According to a survey of followers of the @MediaGuido Twitter feed, what the world wants is another podcast, specifically 71.5% of them want a media affairs podcast. The reason Guido is contemplating doing this is not commercial – we haven’t figured out how to make a commercially viable podcast yet* – it is more of a public service. The fourth estate is one of the most powerful forces in public life, standing in judgement over the politicians who govern us. It has long been accused of having power without responsibility, the prerogative of the harlot as it was once described. Who holds the “presstitutes” to account?
Academia is full of media critiques, “hackademics” are usually Marxist Murdoch conspiracy theorists or former hacks who almost universally have a left-of-centre view of the world. The correspondents who cover the media world are invariably left-of-centre, even when they are just covering the economics of the media industry, rather than the culture of the media. There are some exceptions – Stephen Glover covers the media sporadically from a right-of-centre perspective. Amol Rajan tries to follow a middle way at the BBC, though inevitably the former broadsheet editor would rather keep his job than rock the boat too much. There is a crying need for a perspective that is not left-of-centre.
On Google Scholar there are 458 references and citations of the Guido Fawkes website by academics, almost all of the academic papers view the website as some kind of political and media aberration, when in fact on so many issues the editorial stance we take is the mainstream majority stance as repeatedly reflected at the ballot box. The fringe minority views are actually in academia.
Media coverage of the media suffers from the same problem that Fox News correspondents embedded with the US military had in Iraq – they are active participants. Their salaries are paid by the people whom they cover, their reporting carries career damaging risks, so they self-censor. Imagine you are the Guardian’s media correspondent, how do you positively spin the paper’s annual financial report? The same goes for The Times’ media correspondent covering the global adventures of their proprietor. All media correspondents are understandably wary of accidentally writing their obituary.
The plan is that the podcast will try to highlight stories that other media correspondents won’t for ideological reasons or because of the compromises being part of the corporate media requires. We’ll see how hard it is to get guests…
In the last month we have covered the editor of The Times breaking lockdown with the sister of the Prime Minister. The newly woke morning TV presenter and tabloid favourite who dressed up as a Nazi SS officer. The property developer and media investor who was sat with the Mirror‘s editor when he lobbied the minister who approved his billion-pound development. None of these stories got coverage elsewhere in the media. Editors turn a blind eye to each other’s failings because they fear the consequences of “an eye for an eye.” The proprietor and editor of Media Guido has no such fears and no intention of ever working for anyone else…
*Potential sponsors or advertisers should get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.