Thursday, 5 November 2015

Here is the News

I remember as a child, our house always had newspapers. There were the daily newspapers and there were the weekend newspapers. Each was purchased seemingly by habit. The People was the weekend read, while the Daily Herald was the staple diet in the week. A truly socialist newspaper and it was the only newspaper that was acceptable in our household. The news was broad in coverage and all encompassing. There was also the Mirror but while it would be purchased from time to time. It was never read or held in the same sort of reverence as was the Daily Herald.

I remember asking my dad, why we always chose the Daily Herald and not one of the other papers to be seen on the counter in the newsagents. He said something that was lost on me at the time but seems so profound now. He said something to the effect 'Its written in simple language, its honest and the truth is all important'. Contrast and compare that with the newspapers of today and its very evident, that truth and honesty are lacking.

With the eventual demise of the Daily Herald, came the now grudgingly acceptable alternative newspaper the Daily Mirror. The remnants of the Daily Herald was sold and then later relaunched under the name the Sun. I don't think that there is any need to say any more about the Sun. Other than its has become the most despised publication. One that has brought about the derogatory term of 'tabloid journalism' to describe the worst aspects of today's press. What has happened is that the 'news content has been subverted' and celebrity gossip columnists now provide a whole spew of meaningless drivel. Which has been drip fed to the masses until it has become, like a drug, an all important need, to be fed day by day. 
Now the newspapers are in the hands of billionaires. They are used to control the readerships opinion. No longer is the news reported verbatim and truthfully. Now it is biased,  given a political spin. No longer fair and objective reporting that is based upon facts. Gone are the days of any semblance of editorial independence. Now its even prepared to break the law by paying bribes to people in public office and the phone hacking scandal, that has brought misery to thousands of lives.  
I have not purchased a printed newspaper for years and I can't see my position changing any time soon.  But for a long time I have pondered how this situation could be put right. The costs of printing and distribution mean that there is little chance of a new national newspaper coming about. But as technology moves on, things are changing. Now through social media everyone is a potential editor, everyone is a potential publisher. On Facebook, links to websites are the norm. 

What I would like to see is a news aggregation website. But one where the content would provide a honest and truthful reflection of the current news.  Where the readership also provide the links to the content. Lets say that one of the tabloids publishes an article such as the recent David Cameron conference speech. That is full of spin and lies.  The readership would be encouraged to provide a link that would point to a more truthful and honest appraisal.

But to gain a significant on-line readership would require much more than just a focus on UK political comment.  Typically the arrogate news site would publish links to articles on national and international news. Including political events, business, finance, crime, disasters, health, medicine, science, technology and not forgetting sport. Plus a 'colour supplement' section on food and cooking as well as the arts. Typically the on-line content would be divided into sections for each of those groupings. It would require a background editorial team to draw together and evaluate the external content.

There are parallels to be drawn with Jeremy Corbyns desire to return to a truthful, honest political system. It would be good to provide an antidote the tabloid press and encourage them to do the same. While on here we publish our thoughts and aspirations, we need to go much further and spread the message in a more inclusive way.

So imagine how I felt when I read this.....

Welcome to Momentum!

Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader has transformed into Momentum - a network of people and organisations that will continue the energy and enthusiasm of Jeremy's campaign.

What does Momentum want to do?

Organise in every town, city and village to create a mass movement for real progressive change.

Make Labour a more democratic party, with the policies and collective will to implement them in government.

Bring together individuals and groups in our communities and workplaces to campaign and organise on the issues that matter to us.

How will Momentum do this?

Organise events, rallies, meet ups and policy consultations to encourage mass mobilisation for a more democratic, equal and decent society.

Encourage those inspired by Jeremy Corbyn's campaign to get involved with the Labour Party. Assist members in making their voice heard in Labour Party debates.

Facilitate and coordinate people to build new and support existing organisations that can make concrete improvements to people's lives. Through these actions, we aim to demonstrate on a micro level how collective action and Labour values can transform our society for the better.

Who runs it?

Formed as a successor to the Corbyn campaign, Momentum is in the process of setting up governance arrangements to represent its supporters amongst the Labour Party membership as well as the wider social movement which is springing up. As it grows, Momentum will develop democratic governance structures at every level of the network.

What is the relationship to Labour and Jeremy Corbyn?

Momentum is the successor entity to the Jeremy Corbyn for Labour Leader campaign but it is independent of the Labour Party's leadership. It will work with everyone who supports Jeremy's aim of creating a more fair, equal and democratic society.

So what do you think.

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