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Sunday, 30 August 2009

FILTHY, FILTHY RAG.

I have just finished reading the FILTHY RAG and the Saturday Interview with Det Supt Mick Gradwell. Times gone by I would have felt sick to my stomach with what I read, however I have now come to expect nothing less.

I thought i'd better read what the FILTHY RAG has printed so I would have a better idea of what I was talking about when addressing any issues with them (THE FILTHY RAG)and who I believe to be there pay masters our "Ruling Elite".

Well I was not dissapointed, from what I read I could see nothing conclusive or evidence based that proved the large attention grabbing headline "Home dig was waste of time" which I believe was repeated about 3 times in the article.

The FILTHY RAG, in my opinion, did not actually report any EVIDENCE BASED "news" and the Interview with Gradwell was just a propaganda exercise in their desperate attempt to discredit Lenny Harper and his team, furthermore to try and convince its readers there were no child murders at HDLG as that just wouldn't be good for business, but failed to back this up with any evidence!

I strongly believe children did die "mysteriously" up at HDLG and I strongly believe our,(or certain members of) Government and a few Civil Servants are doing all in their power to hush it up and our local media, as always are "playing ball".

Let me explain why I think our local media "play ball". Most sound minded people know there are at least two sides to any story. Why is it then we, the general public, only really get to hear one side? Whatever the "news" or "Headline" might be our entire local media all seem to agree with eachother. Take the Lenny Harper and Graham Power vs Gradwell and Warcup case. There are two camps here, most are either in one or the other and some are undecided.

Why then, if the FILTHY RAG so frequently gives us the Warcup and Gradwell version, does NONE of our other media give us the Harper and Power version? It doesn't stop there, it doesn't matter what the news story or headline is, our entire local media basically churn out the exact same gumph. When has anybody EVER known our local media to give a completeley different story to the same headline?

For example the FILTHY RAG'S Headline "Home dig was a waste of time" that was clearly Gradwells opinion, it's not Lenny Harpers. The feature could go on to say "Det Supt Mick Gradwell continues his "unprecedented" assault on fellow officer Lenny Harper but offers the public no real evidence to assure them there have been no murders or cover ups".

Clearly it doesn't go on to say that but nor does any of our other media!

Here is a quote from the FILTHY RAG that grabbed my attention. "When Detective Supt Mick Gradwell left the island yesterday at the end of his contract as leader of the historical child abuse inquiry there was one big mystery that remained unsolved. That mystery, he says, is why the investigation turned into a poorly managed mess".

That was the only one big mystery? Perhaps that might be so for Gradwell, but for me there are a few more like why were holes, at HDLG, dug one day filled in with Lime the next and when the contractor queried this at the time he was told to mind his own business?
Why were there bonfires started at unsual times of the day and night and left to burn for long periods of time? How can Lenny Harper tell us the children's milk teeth that were found could not have come out before death because of the root still being attatched, and you tell us they were left out for the tooth fairy? What is the real reason you will not have the teeth and bones carbon dated if it will only cost a couple of grand? Was there any opportunity for the skull fragment/coconut to have been tampered with/swapped. Is colegen found in wood or anything other than Mammals?

There are many, many, more questions like these that need answering and to the best of my knowledge NONE of our local media or Gradwell have answered them but we are expected to believe everything is above board and Lenny Harper is the bad guy because Mick Gradwell said so and of course because it was in the JEP.

So is our local media just basically cutting and pasting each others "news" items for an easy life and that is how modern day journalism works? Is it just pure coincidence that our entire local media have the same take on every story? Or are our local media "playing ball" with the ruling elite? Or have I got it wrong and there are plenty of examples where the local media either disagree with each other or do publish/broadcast different stories on the same subject?

Saturday, 22 August 2009

FILTHY RAG.

