This is tabloid country

If the BBC sets the agenda for the media, then the right-wing tabloids play the role of court provocateurs. The written word is traditionally more partial than television news in the UK. So the tabloids are still defined by the BBC, as they rail against it. This is the irony behind the talk of a ‘left-wing’ bias. Even still, Britain’s tabloids have become notorious for their news coverage. The two biggest players, The Sun and the Daily Mail, are worthy of classic case studies. The Daily Mail is well known for its sensationalist headlines, and its ultra-conservative agenda. By contrast, … Continue reading

Europe isn’t diverse enough

The question of diversity in Europe is a recurrent one. This is probably because Europe may be the most homogeneous place on earth. The number of European languages has dwindled to 286 compared to over 2,000 languages spoken in Africa. Yet the continent remains home to rival forms of nationalism, particularly in the EU. Despite the constant shift of borders and migrations across the region, the notion of a common European identity seems painfully elusive. The fact that French, for example, was the language of choice for many monarchs, from England to Russia, does not fit into nationalist discourse. Indeed, … Continue reading

The Trump phenomenon

Donald Trump by Lizza Littlewort

It has surprised a lot of the Beltway journalists. The polls have shifted and the billionaire Donald Trump is in the lead. He’s at 18%, while Jeb Bush lags at 15%. It’s not immediately obvious, at least to the commentariat, why this rug-wearing buffoon should be causing such a storm. Of course, Trump has a serious financial advantage and the celebrity clout. But this doesn’t explain his success. The first time Trump ran was not a success story. He positioned himself as the voice of the Birthers – who claimed that Obama was actually an illegal Kenyan immigrant – just … Continue reading