The not-so-free press

George Orwell famously said journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed. Everything else is public relations. In a world festooned with PR exercises and reputation management, was Mr Orwell overly cynical, or was he well ahead of his time? With print media’s business model in free fall, newspaper proprietors are increasingly desperate to find ways to ensure financial viability. The problem with this approach is that corporate interests can and often do trump the interests of readers. Joining us to discuss how free the UK press really is are the lecturer in journalism and media studies at Birkbeck College, Justin Schlosberg, and the editor of Open Media at openDemocracy, James Cusick.

The on-going stitch-up against Julian Assange

The UN findings confirmed that Assange’s detention has been unlawful since his very first arrest in the United Kingdom in 2010. But Phillip Hammond thinks the UN detention report ‘frankly ridiculous’. Daniel Margrain unpicks the real drivers of this cat and mouse saga.