For my national and international readers the “FILTHY RAG” is a term used for our only “news” paper in Jersey.
I know my Blog(s) are read by Journalists both National and international as I have given a few of you an interview after you have contacted me through my Blog.
Without buying a copy I would urge all my readers/viewers to read yesterdays and today’s copy of the said FILTHY RAG and I would especially ask any Journalists to give me their take on the “stories” they have published about Lenny Harper. I will explain where I am a little confused.
Three people have successfully been convicted of child abuse. To the best of my knowledge these three people, and the case against them, were put in front of a court as a result of Lenny Harper and his teams investigation. Although I believe the three people have been offered as sacrificial lambs to the public by our Attorney General, and people who hold much higher positions of power over here should be put before the courts but that’s for another Blog.
So three court cases and three guilty verdicts that’s a 100% success rate for Lenny Harper and his team, which by anybody’s standards is pretty damn good.
Now the defence Lawyers have made all kinds of accusations and statements against Lenny Harper, which I suppose is their job, indeed I think the Crown Advocate has made equally damming statements against Lenny Harper (work that one out!)
But the defence Advocates LOST ALL THREE CASES so I suppose it would be safe to say the Jury didn’t believe them. Why then would a “news”paper, or in this case a FILTHY RAG, start printing the defence stories as though they had won the bloody case and go on to discredit the lead investigator who made these convictions possible????
This must be unprecedented in the world of “Journalism” shouldn’t it? When the lead investigator gets a 100% record in securing convictions in historic abuse cases, something we are told is notoriously difficult to do, and HE IS PORTRAYED AS THE BAD GUY!! by our only “news”paper. Surely he should be hailed as a bloody hero?
How on earth can Jack Straw turn his back on all this?
Lenny Harper is being condemned , in certain circles, for allegedly agreeing a book deal. I believe not only should he consider it, he should be forced to write a book. The truth about our local media and their relationship with our ruling elite needs to be exposed, among many, many atrocities I and many others believe have taken place regarding the cover up of child abuse and abusers on this island.
It is my opinion Lenny Harper courted the world’s media, not only to encourage victims to come forward (which proved to be very successful) but because he knew what he would be up against with our local media.
So the question I want answered is “where else in a western “democratic” world would the press slate the lead investigator who has a 100% record in securing convictions against child abusers”?
Only in Jersey I fear……….only in Jersey.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Blog, Fog and Righters’ Cramp


The first 500 years of a revolution are the worst.
Some people in authority have still not yet come to terms with William Caxton and his printing press and making information available to the general pubic.
Many millions of people have already died, all over the world to promote and protect free speech and expression but the censorship battle continues.
Some dinosaurs still resist the inevitable and in Jersey the country cousins seem to view such progress as a disease to be fought against - just like a 16th century plague - and William would recognise them instantly.

Newspapers, books, TV, radio, cinema, telephones and fax are all going the way of the tom-tom, semaphore and the telex. Now the mobile ‘phones that connect to the INTERNET and send comment and images all around the world and even into space if necessary - all in a split second – are already here and who knows what the future might deliver? But our government is still smashing the old machinery……..

So what a dismal show was the BBC “Talk-Back” programme on Sunday. Not only was the discussion supposedly devoted to blogging and “Citizens Media” in Jersey and beyond but there wasn’t even a blogger in the studio!! Instead we had the usual giggling girl from Canada with a couple of well meaning but partially informed Deputies - and the horizon of discussion hardly ever left the confines of the bomb proof shelter that BBC Jersey calls journalism.

Of course we at “The Voice”did offer to appear in the studio, but were refused – yet Ms Tucker told listeners that we had refused to participate. Such is the standard of reporting, even of the simplest fact. She declined to mention we were willing to come on the Talkback show but were not willing to give an interview that could be edited by Matthew Price or Denzil Dudley

You see with “Professionally trained Journalist” it’s not what you say (or don’t) it’s how you say it (or don’t).


Little wonder then that this great promoter of Free Expression, Knowledge and Education that was once the British Broadcasting Corporation should have been brought down by scandal after scandal in recent years and pays £millions to mediocre presenters who are as likely to be insulting as entertaining or informative.

Did somebody say professionally trained versus the amateurs? That is one of the government lines of course and the so called “accredited press” just lap it up as though they were part of some well trained and regulated body of socially motivated, independent reporters of events!!!!!

How many of the “accredited press” have been involved in one scandal or another? The mighty BBC themselves editing video footage claiming the Queen was storming out of, I believe a photo shoot or something similar when in fact she was WALKING IN! What about the BBC Blue Peter scandal with the phone in? Same goes for ITV, Channel 4 and channel 5!!

