the UK today. Read the rest of this entry »