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from MediaFile:

The future of journalism in the UK

By Mark Thompson
The opinions discussed are his own.

In the UK we are going through an unprecedented crisis in journalism, a crisis with the boundaries and techniques of investigative journalism at its heart.

We don’t yet know what will emerge from this crisis and from Lord Leveson’s Inquiry, but any recommendations about new laws or regulation will be studied with interest by Governments around the world.

Before the phone-hacking scandal, conventional wisdom suggested that traditional investigative journalism faced two threats:  the first economic, the second related to the impact of the internet and new forms of journalism and disclosure it has enabled.

The economic one is so familiar I won’t dwell on it for long.  It is that – in common with other forms of quality journalism – the deteriorating business models for newspapers, in the developed world at least, may not be able to support the cost of mounting often expensive and protracted investigations.

from The Great Debate UK:

Rory Cellan-Jones on virtual democracy

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Direct, real-time communication among politicians and the public through social media platforms is reshaping democracy and the news media, but questions remain about how the fabric of society might change as a result, argued a panel at an event hosted by the BBC on Tuesday evening at Westminster.

The Web provides a de-centralised opportunity for users to communicate from various points on the political-economic spectrum, but gatekeepers are emerging who try and curtail the dissemination of information they find objectionable, suggested panellist Aleks Krotoski, who recently completed work on the BBC series "Virtual Revolution".

Remembering the dead – or “poppy fascism”?

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poppyThis week, hundreds of thousands of people will join the annual act of remembrance to commemorate those who have died in war, proudly wearing a poppy to honour the fallen.

However the simple flower emblem, which has been used since shortly after the end of World War One as it was the only thing to grow on the devastated battlefields of Belgium and northern France, has once again become an issue in itself.

Live blog: BNP on Question Time

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Welcome to our live blog of the BBC’s Question Time, which tonight features British National Party leader Nick Griffin on its panel.

Whichever side of the debate you fall on, no-one can deny that this has developed into a huge story. The BBC has defended its decision to invite Griffin on, Gordon Brown has predicted that it will backfire and security has been ramped up ahead of the show.

Should BNP be on Question Time?

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Nick GriffinOn Thursday night, BNP leader Nick Griffin will appear on the BBC’s leading current affairs programme “Question Time”, an appearance that has provoked much anger and debate.

Griffin is no stranger to the airwaves or TV screens, regularly appearing this week alone after four leading former generals attacked his party for using military imagery as part of its campaigning

Should the BNP be able to use military imagery?

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griffinThis is a busy week for the British National Party (BNP).

Today it was warned to stop using military imagery in its campaign material. A group of former military leaders accused the BNP, which has used photographs of spitfire fighter planes and Winston Churchill, of hijacking Britain’s history for their own “dubious ends.”

The distinguished generals said this tarnished the reputation of the armed forces and called on them to “cease and desist.”

BBC seeks older female news reader

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FORSYTHUnder fire for its perceived unfairness to older women presenters, the BBC says it is now actively trying to recruit a female newsreader over 50.

The age-old issue flared up two years ago when Moira Stuart was axed by the BBC amid accusations that she was forced out because she was in her late 50s.

Making heavy weather over Scotland

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FRANCE-STORM/Anyone listening to the BBC radio weather forecast this morning on the first day of Autumn will have come away with a detailed knowledge of how things look likely to pan out in Scotland – heavy winds apparently and not at all a day for going out walking on the hills.

They will also have probably had more than they need about Northern Ireland, with its endless bands of rain.

Do top professions favour the rich?

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Professions such as law, medicine and journalism have a “closed shop mentality” and are increasingly open only to those from affluent backgrounds, a report into social mobility says.

Former Labour government minister Alan Milburn, who chaired the study on widening access to top professions, said that young people need better career advice to raise their aspirations and give them greater confidence. Mr Milburn told the BBC: “We have raised the glass ceiling but I don’t think we have broken through it yet.

How should money saved at the BBC be spent?

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As part of its efforts to counter the bite of the economic downturn, the BBC is suspending bonuses and reviewing the pay scales of its executives. It is also set to reduce the amount it spends on talent.

The BBC is making the cuts in reaction to its dominant role during the recession compared with its struggling competitors, as well as to its own financial challenges, Michael Lyons, the head of the BBC Trust, said.

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