Professions! – you must be joking – as Cynthia Payne would say – allegedly.

In fact, the best informed participation on the Talkback programme was the pre-recorded interview with a blogger – but who he was or whether he had any links with Jersey and the threatened Proposition 112 was not explained.
Were any other local bloggers actually asked to appear? Constable Crowcroft runs his own blog site and could usefully have replaced one of the 2 undemanding Deputies. Was he asked? Were any of the JDA Deputies invited? The JDA has a blog site and Deputy Trevor Pitman has witnessed many of the Scrutiny Panel spats but where was there even a shadow of the “balance” that supposedly dictates standards of BBC journalism? They had a show about Blogging and refused to allow Bloggers to be guests on the show!!

Sadly, the issues are so much wider than whether cameras should be allowed into the States Chamber or even Scrutiny Panel proceedings. It is about public access to all so called “public” hearings whether in government, the Parishes or the Courts. What are the limits of “public information” and who shall be denied access to it?

We at “The Voice” have already challenged the refusal to allow video recording of “public” Complaint Board hearings and we have complained about the totally inadequate “public” facilities here, there and everywhere but with a few notable exceptions (such as Deputy Bob Hill) our efforts are largely ignored by our elected “representatives”. Why?

Poor access to the public gallery of the States Chamber was mentioned in the programme but nobody mentioned the lamentable and deteriorating service provided by the Greffe in failing to publish and distribute adequate information. It’s no wonder that the Greffe bookshop now sells toys and pencils printed with the States logo because the shelves are virtually bare and everybody is assumed to have the facilities to download copies from the appallingly inadequate and unfriendly gov.je website (where the Greffe is hidden as a “non executive department”!!!!!).

The Crown Officers recent Annual Report – which included important information on the Haut De La Garenne saga – was not available in hardcopy (or print as Caxton might have called it) at all. Not a single paper copy was printed – where might tomorrow’s investigative journalists or historians refer to that report if necessary?

Ironically, vast amounts of INTERNET space is now taken up with Google’s plan to publish on-line the ancients printed texts, books and documents that fill the shelves of libraries and archives around the world. But what will happen to documents that are never fixed on paper but exist only as electronic data? Shall the record of past centuries be available and open for research but the 21st be allowed to evaporate?
Who shall control the records of our government and without vigilance and effective scrutiny – using the best available technology – who shall monitor the controllers?

The 2 Deputies admitted that the problems had been underestimated and that Proposition 112 (now scrapped) was half baked but the silly and probably illegal Protocols introduced by the Scrutiny Chairmens Chairman’s Committee remain in force. Why?

In a world where Facebook, Twitter, and Skype allow people to communicate with each other instantly across the world and where more information can be stored in a gadget the size of a matchbox than exists in an average library – the time for government and those who are interested in the processes of information gathering and distribution to consider the issues, is NOW.

Bloggers are here to stay. Broadcasters, journalists or politicians who seek to exclude them from the debate are kidding themselves. Such attempts at suppression and censorship will only feed the growth of blogging and citizens media. Caxton’s skills were secretive, hard to learn and expensive to apply. Now every child in Jersey is taught to compute and text and the equipment to speak with the world or to access its archives rests easily in a child’s hand.

GET REAL BBC and the rest of you journalistic and political has beens. The game is OVER!!!!!!

The public has the right to know and bloggers the world over are blowing away the secretive and cosy clubs that politicians and journalists and others in authority have enjoyed for far too long.
Submitted by Team Voice.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Where have all the Tourists gone?


Strange isn’t it how Tourism in the Channel Islands is on a downer when we were told that the world’s economic climate would benefit the industry - and how the weak pound and strong Euro would attract many visitors from the UK and beyond.

If you listen to local radio, or study local “news” you will be aware that nobody seems to know why visitors are on the decrease. Some say it is because of the recession, and many more scenarios have been put forward.

But have you seen or heard, in the local Press ANYWHERE that it just might be that we have a massive child abuse scandal where it has been alleged our Government are protecting well connected paedophiles and covering up for certain parties employed by our government?

