Wednesday, 14 March 2012

a pause for thought

I’m currently writing two essays AND trying my very hardest to keep on top of current affairs, so that when I’m taking my well deserved 4 hour gossip/coffee break in the Hallward Café, I can avidly discuss who’s next to be hauled into Levenson or whether Germany will in fact ever recruit a president who is more capable in his job than my 10 year old cousin would be.

And it’s exactly in this mix of historical essays and current affairs that things get interesting. Yes, I admit, I have reached that stage of education where I actually find my subject interesting! (To be honest, considering it’s costing me £3,290 a year, I may as well.) Let me explain…

Presentation Work: The Profumo Affair: 1963
-       a British political scandal, where John Profumo, Secretary of State for War had an affair with Christine Keeler, the reputed mistress of an alleged Russian spy. He then denied it in the House of Commons but later admitted to lying and resigned. This was the first time that such a scandal was splattered all over the media and where the traditional British ‘cover up and carry on’ was completely abandoned…government and media conflict…

Essay 1: The Kinsey Reports
-       in the 60s, the American Alfred Kinsey released a couple of ‘sex surveys’ which showed that ‘scandalous’ and ‘unimaginable’ things such as petting and homosexuality were in fact very normal and common! HUGE tabloid coverage and intervention of ‘the establishment’…government and media conflict…

Essay 2: The 1968 Student Movement and generational conflict in West Germany
-       in 1968 the students of West Germany criticized their elders and the government, accusing them of still having fascist tendencies and urging them (through pretty radical methods) to confront this Nazi past and deal with the politics of memory.  There was obviously huge media coverage, but whilst some papers supported the government, others supported the students and some journalists and publishers were arrested…government and media conflict…

Current Affairs: News of the World Scandal
-       no need to elaborate here I feel, but yes, surprise surprise…government and media conflict…

George Orwell once very nicely said: “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”

 Sadly though, I feel that these examples pretty much just highlight that although Joe Bloggs may now read The Guardian on his super sleek iPads, the press mentality is still exactly the same. Just that now I can go and twitter about it.

Oh how Times have changed..?

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