1 October 2021Feature

What the media and political establishment are not telling you

‘There is a general policy by the MoD [ministry of defence] to keep the horror of what’s going on in Afghanistan out of the public domain,’ a senior officer told the Telegraph in September 2008. ‘If the real truth were known it would have a huge impact on Army recruiting and the Government would come under severe pressure to withdraw the troops.’

Unsurprisingly then, while there has been a huge amount of media coverage of the US-UK-NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan, lots of…

8 December 2020Feature

Censoring the destruction of Iran Air Flight 655

Even after an Iranian air defence unit mistakenly shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 on 8 January, killing 176 passengers and crew, the British press failed to remind readers of a relevant incident involving Iran.

On 5 January, Ali Larijani, speaker of the Iranian parliament, compared the US assassination of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani to the CIA-organised coup of 1953 that overthrew parliamentary democracy in Iran, and to the shooting down of an Iranian…

28 September 2020Feature

Before the US murdered him, it formed an alliance with the Iranian general – twice

Noam Chomsky and Edward Herman, who developed the Propaganda Model for understanding the western mass media, once explained: ‘That a careful reader looking for a fact can sometimes find it, with diligence and a skeptical eye, tells us nothing about whether that fact received the attention and context it deserved, whether it was intelligible to most readers, or whether it was effectively distorted or suppressed.’

In the case of Iranian general Qassem Suleimani, there were a lot of…

1 August 2019Feature

Five academics examine our media's coverage of foreign affairs, in a piece censored (and then rejected) by a leading liberal publication.

Egyptian security forces killed 817 protesters as they cleared the sit-in of Rab'a al-Adawiya Square in Cairo on 14 August 2013. Photo: Amsg07 via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 3.0)

When Noam Chomsky first observed that the United States had attacked…

1 June 2019News

Assange faces 175 years in prison as Manning reimprisoned

Julian Assange, London, 2014. Photo: david G Silvers [CC BY-SA 2.0]

Julian Assange is facing 175 years in prison for his investigative journalism if he is extradited to the US and convicted of the 18 charges filed against him by the US government.

Meanwhile, US whistleblower Chelsea Manning was jailed on 16 May for refusing (for a second time) to give evidence against the WikiLeaks founder.

Assange is being charged under the US Espionage Act 1917, mainly for obtaining…

1 December 2018Feature

Eric Stoner, co-founder of the US radical nonviolence website Waging Nonviolence, spoke recently to PN staffer Gabriel Carlyle

Eric Stoner

Waging Nonviolence (WNV) has been publishing must-read reporting and analysis on nonviolent action around the world since 2009.

It started out as a blog, the brainchild of three young people: Eric Stoner, Bryan Farrell and Nathan Schneider, who all shared an interest in nonviolence and civil resistance, though each approached the topic from a slightly…

1 December 2018Review

Pluto, 2018; 272 pp; £24.99

This is an essential read for anybody – activists very much included – who wishes to gain a deeper understanding of the 2007–2008 economic crash and its subsequent political after-shocks, from the election of Donald Trump in the US to Brexit and rise of Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.

However, first and foremost, the book is a sharp critique of the media’s coverage of the economic crisis.

As well as interviewing journalists, Laura Basu, a researcher at the Institute for…

19 November 2018Blog entry

The Inaugural Alternative Claudia Jones Memorial Lecture 2018

In a tucked away corner of Rotherhithe, down a little cobbled street oozing with history, stands Sands Film Studios. Well-known amongst lefties and radicals, this unique corner of London was the perfect place to hear from a unique, leftie and often radical character, Kerry-Anne Mendoza.

Mendoza began by talking about the namesake of the lecture,…

1 June 2018Review

Peter Lang Publishing, 2017; 276pp; £29

‘The biggest immediate single problem we face… is mainstream media reporting’, British historian Mark Curtis recently argued in an Open Democracy interview about UK foreign policy.

Florian Zollmann’s deeply impressive first book – which expands on his PhD, supervised by Professor Richard Keeble – goes a long way in engaging with this long-running issue for peace activists.

‘The news media in liberal democracies operates as a propaganda system on behalf of state-…

1 February 2018Feature

Benjamin reports on PN's digital tools dayschool

Even the lunch break at Weaving Our Own Web spawned an additional workshop discussing ‘feminism and technology’, based on an ongoing project from The Feminist Library. Workshops were crowded with enthusiastic campaigners for Peace News’s successful digital campaigning dayschool in London on 13 January. Activists had come to build their skills in using online tools to strengthen their groups and campaign more effectively.

A range of workshops catered for a broad spectrum of…

1 August 2017News

Come to PN's digital tools dayschool in January 2018!

We’ve had to postpone a major workshop to June 2018! We’re also organising a digital tools dayschool, ‘Weaving Our Own Web’, in January!

This July and August, Peace News was meant to have been hosting noted author and trainer Betsy Leondar-Wright from the US group, Class Action. We have been big fans of Betsy’s work on class and classism (while recognising that there are differences between class in the US and in the UK). We interviewed Betsy over three issues in 2015–…

22 June 2017Blog entry

How the British mass media exploded with outrage over Jeremy Corbyn's speech linking terrorism with British foreign policy - and then pretended the speech never happened

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn made an extraordinary speech just days after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, nine of them teenagers, one an eight-year-old, at the end of a pop concert in Manchester on 22 May.

In his speech on 25 May, Jeremy Corbyn linked the Manchester attack to British foreign policy, breaking a deeply-held taboo in British politics. (The taboo was also broken in the aftermath of the 7/7 attacks in 2005 by a number of Conservatives, including current foreign…

1 June 2017News in Brief

New Internationalist magazine has not sold out, it’s sold itself to its readers, raising £704,000 in a month-long fundraising campaign.

On 7 April, the day after the community share offer closed, NI co-director Helen Wallis wrote: ‘this email finds us audience-owned, fully capitalized and in a position to put our ambitious plans into action’.

The magazine, which had only hoped to raise £500,000, will now be owned by 3,400 investors who bought shares over the month-long…

1 April 2017Review

Verso, 2016; 272pp; £16.99

Historically there has been a general consensus across British politics and among British political commentators that the BBC is, by and large, an independent, left-leaning institution that serves the public interest. But, as readers of PN will know, especially when it comes to issues of war and peace, this is a myth.

Since its inception, the BBC has overwhelmingly served the interests of the government and elite sectors in society, a fact backed up by virtually every…

1 December 2015Feature

How two activists learned to code from scratch in order to build an online tool to support activist groups

Sky Christensen and Keira PatersonPhoto: eConvenor (timer photo)

About three years ago, two Australian campaigners were surprised and frustrated to discover that the next generation of student activists were making the very same mistakes in organising that they had made at university. Nothing seemed to have changed. A lot of people have had a similar realisation.

Unlike a lot of people, however, Keira Paterson and Sky Christensen decided to do something about it. ‘Sky had…