At least in Guernsey the Health Minister, Deputy Hunter Adam, has approached the subject in the Guernsey Evening Press by saying, in not so many words, he can’t attract outside staff for his Department because of the Haut De La Garenne scandal and that people are tarring Guernsey with the same brush as Jersey.

Let’s face it, if the Channel Islands, cannot even pay people to come here what chance is there that families will voluntarily come here for a holiday?

To quote his piece in the Guernsey Evening Press “It has become harder to recruit for a number of reasons, but he identified one scandal that had damaged the international impression of how attractive it would be to work in Social Services in the Channel Islands. Haut De La Garenne (the former Jersey Children’s home at the centre of child abuse allegations) did not help us because people assume Jersey and Guernsey are connected and their bad press rubs off on us“.

It might just be time for our local media and government to face facts. Jersey has a reputation, in certain circles, as a “paedo’s paradise“. Unless the Jersey establishment start to prosecute some of “the more difficult cases” instead of offering only a few “sacrificial lambs” - then the stigma will damage the reputation of Jersey for decades to come.

This child abuse scandal is not going away until justice has been seen to be done. So for those who’s priority’s lay with the reputation of Jersey, start delivering some Justice, or it is you that is “shafting Jersey internationally”.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Compare and Contrast.

Firstly thank you to “damocles” for furnishing me with the piece written by Rob Shipley of the JEP, or the "FILTHY RAG" as it is better known in certain circles.

For my overseas readers/viewers Rob Shipley is the Deputy Editor of our ONLY “News”paper.

I would like my readers/viewers to compare the 2 items below. One is a piece written by Rob Shipley and published in our ONLY “news”paper, sometime last week I think, I’m not sure as I refuse to buy a copy of it but I think it was in Saturdays edition.

The other is part of some e-mail correspondence I have had with another Journalist, who incidentally, I am no friend of, nor him me. However it may just be that we have some common ground.

My personal opinion is that the Rob Shipley piece comes across as a desperate man trying to hang on to the Monopoly of printed “news” and believes that the only “news” the plebs should be privy to, here in Jersey, is that which himself, Chris Bright, Matthew Price, Denzil Dudley, and the bunch at Channel Television want to give us and believes he/they ("accredited" media) are the only ones qualified to do so.

On the other hand the (edited) e-mail from the (local) “Journalist” comes across as somebody with a true understanding of “Journalism”, who believes the game should be open to all players and is not in fear of news, opinions and views being shared by mere mortals.

I have stressed many times I am not a “trained” Journalist, I am merely a father of 2 children trying to protect them from our government. I am not Blogging willingly, but I have been forced into Blogging, not only by our Government but by the “accredited” local Media.

If I believed the “accredited” local Media were informing the public without fear or favour, were not burying NEWS stories and pleas for help and letters from alleged abuse victims and were impartial and not a mouthpiece for our government then there would really be no need for my attempt at “Citizens Media” and, believe it or not, it is something I begrudge doing but have no choice.

Citizens Media is here and it is here to stay, get used to it Shipley, you helped create it/us.

The Shipley Piece

RESPONSIBLE CITIZENS
THE proposal that the States should
be televised live on the internet
should remind us that, as time
marches on, the media of mass communication
evolve.
A certain amount of hoo-hah over
who should be allowed to video
Scrutiny panel hearings also reminds
us that a new breed of media
person is abroad – or would like to
be abroad.
Citizen journalists, as they call
themselves, believe that they should
share the same rights of access as
more traditional media such as
newspaper reporters and TV or
radio broadcasters.
In itself that sounds like a reasonable
idea and a potential enhancement
of democracy.
The new kids on the block, however,
must realise that if they want
privileges they must play by the
rules – and that involves signing up
to codes of conduct and refraining
from defaming everyone who is
framed in the viewfinder or
splashed all over a blog.
Until that sort of agreement can
be negotiated and finalised, citizen
journalists are about as welcome as
citizen brain surgeons, citizen airline
pilots or, indeed, citizen bricklayers.

I really must ask Mr Shipley, if you were drowning at sea and a "citizen" held out his hand to save you would you say "no thanks you're a citizen life saver and not a trained life saver" similarly from a burning building, would you say "you are a citizen rescuer not a trained fire rescuer". Because people haven't been trained in Journalism doesn't mean they can't report news. But hey what do I know eh?

