Crisis Britain and a Broken scrutiny system, where next?
Today marks one of the most important dates in the UK’s calendar, and for those participating around the world, the State Funeral of her Majesty the Queen.
Coverage of events leading up to today have been roundly applauded by the networks. Royalists and interested parties have also found the mood appropriate to comfort themselves. Queues forming up to 12 hrs to see the Queen’s coffin lay in state — at Westminster.
An event that’s been in rehearsal since 2005, and before then, no foot can be put wrong. After today’s events, tomorrow, what next? The act of living where matters put back in the mind regain primacy.
I took the above photo in 2012 when the paralympics was due to open and my niece, a champion of disability rights- herself disabled — was asked to switch a flick that commenced a series of images being shown on the House of Commons.
This one, the British flag, appropriate back then would develop all sorts of symbolism over the years. From a government enveloped by groups whose supported jackbooted the streets wrapped with the flag, to a parliament double-downing on its status of greatness.
Today, perhaps for the day, it renders unity: the state, government and its Monarchy as one. It’s The ways of Seeing, in John Berger’s brilliant book. Images are made to support our beliefs. But then what happens tomorrow?
In these past ten days, so much has happened within the politics of Britain, barely given a mention within the medium that helps citizen’s frame their knowledge and being, the media.
The government has indicated how it intends to solve a crisis in which households will be hit by astronomical bills for the use of energy. The details for how to help remain unknown, but it’s likely householders will foot the bill, as opposed to corporations receiving a windfall tax on their bumper unexpected revenue. The EU thinks differently; there will be a windfall tax.
Bankers will have the cap on their bonuses removed. It was put in by the EU following the 2007–08 financial crisis purposefully to suppress (Greed is Good) behaviour that led to the Crash, in which banks were bailed out by public money. The new government has green lit fracking; so much for the environment.
To the events leading up to today, a moment of thought.
Imagine a government seated with royal executives, the police and broadcasters mapping out events. This happens, from my knowledge of previous crisis when I was a news journalist, though I’ve no insight into this particular one.
Ideas pass across each other, for the best way to celebrate matched against current events. Pomp and circumstance, no question. Britain is a nation of traditions and this occasion is so, too, important so everyone must fall in line. This isn’t a criticism, but an observation and asks how perhaps to navigate the intricacies of craft skills.
The queues worked well enough. Traditionally, from the previous passings of monarchy there have been queues. The Network’s provided a way for collective mourning, and so it will be today. Take care of today and tomorrow will look after itself, except tomorrow, will be the delayed reality of a nation in crisis.
For students of politics, royal patronage, decision making within government there’s much to chew on; my focus is news and media. If there ever was a time to review how news and media work and their function, the starting point is tomorrow. That doesn’t take away from today’s coverage.
If you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep on getting what you get.
A detached media that often reflects journalism’s internal culture of conventions, and elitism ( read The Power of News by Michael Schudson) in what requires reporting, that is attached to its self-built system rather than remodelling itself to help solve crisis, remains at a distance which proves its point of impartiality yet fails in its empathy quotient. No, that’s not the function of journalism, you’re saying.
Then there’s a hole in the market to create an empathetic form of new journalism that holds power critically to account and whose reportage catalyses action. It does this by choice of subject, how it’s executed, and what it does next.
I recall filming my MA students in 2006. If there’s one thing the could change what would it be, I asked. Daniel ( on the screen) talks about how news leaves issues hanging.
Tomorrow will be back to business, and the wider concern that a new generation of media makers starting university will be lectured in the rules and frameworks that make media what it is, rather than what it should be.
Tomorrow starts the long look again at the environment, climate change, extreme poverty, nihilistic governments, inequalities, a Brexit burdening the UK rather than unleashing the forces of trade and standing.
Tomorrow starts that fall back to earth. Except it won’t happen. What the fall? No! The reality that there is a deep crisis Britain and a broken scrutiny system that is failing, and as yet no one has quite figured where next?
Tomorrow, what if there was a national conversation on how the UK (media) resets itself?