Newsgathering has always put its participants under pressure. Deadlines must be met. It is therefore necessary to invoke an editorial policy which will inform the gathering of news and direct its findings, because, in the heat of the moment, no such decisions can be made. The job of the reporter is to send in copy. Nobody is allowed to return empty handed, so the value of some news is inherently degraded by necessity rather than newsworthiness. Editorial policy in this country has, since the Second World War been subject to a voluntary consensus on what constitutes news. Occasionally, but not often, individual media sources will take a different slant on the same story, but by and large, the subject matter in Editorial meetings is the same in every Mainstream Media (MSM) outlet in the country, every day of every year, and very narrow it is too. It is possible, with very little experience, to predict what the leading stories will be on a given day.
The importance the news agenda plays in the lives of the majority is minor. Ask people what they are worried about or happy about and the answer is going to be highly parochial. There is a sociopathic reaction to what news editors believe is important. People on the whole, just want to be left alone. The MSM is for people who either work in it, appear in it, or need a light hobby that does not require too much custom made equipment to indulge it, while they wait for the train or sit in the dentist's waiting room.
The above scenario plays out, and has played out for some years. It is only when the hoi-polloi begin to sense that their private and tranquil lives are somehow subject to outside interference do they look up and sniff the coffee.
Most of us will now know someone who has recently been made redundant. They may also be sympathetic enough to understand the implications. Reality is biting.
This has happened regularly througout history and by and large the establishment have been able to control it. They have been able to, either disguise the truth or suppress it or discredit or suppress those who differ. The last time that the British Government seriously considered losing control of the country was during the early stages of the French Revolution. It is impossible to underestimate how much of a reality was the idea that it would spread. British Radicals at the time considered that it heralded a new political order, coming out of the economic crisis that precipitated it that was due in part to a spiral of credit.
"..it was the burden of debt and the collapse of credit that forced the calling of the Estates General and structured the whole of the early revolutionary debate in France. Reading Burke’s Reflections in the light of this shows how his thinking about political stability is influenced either by explicitly financial issues or by political issues relating to the likely creditworthiness of the resulting regime."
So there is nothing new under the sun. Fear about the French Revolution and its impact upon British society, together with domestic problems carried on well into the next century.
In 1819 a demonstration took place in Manchester at St. Peter's Fields.
On August 16th, 60 to 80 thousand people carrying banners bearing slogans against the Corn Laws, and in favour of universal suffrage, held a meeting at St. Peter's Fields. Magistrates ordered the arrest of the principle speakers. The Yeomanry were sent in to make the arrests and were confronted by the crowds. They drew their swords and killed a dozen or more protestors and injured five hundred, and the Peterloo massacre entered history. What was interesting, and relevant to this piece, is that it was the first time that a number of national journalists were present. They were sympathetic to the protesters and support went, as we would say today, viral.
There is a great difference now. The Main Stream Media are on the side of the Establishment. Opposition to the status quo has been fully marginalised to the extent that when Daniel Hannan's speech to Gordon Brown "went viral", he was still being written off as a maverick and an irrelevance by most of them who grudgingly reported it, days later, as an internet novelty.
There are some very credible political bloggers who are now constituting something new. They are the Fifth Estate; the so-called Fourth Estate has been subsumed into the miasma of received opinion and venality.
They can and do set the agenda. Guido Fawkes made us look at a charity called the Smith institute that was not a charity at all but a funded arm of the Labour Party. Mike Smithson faithfully publishes what people really think about the state of the parties. Thomas Cranmer upholds the views of Christians in a country where they have been marginalised in the name of political correctness. The Devil's Kitchen exposes hypocrisy everywhere, no holds barred. Iain Dale provides a much needed platform for free speech and right wing thinking and is the most influential, right of centre blogger in the country. All of these are not paid for out of public funds or beholden to anyone but themselves.
If you have any doubts as to whether Bloggers can set the agenda, visit them and make up your own mind. The MSM is tired, toadying and only after an easy ride. See what is going down and decide to find out the truth.