Ethics and Media Culture

8 New Labour, New Britain. Campaign politics and the ethics of spin

Stephen Hayward






In the opening weeks of the 1997 general election campaign the editors of The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian engaged in a frank exchange of views on the media’s handling of national politics. This was a brief, but highly revealing encounter in that the perceived seriousness of the event – reporting ‘the sacred moment in a democracy’, no less – obliged the contributors to work up an ethical position, something which under more mundane circumstances is liable to remain unspoken and intuitive. 1 The immediate catalyst was the electoral debut of Martin Bell, a former BBC war correspondent ...

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