About This Website
Nicholas Jones has spent forty years chronicling the news media’s relationship with politicians, trade union leaders and other prominent people.
He is an active campaigner in groups which promote high journalistic standards and the widest possible spread of media ownership.
There could hardly be a more opportune moment to widen the debate about the need to restore trust in the political process. Press freedom is an essential cornerstone of Britain's democratic traditions and it imposes responsibilities on both journalists and the government of the day.
This archive provides:
- A first-hand insight into the often hidden world inhabited by those who control the flow of information from the state to the public.
- An explanation of the way in which governments and political parties seek to communicate via newspapers, television, radio and the internet.
- An ongoing critique about a worrying decline in journalistic standards.
- A persuasive argument as to why ensuring that all sections of the media have equal access to the same information at the same time would help restore trust and strengthen the democratic process.
As the author of a range of books which tackle this critical subject, including Strikes and the Media (1986), Soundbites and Spin Doctors (1995), Sultans of Spin (1999) and Trading Information: Leaks, Lies and Tip-offs(2006), Jones hopes his archive of articles, speeches and book reviews will provide a valuable resource not only for students of politics and the media but also for any organisation or individual seeking to devise a communications strategy.
After serving a long apprenticeship on local and national newspapers (The News, Portsmouth, Oxford Mail and The Times), Jones spent thirty years as a BBC industrial and political correspondent (1972-2002).
As perhaps was only to be expected, once he began writing and commentating on how politicians manipulate the media - and vice versa - Jones incurred the wrath of political spin doctors, government information officers and journalists themselves. Many resent his ongoing attempt to penetrate the elusive, off-the-record encounters and liaisons which over the years have proved so mutually beneficial to aspiring journalists and up-and-coming politicians.
Nonetheless, despite being regarded by both sides as a nuisance, Jones believes that by the simple act of seeking to be inclusive rather than selective in the distribution of data, and allowing equal access not just to the media but also to pressure groups, bloggers and the like, the state could reinvigorate what Clem Attlee always hoped would be the people’s “conscious and active participation in public affairs”.
Jones has been a life-long member of the National Union of Journalists (1960); he sits on the national council of the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom ; is a supporter of Mediawise ; and a trustee of the Journalists’ Charity (chairman 2005-6).
He writes on media affairs for a wide range of publications, including Free Press, the magazine of the CPBF and the website Spinwatch, which monitors pr and spin.