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It's The Media Stupid conference slams Tory propaganda in right-wing media

THE malignant role of the right-wing media in promoting Tory propaganda was detailed at a packed conference in Leeds on Saturday entitled “It’s the Media, Stupid!”

Experts at the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (North) organised the conference in order to expose the links between the right-wing press, the BBC and politicians, which they claim undermine Britain’s democratic process through the mass spreading of propaganda and outright lies.

Professor Dominic Wring, co-director of a 2019 election survey at Loughborough University, said there was “huge antagonism towards Labour which increased as the election campaign went on.”

Education, housing and the environment were all issues that were “marginalised,” he said.

Nicholas Jones, author and former BBC industrial and political correspondent, said: “Jeremy Corbyn’s character assassination lasted four years.

“It started when he was elected in 2015 in what would become a production line of anti-Corbyn tirades, which were rehashed in 2017 and 2019.

“In 2017 Theresa May did not exploit the tag-lines. In 2019 Boris Johnson did. There was synchronisation between Johnson and his press supporters, with Corbyn as a ‘terrorists’ friend’ and security risk.

“The Sun, the Mail, the Telegraph and the Express are not now just supporters of the Tories. They are campaigners and propagandists.”

He said that in TV newspaper reviews (which exclude the Morning Star) reviewers were introduced as “authors” and “historians” but said that “they regularly write politicised pieces for the Sun, Mail, Telegraph and Express.”

The conference discussed ways to tackle the media’s bias.

Mr Jones said: “Any rebuilding of the opposition should encourage the growth of left-leaning think tanks and study centres to encourage new voices.

“Perhaps university academics and trade unions research teams can help fill the gap for a centre-left fightback on television and radio.”

Granville Williams of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom, said: “For four years we have been subject to a torrent of abuse.

“We cannot afford to wait five years. It is no good fighting the media on the battlefield because they have all the big guns. We have to have a guerilla war. We have to fight the war of the flea.”

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