Thursday, 15 October 2015

Corbyn in the media

Paul Myerscough says that Corbyn’s election has produced for the BBC:

[a dislocation] between the new state of party politics and the broadcaster’s entrenched conception of what constitutes impartiality. Because its notion of political balance between left and right is defined by the Labour and Conservative Parties, its spectrum of opinion has narrowed and its fulcrum drifted to the right in concert with New Labour. Corbyn has reopened the gap, but the BBC has not adjusted. So far as it is concerned, with his election the Labour leadership has put itself beyond the pale. Its norm remains a ‘balance’ between the Tories and the Labour right. By defining himself against the establishment, Corbyn becomes an outsider, an insurgent, who can be discussed ‘fairly’ by the BBC only in the way that, say, Radio 5 Live can ‘fairly’ cover England’s opponents at the World Cup, or the way the Today programme talks ‘fairly’ about Syrian refugees. One should be respectful towards them, but they remain irrevocably other.

Corbyn’s success will continue to depend not least on how effectively he can combine the oldest and newest forms of campaigning: digital networks with town-hall meetings. The mainstream media will remain stony ground.