Unpublished letter to the Guardian about the Guardian being “free to pursue the facts”

I sent this to the Guardian a few days ago. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it hasn’t been published…

Dear Sir/Madam

If, as Jonathan Freedland writes, the Guardian’s ownership model means it “is free to pursue the facts”, why did he choose to use the callous description of “when violence resumed in Gaza” when referring to Israel’s summer 2014 slaughter of over 2,000 Palestinians, including approximately 500 children, on a recent episode of BBC Question Time? (‘Dear Reader…’, 18 February)

Why did the recent Guardian editorial on the growth of ISIS in Libya fail to mention the key role played by the 2011 NATO military intervention in Libya? (‘The Guardian view on the Egyptian intervention in Libya’, 16 February)

And why did a 1000+ word news article by Ian Black in the same edition provide Jonathan Powell with a platform to emote about the growing threat of ISIS in Libya without feeling the need to mention Powell’s key role in the aggressive, illegal invasion of Iraq which helped to create ISIS in the first place? (‘UK envoy: if Libya fails it could be Somalia on the Mediterranean’, 16 February)

As all these examples show there are obviously more influences on the editorial content of a newspaper than just its ownership structure. For example, Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky’s Propaganda Model highlights five filters on news content in Western media – ownership, advertising, the sources used by journalists, the flak media organisations can receive and the dominant ideology. Educational and social class background could well be another filter – Freedland, Black and the Guardian editor are all Oxbridge graduates, for example.

Kind regards

Ian Sinclair


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