The Telegraph’s Tribute to George Cole

August 7, 2015 at 1:13 am (Media) (, , )

Compare and contrast:


The implication that ‘Er Indoors is a tyrant is reinforced by the appearance of the actress Claire Davenport (famous for such roles) as her sister.

Arthur’s favourite drink was a large vodka and tonic, which he referred to as a “large V.A.T”, a wordplay on Value Added Tax.


…the implication that she is a fierce and formidable woman is reinforced by the appearance of actress Claire Davenport (famous for such roles) as her sister.

Arthur’s favourite drink was a large Vodka and tonic, which was referred to as a ‘large V.A.T’, a wordplay on Value Added Tax (The UK tax on sales).

Perhaps Martin Chilton, Culture Editor online at the Telegraph wrote the Wikipedia page for Minder.

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Independent on Sunday’s HPV Scare Story

May 31, 2015 at 4:53 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Media, Vaccines) (, , )

The Independent on Sunday apparently thought it would be a good idea to publish a front page story scaremongering about the HPV vaccine. Some elements remind me of previous unfounded vaccine scares promoted by the press and the anti-vaccine movement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guardian Publishes Article On Vitamin Pills Written By Vitamin Pill Salesman

April 7, 2014 at 12:00 am (Media, Nutritionism, Supplements) (, , , )

The note at the bottom of this Guardian article ‘the science behind dietary supplements’ states that the website mentioned in the article is “an independent encyclopedia on supplementation and nutrition. It does not accept advertising.” However, nowhere in the article does it mention any other website that the author is involved with. Well, I found one that looked pretty interesting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Don’t Read The Daily Mail

September 23, 2013 at 10:12 pm (Media) ()

DM Reporter is launching the first annual ‘Don’t Read the Daily Mail’ Day tomorrow.

We are thusly forbade on September 24th from reading, linking, tweeting, updating, posting, critiquing, spoofing, complaining, borrowing, commenting or thinking about the Daily Mail. We’ll keep it out of the line of sight of those who have befriended or followed us. We’ll not start sentences “guess what they wrote today,” and we will not bite when Samantha Brick offers us an apple.

DM Reporter argues that the Daily Mail “doesn’t care if we love it or hate it, it only cares that we read it” – they don’t care who is clicking on a link or why, they only care that people are clicking.

Ignoring the Daily Mail for just one day a year sounds like an easily achievable goal (if you think it’s too easy, perhaps you’d like to pledge to ignore the Mail for a longer period of time) and if there’s a chance it might annoy the Daily Mail even a little bit I think it might be worth a try.

Anybody who would like to irritate the Daily Mail but does not wish to ignore it might like to consider other options. You could carry on as you are and continue to point out their factual inaccuracies or instances of their bigotry or hypocrisy (or point and laugh at them, or whatever it is you do). If you have a legitimate complaint about an article, you might like to try complaining to the paper (who will ignore you) or the PCC (who will likely fob you off). Or you could perhaps try something a bit different – like reverse incentives. Maybe you could find a cause that the Mail would hate, and donate to it every time it was criticised by the Mail? I’m sure there will be plenty of other possibilities that haven’t occurred to me too.

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The Media, Online Debate and Anti-Vaccine Tactics

August 2, 2013 at 9:09 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Media)

I’ve been catching up with my reading. I think some of what I’ve been catching up on is worth sharing. The journal Vaccine had a special edition in 2012 on The Role of Internet Use in Vaccination Decisions. Of the articles, three stood out for me. One on the nature of online discussion and participants, another on provision of information by the media, and one on tactics and tropes of the anti-vaccine movement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Daily Mail Science Correspondent on Vaccination

July 19, 2012 at 6:14 pm (Anti-Vaccination, Media) (, , , , , , , )

The Daily Mail have this week published an article on the HPV vaccine. Remarkably, it’s actually quite good. Certainly better than those written by Rachel Porter, Paul Sims, and the anonymous (and ubiquitous) Daily Mail Reporter. (See herehere, here, and here for my thoughts on those articles.) The journalist in question is Fiona MacRae. The article is about girls being denied the “life-saving cervical cancer jab” because of the religious objections of schools. As I say, it’s actually quite good. The only quibble I have is that it includes the following sentence: Read the rest of this entry »

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PCC Judgement On Daily Mail HPV Article

February 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm (Media) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Back in November last year, I complained about a Daily Mail article on the HPV vaccine. Another individual also complained (about the Mail and other newspapers) and the PCC decided that theirs would be the main complaint, with mine being considered alongside it. It’s taken over three months, but the PCC have now made an adjudication. Read the rest of this entry »

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Paul Dacre, Kitten Killer

February 12, 2012 at 8:06 pm (Media) (, , , )

kitten pictures

This is what Paul Dacre might see if he were a kitten killer. Which, as far as I know, he isn’t.

Of course, Paul Dacre is not really a kitten killer. I’ve made that up. Newspapers such as Dacre’s Daily Mail though, and I’m not making this bit up, are allowed to print pretty much any headline they like. As long as they make clear at some point that the headline is untrue. Perhaps in, say, paragraph 19 of the article.

This is problematic. Not everyone will read the whole article. A few will read right to the end, some will look at the pictures and maybe read the first couple of paragraphs. But everyone will have been exposed to the headline.

The Poynter Institute found that online participants read an average of 77 percent of story text they chose to read; broadsheet participants read an average of 62 percent of stories they selected; and tabloid participants read an average of 57 percent. They also note that readers described as ‘scanners’ viewed headlines and other page display elements without reading much text. It’s clear that some people might be influenced by a headline without ever reading the attached article.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Write About Alternative Medicine? Part One: The Media

January 6, 2012 at 7:25 pm (Alternative Medicine, Media, Miscellaneous) ()

Anyone who writes critical articles about alternative medicine is likely, at some point, to be asked why. Some commenters will ask why bloggers write about alternative medicine while ignoring the failings of conventional medicine. Some go so far as to invent a reason themselves and suggest that the blogger might be a pharma shill. There are many reasons for blogging about alternative medicine. One is to address a perceived media bias; my perception is that (while publishing both praise and criticism of conventional medicine) the media tend to publish uncritical, wholly positive articles that, in essence, promote unproven or disproven treatments. Read the rest of this entry »

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Daily Mail Health Articles

December 5, 2011 at 11:57 am (Media) (, )

The Daily Mail is known to some as The People’s Medical Journal for its love of health stories. Particularly health stories that involve unlikely cures, or anecdotes about alleged side effects of vaccination. I took a look at some of the latest stories in the Mail’s Health section. Caution: this article contains links to the Daily Mail’s website. PDFs are available for those who do not wish to visit the Mail’s website. Read the rest of this entry »

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