The (edited) e-mail from the (local) "Journalist"


Personally, I believe that the whole thing revolves around the definition of "journalism," or "journalistic." It used to be purely printed words on a page. Then along came Mr. Marconi and later Mr. Logie-Baird and the term had to expand to include the "new" media of radio and television.

People tend to look for "models" based on past successful practices, which means things are always backward-looking, slow to change and radical change is very difficult to achieve.

It took someone with the force of personality of Lord Reith to get radio taken seriously in Great Britain. When it was, finally, taken seriously, the journalistic practices adopted were those of the established Fleet Street broadsheets. When television came along, a great many of the, by then, well-established journalistic practices of radio were transferred over to the new visual medium. The past constantly and consistently informs the present.

The same is true for the Internet. The great temptation at the moment is to attempt to transfer the established practices of broadcast radio and television to the Web.
Where this falls flat on its face is that such thinking fails to address the communications revolution brought about by the Internet and to grasp the fact that, with the Web, we're no longer talking about "trained," "professional" practitioners, but about access to publishing facts, views and opinion which is open to anyone with a computer and a connection to the Internet.

Until recently, journalism was a passive activity, where readers, or listeners, or viewers have no choice but to accept what the "professionals" put before them. Thanks to the Web, journalism has become a massively active participatory activity.

Personally, I welcome this, but my welcome is not unconditional. I do staunchly believe that no matter what the medium and no matter who the journalist, certain basic principles must govern journalistic activities: e.g. the laws of defamation; contempt of court; the presumption of innocence, a respect for an individual's privacy etc.

But, whether we like, or agree with what someone publishes on the Internet is immaterial compared to the fact that, within the constraints of the law and accepted conventions, they have a right to publish it; and now they have the means to do so.

If journalism is defined as "reporting, writing, editing, photographing, or broadcasting news." and if "news" is defined as " a report of recent events." ( The true definition of the two terms can be argued ad nauseam, but these two should be acceptable to anyone and everyone; others tend to be too narrow and limiting.) then, without doubt, the activities of "Citizen Journalists" are, incontrovertibly journalistic.

The best definition of "Citizen Journalism" I have come across is:
"When the people formerly known as the audience employ the press tools they have in their possession to inform one another."

And therein lies the real problem - the lack of understanding that, outside the Law of the Land, Citizen Journalism, being open to all and still developing, cannot be equated to the more traditional media. However, that does not make Citizen Journalism any less valid. It simply makes it different and new, just as radio was different from print and television different from radio.

Personally I believe that in seeking to limit, or restrict any legitimate journalistic activity -and it can be argued very strongly that internet activity which seeks to inform others about current events is journalism - any authority, or body is simply failing to understand and accommodate what is happening in the world in which they live and is in real danger of denying freedom of expression within the law.

"Political leanings," or "agendas" have nothing to do with it. Just look at the obvious political leanings of the UK dailies. People tend to buy and read the ones which agree with their view of the world, but others, as they say, are available. And that's a crucial point: All views should be available and it should be up to the consumer to decide to which they wish to give their time and attention. But if all views are to be available, it is necessary - even vital - for those who wish to publish their views to be given equal access to information - especially to the workings of government.

There has to be a level playing-field for everyone engaged in journalistic activity. Certainly, the playing-field is big enough to accommodate anyone and everyone who wishes to take part.
My apologies for the length of this reply, but I do believe profoundly that these issues are central to a free society and democracy, as well as to the essential nature of journalism and, by definition, journalists. I am proud to be a trained and experienced journalist, but I am not so blinkered as to believe for an instant that such as I and my colleagues should be the only ones allowed to report on, or inform people about what is going on.
The task is to get the "powers that be" to understand and agree to this.
Yours faithfully",

The reason it has been edited is to give the "Journalist" anonymity for obvious reasons. I have permission to publish it but not under the author's name.

Rob Shipley is more than welcome to leave a comment on here explaining, in a little more depth, his understanding of "Journalism". But as I have, on a number of occassions,by e-mail asked him to give me his idea of "Journalism" he never has, so I'll not be holding my breath!