MEDIA LENS: Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media

The first Media Lens book has now been published: ‘Guardians of Power: The Myth Of The Liberal Media’ by David Edwards and David Cromwell (Pluto Books, London, 2006). Described by John Pilger as “The most important book about journalism I can remember,” at time of writing (April 12) there have been no mentions or reviews in any mainstream British newspaper. For further details, including reviews, interviews and extracts, please click here:

[KH: I have read the book and highly recommend it.] Here is a quote from John Pilger’s forward to the book:

“What has changed is the public’s perception and knowledge. No longer trusting what they read and see and hear, people are questioning as never before. A critical public intelligence is often denied by journalists, who prefer notions of an ‘apathetic public’ that justify their mantra of ‘giving the people what they want’. These days, however, the public is well ahead of the media, refusing to accept the limits of what academics called ‘the public discourse’. For example, according to the polls, the majority of the British people regard their prime minister as a liar: not one who has ‘misled parliament’ of ‘spun the facts’, but a liar. That is unprecedented.

“Most of this plain-speaking is carried out on the internet, where the media is frequently held to account for its part in the great issues of the day, such as the scandal of the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Forbidden questions are asked, such as this one: by amplifying the lies of Blair and Bush, rather than exposing them, were journalists complicit in the crime of Iraq? This has been raised many times on a remarkable British website: The creators and editors of Media Lens, David Edwards and David Cromwell, have had such influence in a short time that, by holding to account those who, it is said, write history’s draft, they may well have changed the course of modern historiography. They have certainly torn up the ‘ethical blank cheque’, which Richard Dreyton referred to, and have exposed as morally corrupt ‘the right to bomb, to maim, to imprison without trial…’. Without Media Lens during the attack on and occupation of Iraq, the full gravity of that debacle might have been consigned to oblivion, and to bad history.

“They have not bothered with soft targets, such as Rupert Murdoch’s ‘Sun’ but have concentrated on that sector of the media which prides itself on its ‘objectivity’, ‘impartiality’ and ‘balance’ (such as the BBC) and its liberalism and fairness (such as the ‘Guardian’). Not since Noam Chomsky’s and Edward Herman’s ‘Manufacturing Consent’ have we had such an incisive and erudite guide through the media’s thicket of agendas and vested interests. Indeed, they have done the job of true journalists: they have set the record straight.

“For this reason, ‘Guardians of Power’ ought to be required reading in every media college. It is the most important book about journalism I can remember. In the following pages, the best Media Lens ‘alerts’ are drawn together and cast in an historical context. They are not a source of brickbats. On the contrary, their language and tone are respectful of journalists and unfailingly polite in their often devastating analysis. They debate editors, current-affairs producers and media managers and their arguments are backed by facts and research and a sense of morality, after a while, you realise is confined to their side.” p.p. x, xi.


On April 10, Media Lens co-editor, David Edwards, was interviewed by France Senecal on the American radio station KDVS.

In the near hour-long interview, you can hear David talking about the new Media Lens book, Guardians Of Power (see below), the BBC, Iraq, the Lancet report, Iraq Body Count, climate change, compassion, media activism, and more… including the mysterious genesis of the Media Lens project in Southampton’s Giddy Bridge public house!

Click here:\’s%20About%20You&filter=mon

And select ‘MP3 Stream (128kbps, dial up)’ for broadband.

This link will be available until Monday, April 17. The interview will soon also be archived on our website.

Best wishes

The Editors

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