Respecting the courage and heritage of Goldsmiths’ first Warden- ‘He died a gentleman and soldier.’

The first academic male faculty at Goldsmiths, University of London in 1905 with Warden William Loring standing middle of the back row.
Goldsmiths’ first Warden standing middle among male lecturers 1905. Image: Goldsmiths, University of London

At a time when British culture and society is going through a remarkable memorializing process about the ‘Great War’ of 1914-18, I have been impelled to elevate what I would regard the ‘forgotten history’ of Goldsmiths’ first Warden William Loring (1865-1915).

He not only laid the college’s key foundations for academic excellence and educational leadership, but was an incredibly courageous soldier who gave his life  for his country at the age of 50 during the Gallipoli campaign. He was a decorated warrior having served valiantly in the second Boer War of 1899-1902.  He commanded an officer cadet force at the College, and enthusiastically rejoined his Regiment, The Scottish Horse, on the outbreak of the First World War. He was grievously wounded in front line action in the ill-fated invasion of Turkey, died of his wounds on a hospital ship, and was buried at sea in the Aegean.

Continue reading “Respecting the courage and heritage of Goldsmiths’ first Warden- ‘He died a gentleman and soldier.’”

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Plumbers, button pressers, or academics? The media practitioner’s lot in UK Higher Education

An image raising the issue of the divide between trainers and educators in British Universities.
Goldsmiths, University of London used to teach the trade of plumbing, but it is unlikely there was ever a Professor of Plumbing. From ‘Goldsmiths’ College: A Centenary Account,’ page 66.

An important conference takes place at Birmingham City University Monday 7th July that explores the role of the professional media practitioner in British Higher Education.

I’m giving a paper asking the question asking whether the divide between practice and theory academics is the same as when I started teaching in universities in 1990.

I go further. I want to know if there has been any progress since the operation of the first British University diploma course in journalism that ran from 1919 to 1939.

I’m interested to know if anything has been done to bring down the walls and end a growing perception that media practice academics experience an apartheid in prospects, work loads, status, and promotion.

Continue reading “Plumbers, button pressers, or academics? The media practitioner’s lot in UK Higher Education”

Statutory control behind the harlot’s screen. Subtle politics in law.

Hacked Off campaigners give their reaction to LJ Leveson's verdict that the British press safeguards democracy and also wrecks havoc on the lives of innocent people.
Hacked Off campaigners give their reaction to LJ Leveson’s verdict that the British press safeguards democracy and also wrecks havoc on the lives of innocent people.

Former British Prime Minister of the 1930s Stanley Baldwin once said the power without responsibility abused by press was the prerogative of the harlot through the ages. Lord Justice Leveson in 2012 recommends that politicians should enter the harlot’s boudoir and direct the press how to behave behind a screen or two. They might do it via a cadre of Ofcom handmaidens, but the effect will be the same.

Well it’s happened. Sir Brian Leveson has given his verdict on the culture, practices, and ethics of Britain’s press and conduct with public, police and politicians. Like all good criminal judges he weighed the mitigation before punching with the sentence, though at the end he conceded ‘the ball moves back into the politicians’ court. They must now decide who guards the guardians.’Continue reading “Statutory control behind the harlot’s screen. Subtle politics in law.”

The Statutory Dilemma, Leveson Inquiry and Media Law and Ethics Reform

The Leveson Inquiry Report- much anticipated and controversial history

The NUJ’s policy for ‘statutory underpinning’ of print regulation is one of the more troubling issues in my near 38 year career in journalism. It has been hard enough being in a University Department (Media & Communications, Goldsmiths) surrounded by colleagues who are at the very centre of the Hacked Off and Coordinating Committee for Media Reform that advocates the surrendering to Parliament of a vitally important constitutional independence.

My colleagues also back statutory ‘right of reply.’ In my opinion these are authoritarian measures of reform.

