Monthly Archives: April 2009


  Appearing before the House of Commons select committee for Culture, Media and Sport as a witness on ‘Press standards, privacy and libel’, the editor of the Daily Express, Peter Hill, answered questions on his paper’s coverage of news, including the Madeleine McCann case, and the paper’s standards on accuracy.

Professor Roy Greenslade marvellously dissects Hill’s evidence to the committee. It would seem Hill has a penchant for making ‘mistakes’ in covering news stories. Something we at ENGAGE know only too well.

Hill told the committee, ‘It’s not a crime to have an obsession’. Might that, coupled with the tendency to make mistakes, explain the frequent front page covers the Express publishes that demonises Muslims?


Disappointed, no doubt, that their quest to foster a craven Muslim identity submissive to the warmongers has fallen on its face, the Home Office-Foreign Office-funded outfit the Quilliam Foundation has gone on the offensive by getting all defensive.

The ‘think tank’ has once again resorted to smearing reputations and engaging in scaremongering in its attempt to carve a place for itself in the British Muslim landscape. The QF appears to think it and it alone can be trusted on all matters pertaining to British Muslims. 

Hot on the heels of the disgraceful QF alert sent out last week on the Scottish National Party’s endorsement of Osama Saeed, Director of the Scottish Islamic Foundation, as SNP candidate for Glasgow Central, comes an alert today about the Islam Channel and its presenters.

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  Mike Waite, Head of Community Engagement and Cohesion at Burnley Council and author of the newly published ‘Diversity and Common Citizenship’, contributes a blog post to The Guardian on how community cohesion can be enhanced through direct communication and dialogue. 

He writes:

The communities within [northern] towns – which in many cases live effectively parallel existences, even in more middle class areas – have been the focus of much attention in the years since disturbances in Oldham, Burnley and Bradford in the summer of 2001.’

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  Councillor Salim Mulla (pictured) of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, in a letter published in the Lancashire Telegraph, writes on the detrimental effects of the arrest and discharge of the 12 Muslim men accused of planning an Easter bomb plot, as well as the arrests of nine Muslim men from Lancashire over the Gaza Aid convoy, on trust in policing and counter terrorism.

‘The resentment and anger caused by this particular case of 12 innocent men’s detention and the nine men in Blackburn, and the trial by media should not be underestimated.’

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  Paul Donovan (pictured) in the Independent writes on the release of the 12 mainly Pakistani men falsely accused of an ‘Easter bomb plot’, and the use of secret evidence to detain individuals without charge or trial.

In contrast to the view of Alasdair Palmer in the Daily Telegraph, who argues in favour of intercept evidence, Donovan writes:

The news that 11 of the 12 men arrested on suspicion of terrorism are to be deported on grounds of national security has inevitably given – and is probably intended to give – the impression in the public mind that there can be no smoke without fire.’

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  The Youth Citizenship Commission’s (YCC) consultation, ‘Old Enough to Make a Mark?’, on the lowering of the voting age to 16, has received widespread support from respondents. 

The consultation received responses from 488 individuals and organisations of which 66% backed reform of the voting age.

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  Matthew Norman in The Independent writes on the abysmal treatment of the Pakistani nationals recently arrested in the ‘Easter bomb plot’ and later released, only to be handed over to the UK Border Agency. Norman ponders on the symmetry of burying one crisis by offloading another.

He writes:

Given that all 12 have now been released without charge, we ask ourselves why Mr Quick was in Downing Street at all. And the odds-on 2-9 favourite, we answer, is that the Government and Scotland Yard were desperate to flam up a “police triumph” story to divert outrage from the possible manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protest.

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The European elections will take place on Thursday 4th June with the British electorate voting for 72 MEPs to represent their electoral region in the European Parliament.

In total, 500 million Europeans will be eligible to cast their votes from June 4th – 7th voting in the 736 MEPs that will represent their regions in the European Parliament.

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  Adrian Hamilton in The Independent comments on the infantile conduct of the Western diplomats who walked out during President Ahmadinejad’s speech at the Durban Review Conference in Geneva earlier this week.

He writes:

Read Ahmadinejad’s address at the UN conference on racism in Geneva this week and there is little to surprise and a certain amount to be agreed with. His accusations against the imperial powers for what they did with colonial rule and the business of slavery is pretty much part of the school curriculum now. His anger at the way the economic crisis originated in the West but has hit worst the innocent of the developing world would find a ready echo (and did) among most of the delegates.’

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  Professor Roy Greenslade (pictured) on his Media blog at The Guardian draws our attention to an important development in media convergence as The Sun newspaper launches a radio show presented by Jon Gaunt via its online newspaper site.

SunTalk, which was launched this week, embeds a radio show within The Sun’s online content such that the show falls within the purview of the Press Complaints Commission and not the traditional broadcasting regulator, OFCOM.

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