Podcast #3: student protests – demo debate

It’s the Wannabe Hacks podcast pounding your ears once again!

This week The Chancer and The Intern get a little heated over the coverage of the Student Demo 2010…

The Freelancer also joins in for a bit or Law & Order and to decide the ultimate contest winner.

What are your thoughts? Who was right? Was the coverage correct / accurate / fair??

Comment below…


9 Responses to Podcast #3: student protests – demo debate

  1. You might be interested in the broader protest coverage filed by Jason Parkinson – and some of the issues this raises about the role of press photographers in covering such events and the potential problems posed for photographers by the array of public order and counter-terrorism legislation:


    • Peter Demain says:

      I’ve written stuff upon the state of photography legislation and last week’s demonstration. The Terrorism Act impacts on all who point cameras at police. Discretion reigns over whether a person taking a photo of police, police vehicles or police buildings should be suspected of terrorism. It’s up to constables themselves – very arbitrary.

      The aforementioned act has been used by local councils to track down suspected tax or fine evading citizens. Since these aren’t terror offences in the legislative sense it raises the point that New Labour’s legislative effort is far too broad since it fails to fulfil the apparent intent which is to prevent terrorism.

      A man named Ian Tomlinson fell victim to unprovoked assault from a police officer and died shortly after – this was only known thanks to film and photographs taken at the scene. Think there’s any likelihood a similar video would be declared illegal and confiscated under the Act?

      Slashdot shows another occurrence . A teenage photographer in Romford has police barking warnings about the Terrorism Act when he was in the progress of committing of that well-known, heinous terrorist offence of…er…taking pictures of an Army cadet parade.

      Policemen aren’t meant to interpret the law and much of the press aren’t interested in campaigning for clarity. Almost always law must be concise else it gets abused, and the vaguer the law the worse it gets.

      Oh yeah – the plod who shoved Ian Tomlinson was not tried with any crime.

      Dirty Garnet.

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  3. Duncan Mykura says:

    Very much enjoyed it fellas…though I can’t say I agree with the conclusions…surely sincerity, honesty and accuracy should be the pillars of journalistic reporting. Ok, sensational photos and stories sell papers, but we should be forming a tide against sexed-up figures, Kay Burley and ‘Murdochian’ populism rather than pandering to it…no?

    • Cheers for the comment Dunc! And you’re absolutely right.

      But I’ve also gotta say that – from an entirely personal point of view – if I was thrust into the Demo and stood there with my own career on my shoulders – I might have been less willing to push towards“A widely-peaceful protest throughout!”

      I know my name would be on the front of the paper if I could push a “Rage Against the Machine” headline. It’s weird; it feels like I’m going against everything I believe but I still think I’d go there??

      • Duncan Mykura says:

        When I was in Italy… where press freedoms are constrained and the accuracy of general news reports is somewhat dubious, I took great pleasure in how the media “back home” was full of diverse reaction and quality reporting. I’m not saying we’re at danger of losing it all because of one odious Australian, just that his role should just never be under-estimated. But like you say, personal pressures and needs take priority over what you’re actually going to write. And judging by the astronomical readerships of the Sun, the Mail and co. : no one cares about quality journalism anyway!

      • mhdbass says:

        Of course any aspiring journalist would go down the ‘rage against the machine’ route, that doesn’t surprise me, what does disappoint me was how terribly predictable and almost boring all those ‘sensationalist’ stories were. So few newspapers (the Guardian excepted, of course) tried to see the violence from an interesting new angle – not a ‘radical few who ruined the protest’ (how many times have we heard that?!) but that the action was indicative of a wider public feeling.

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