They will do nothing to improve media reporting and publication standards. They are antithetical to my professional existence as a journalist.Continue reading “The Statutory Dilemma, Leveson Inquiry and Media Law and Ethics Reform”

Ron Onions- remembering a lost generation of inspirational editors in UK Broadcasting

Ron Onions OBE before the microphone during LBC’s heyday in Gough Square, behind London’s Fleet Street. Copyright estate of Ron Onions.

An impressive and significant generation of editors in UK broadcast journalism who originated and pioneered key developments in the media industry during the 1970s and 1980s has  been passing away- largely unnoticed.

But the death (May 27) and well-attended funeral of Ron Onions (Kingston-on-Thames June 12) recently indicates that their contribution to British culture is beginning to be recognised and those who benefited from their leadership and inspiration are rightly publishing their thanks and appreciation.Continue reading “Ron Onions- remembering a lost generation of inspirational editors in UK Broadcasting”

Remembering Dr. Fred Hunter pioneer of UK Independent Broadcasting, Broadcast Journalism Education, Sound Poetry and Cultural Historian

Dr. Frederic Hunter receiving his doctorate in 1984

An innovator and pioneer of UK broadcasting and journalism education, and media historian passed away on the 5th of January 2012 in his 78th year.  Dr. Fred Hunter had completed the last proofs for his unique and ground-breaking book on the UK’s first university journalism course at the University of London between 1919 and 1939.  But as well as applying his painstaking and enlightening historian’s attention to the achievements of pioneers before him, Frederic Newlands Hunter, born in Gateshead in 1934, had been a significant and important innovator himself.

Fred, as he was known to his colleagues, was the first Director of the UK’s Independent Radio News, and one of the first assistant editors at the country’s first licensed independent radio station, LBC, in London in 1973. The country’s broadcasting industry and culture owes him a huge debt.Continue reading “Remembering Dr. Fred Hunter pioneer of UK Independent Broadcasting, Broadcast Journalism Education, Sound Poetry and Cultural Historian”

Unpaid work experience and internship in the media- Postmodernist slavery?

The TUC’s campaigning animation against unpaid ‘Dogsbody’ internships

There is growing discontent about the injustice of ‘work experience.’ It is being recognised that working for nothing, particularly if you have spent tens of thousands of pounds already on legitimate and accredited education and training schemes is unjust, unfair, exploitative and an attack on personal and social dignity.

Slowly and inexorably some sections of the media and political elite are beginning to recognise that the abuse of interns is immoral and a political time-bomb. Catherine Bennett in today’s Observer has written a studied analysis under the title:  ‘Sure, you can ‘work’. Just don’t expect a job at the end of it: From Smythson to Poundland, the exploitation of the young desperate for internships continues unabated.’

Working for nothing is immoral. And unpaid internships and work experience is exactly that. It is a misnomer to suggest that it is a ‘voluntary’ arrangement.  Mainly young people agree to do it because they have no choice. Some do it because they can afford to do so. Most borrow more and surrender additional swathes of self-respect because they hope there may be a job at the end of it or the citation on their CV that might help them secure an interview for the job that they want, or now increasingly need.Continue reading “Unpaid work experience and internship in the media- Postmodernist slavery?”

Hackgate and its Implications

Last front page of the News of the World
Edition number 8,674 July 10th 2011 of the News of the World

The Institute of Communications Ethics held its annual conference on Friday October 28th in London and explored Hackgate and its implications. The papers presented at the Foreign Press Association in the Commonwealth Club reflected the consternation and divided opinions that the scandal has generated within British journalism and the academy.Continue reading “Hackgate and its Implications”

Launch of blog postings on Comparative Media Law & Ethics

This is the launch of regular postings of my analysis of media law and ethics issues arising out of my work as a journalist and lecturer in the subject at Goldsmiths, University of London.

It is linked closely to my textbook on the subject Comparative Media Law & Ethics and its companion web-site.

Comparative Media Law & Ethics by Tim Crook
Published in 2009 by Routledge

 

I look forward to sharing my knowledge and opinions with you.

Tim Crook