Welcome to the Media Issue of the LIP. This summer marks an exciting development for the magazine, seeing it move out of the relative comfort of the student market into the big bad world with a new remit – to provide paid opportunities and exposure to young creatives. As any arts graduate knows, careers advisors and recruitment companies have little to offer if what you want to do is further your artistic interests and make a living at the same time. Sadly, many national publications see young, talented writers, artists and designers as fair game for slave labour. At the LIP we look at things differently.
Published four times a year, the LIP invites people like you to contribute the kind of work that you want to produce. In turn, we publish the kind of work that you want to see. In order for the LIP to develop, we need to hear from as many of you as possible – that’s why we’ve included a questionnaire in this issue. Completing it will only take a couple of minutes, and when you do, you stand the chance of winning a whole bunch of goodies.
We want to provide as much exposure for our network of freelance writers and contributors as possible. So if you know of likeminded people who you think would be interested in reading and contributing to the magazine, point them in our direction.
Where better to start this new phase of the LIP than with a look at the media itself. The recent BBC/Reuters We Media poll found that 61% of those questioned trusted the media more than their own government. And yet, as Alice Fordham observes, the UK is still typified by a lingering distrust for those who deliver us our daily news. More and more emphasis is being placed on the importance of citizen journalists and bloggers, such as Tim Worstall who explains the relevance of the perceived ‘revolution’ in journalism. The threat of democratising the press is perhaps not as new as some may think. Laura Keynes discusses how the life of a hack in the 18th century wasn’t much different from today.
In a world in which political opinion is increasingly shaped by media representation (see Tom Wipperman), the views of Dr Phil Edwards of the BNP make for fascinating, if nauseating reading. With press officers like Edwards, who needs enemies?
Our impressions of the wider world are frequently mediated by the glare of the cameraman’s lens. Alex Masi’s photos accompanied by text by Leo Warner illustrate that what the media don’t show is often as important as what they do. The phenomenon of ‘unrecognised villages’ in Israel demonstrates how mass media attention can actually distract from other injustices, which, for whatever reason, are not deemed as newsworthy.
The question of what to show and what not to show, especially in sensitive situations is a concern for both journalists and broadcasters alike. The balance between honest reporting and respect for those caught up in the horrors of war is a difficult one to strike, as The Times war correspondent, Anthony Loyd explains. Honesty and integrity are two of the main tenets of all good journalism, yet are often the most challenged. Al Jazeera’s Head of International and Media relations, Satnam Matharu tells the LIP how even media organisations like Al Jazeera are not immune to misrepresentation in the press.
Writer and media expert, Philip Meyer, has suggested that extrapolating from today’s declining print news readership, the last reader will pop his or her paper into the bin in 2040. The challenges against publications are tougher now than at any other time in history. With your help, the LIP will continue to take bold steps into what is already a vastly overpopulated, media-saturated world, confident that the value we place in our writers and the quality we present to our readers make the challenge one that is well worth tackling. You are welcome to join us.