Gaza and herding tigers in dense fog

Finding thoughtful news about the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is harder than herding rabid tigers in dense fog. The temptation to give up is powerful, which is why many people in the UK imagine this is a simple case of good versus bad. A lesson I learned while working in the region is that some (not all) of the best commentary and analysis is written by journalists who live there. I turn to two English language titles in particular: the Lebanon Daily Star ( www.dailystar.com.lb ) and the Jerusalem Post ( www.jpost.com ).

Web overtakes paper in America

For the first time, a survey reveals, more Americans are consuming news online than in print.  The full story is on page 31 of the printed edition of this morning's Guardian. Of course, you can also read it online, but I'm going to break with tradition and not insert a link on this occasion. This gesture is not just one of solidarity with the many good journalists on both sides of the Atlantic who have lost their jobs in recent months. It is  a prelude to my 2009 campaign to make buying a daily newspaper as defining an expression of liberal virtue as opposing prejudice and defending the ozone layer.  The campaign ends when a clear economic model emerges that can pay for expensive foreign, investigative and analytical reporting from online revenues alone and without a penny of state or charitable subsidy.  

Into a Closed World

The top leader in today's Times celebrates the Justice Secretary's decision to open family courts to reporters. This is a crucial reform, long overdue and of significance to all who care about freedom of speech and a journalist's duty to hold power to account. Of course, the main beneficiaries will be families, for whom future risk of serious miscarriages of justice will be diminished by the new transparency. Ah, I'm giddy on the oxygen of truth.

BBC World Service Impartiality

Journalists who work abroad for the BBC become accustomed to fielding accusations of bias. They are particularly common in areas of former British Imperial power, and they are often reinforced by the accusation that BBC World Service is directly funded by the government. The problem is that some of it is. 

Newspapers During world War II

For a very brief introduction to popular newspaper coverage of WWII - including the films that were box office favourites during the Blitz and details of how Blackpool and Wolverhampton Wanderers competed with Arsenal and Everton in the League Championship - follow this link to the site I mentioned in our seminar. You will find out which newspaper asked "What would have happened if Hitler had married Mae West?"

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