Nicholas Jones - Blog and Archive Website

Nicholas JonesA journalist of fifty years standing offers a personal and independent assessment of the often troubled relationship between public figures and the British news media.

My aim is to try to monitor events and issues affecting the ethics of journalism and the latest developments in the rapidly-changing world of press, television, radio and the Internet.

Expect too an insight into the black arts of media manipulation. So spin-doctors, Beware!

A journalist of fifty years standing offers a personal and independent assessment of the often troubled relationship between public figures and the British news media.

03 Dec 2019
Belittling Jo Swinson: no sisterly support from queens of mean

Liberal Democrats have grown accustomed over the years to press coverage that usually ignores their policies or belittles their party leader.

The traditional tabloid path – unless there is an incident that can be whipped up into a scandal – is to treat the Lib Dems as a footnote, meriting no more than a few sentences at the bottom of the page.

Jo Swinson has at least benefited from the recent moderation in language being used to challenge women in politics.

She has not been subjected to the full panoply of cruel jibes and crude headlines that were regularly deployed to ridicule her predecessors, Nick Clegg and the late Paddy Ashdown.

But whereas headline writers and her political opponents are on their guard to avoid sexist attacks, women diarists and columnists writing for the Tory [ ... ]

Election Campaigns
03 Dec 2019
“Oven ready” recipe for tabloid press exploitation of televised debate

When reporting the televised debates that have made such a welcome re-appearance in the 2019 general election, Conservative-supporting newspapers have – to quote Boris Johnson – an “oven ready” recipe for delivering yet another demolition job on Jeremy Corbyn.

Whatever the reality of the confrontation that has taken place, the tricks of the trade of tabloid reporting can be manipulated to achieve [ ... ]

Election Campaigns
22 Nov 2019
From hero to zero: Nigel Farage trashed by Tory tabloids

Nigel Farage, for so long the hero of the Brexiteers, has finally been well and truly trashed by the Tory tabloids, his erstwhile cheerleaders.

In Boris Johnson’s hour of need, Farage has been abandoned by newspapers that once went to the utmost lengths to promote his cheeky-chappie bloke-next-door image, pint of beer in hand.

When the Conservative Party is desperate for every vote to deliver Johnson’s [ ... ]

Election Campaigns
14 Nov 2019
Boris Johnson’s shock troops in the commentariat

Ready to “die in a ditch” with Boris Johnson the closer it gets to polling day are his blood brothers, a taxi rank of highly-paid wordsmiths able to twist and turn the daily news agenda as they strive to deliver a Conservative victory and get Brexit over the line.

Johnson has always been their hero, the Brexiteer-in-chief for much of the media class, a journalist admired for his wizardry in delivering [ ... ]

Election Campaigns
14 Nov 2019
Trade unions braced for “winter of discontent” headlines

Any pre-election threat of industrial action presents an immediate target for Conservative politicians and their media allies.

Add to the mix a pledge by the Labour Party to row back on ever-tightening legal restrictions on trade union activity, and within an instant Conservative-supporting newspapers are warning of an imminent repeat of the 1979 Winter of Discontent – the year that 29.4 million [ ... ]

Trade Union Reporting
02 Nov 2019
Anti-Corbyn attack agenda of tabloid press

Once the go ahead was given for the 12 December poll, feature writers for the dominant Tory press began dusting down their vast library of horror stories about life under a future Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn.

Dire predictions have been the stock in trade for highly paid columnists whose anti-Corbyn tirades have been afforded regular full-page treatment ever since he was elected Labour leader [ ... ]

Election Campaigns
12 Sep 2019
Imminent review into Scottish policing of miners’ strike

Margaret Thatcher’s interventions to strengthen police tactics during the 1984-85 miners’ strike have been well documented, but her official papers reveal she put pressure on police forces in Scotland as well as in England and Wales.

Revisiting her cabinet papers is timely given the imminent publication of John Scott’s review into the impact of policing on community relations in the Scottish [ ... ]

Trade Union Reporting
Other Articles