We need new media to tell the real news

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We need new media to tell the real news

By Fanny Malinen

murdochblog.jpg

Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corporation. David Shankbone under a Creative Commons Licence

Five billionaires own over three quarters of the British press – and they are all men.

Most of them do not live in the UK and they do not pay very much tax. It is not surprising that these very rich men do not want things to change. To make changes there are new groups such as Real Media and Occupy the Media Billionaires in Britain.

Real Media’s ‘Anti-Daily Mail week’ was from 13-20 March. There were posters and online ideas which made fun of the Daily Mail’s sensationalist headlines.

The following week, another group, from the movement Occupy Democracy, protested outside Rupert Murdoch’s offices in London.

These groups want to protest against the fact that most of the media are right wing and criticise weak social groups. And this stops the general public talking about their anger at the growing differences between rich and poor, the reduction in money for public services, and crime in the banks.

Real Media talk about problems which are not reported by the big media or are reported wrongly, such as inequality, climate change, and privatization.

It was the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination on 21 March and so the protests were about human rights, the arms industry and foreign policy. In April, the group will start a website to report the news in a new and better way.

Kam Sandhu is from Real Media. He says we should look at the problems of climate change, inequality, and privatisation, but the media stop people hearing about them. Instead they criticise immigrants, the poor who need money from the state, and other groups. And this is a problem for democracy. The media talk about the poorest people in the way they talk about criminals. But the real criminals are the rich people in big business and in the banks.

The big media are also racist and they do not report the real situation with immigration into Britain. They do not report on detention centres and private prisons run by Serco, G4S, and other transnationals. Here people are in prison without a trial. They are not criminals. They only want to live in a country where they are safe and can find a job.

In recent weeks, there have been protests in detention centres around the country. Hundreds of immigrants have been on hunger strike in protest at the conditions in Dungavel, Scotland, and in Colnbrooke and Harmondsworth near Heathrow. The media have reported nothing.

Kam Sandhu says there is sexual abuse and violence in Yarl’s Wood and other detention centres against people coming to Britain for asylum. And there is torture and abuse in the way authorities treat these people. But the media criticise immigrants and say they come here and have a wonderful life.

Earlier this month, television’s Channel 4 reported the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse by Serco security guards in Yarl’s Wood detention centre.

But there have been reports since the opening of the centre for women in 2001. After Channel 4 made the reports, the government opposition parties criticised the Home Secretary and two Serco employees lost their jobs. But there is no more news from the media about this.

This is not because there is no information. Many immigrants in detention centres want people to know about their problems. One way they can talk to the outside world is the website Detained Voices, run by supporters outside the detention centres.

It publishes messages without the names: ‘I’ve been in detention for 10 months. I asked for bail 4 times, the judge refused. This place is harder than prison, because in prison at least you know when you will get out. But not in here! Some people have been in the centre for 2 to 3 years.’

‘Another woman has cancer. She has been in Yarl’s Wood for almost six weeks. She is not having treatment and her illness is getting worse. Now it is very difficult for her to walk.’

The media do not think these problems in private prisons are news. There is something wrong.

We do not need media that criticise immigrants in the UK. We need media which tell the truth.

NOW READ THE ORIGINAL: http://newint.org/blog/2015/04/02/new-media-answers/ (This article has been simplified so the words, text structure and quotes may have been changed).