Nicholas Jones - Blog and Archive Website
Media standards groups which are opposed to product placement on British television programmes will get the chance to offer advice on possible safeguards.Sion Simon, a junior minister at the Department of Media, Culture and Sport, told a delegation from the Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom (6.10.2009) that the government was anxious to help the industry. Ministers supported product placement because they believed it would give “immediate cash benefits” to struggling television companies.

The promise by Sir Michael Lyons, Chairman of the BBC Trust, to speed up the Corporation’s internal inquiry into how far the BBC needs to be reshaped to meet the digital age is a welcome dose of reality. More is the pity that the management left it so late -- until the combined forces of James Murdoch and the Conservative Party were on the war path, breathing down the BBC’s neck.

Perhaps the most perceptive prediction in the fall-out from James Murdoch’s demand that the BBC should be forced to limit its “land-grab” of online journalism was the suggestion that News Corporation will get a “much more sympathetic” hearing from a government led by David Cameron. 

If ever an anti-spin award is introduced for public servants, perhaps the first recipient should be General Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the British Army, who is currently the target of a New Labour campaign of vilification.  Once Labour’s leading apologist, Lord Foulkes, entered the fray and started parroting the anonymous smears of the Blair-Brown spin machine, General Dannatt must have known he had finally made his mark.

Perhaps without realising the implications of what he was saying Damian McBride has pinpointed the real reason behind the distrust of the Labour government’s spin machine and Gordon Brown’s failure to stamp his authority on the party. In interviews apologising for the lurid emails that led to his resignation in April, McBride insists that it was his responsibility to respond to what he considered were “vitriolic” attacks on Brown by former ministers.