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Thread: D Notice and censorship

  1. #1

    Default D Notice and censorship

    I was wondering what the members thoughts are on things like D notices. I always thought the media was legally bound to follow this form of censorship but I now understand the media is not legally bound by them but they are normally followed by news editors and producers etc.

    I found a story the other day that has a D notice on it so the BBC etc will not touch it. This story is not a matter of security or anything like that it is totally politically motivated. Had it not been for the "alternative media" I would never have know about it.

    I can understand why they could be needed sometimes but I sure this sort of politically motivated censorship is more common than most people think.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    I was wondering what the members thoughts are on things like D notices. I always thought the media was legally bound to follow this form of censorship but I now understand the media is not legally bound by them but they are normally followed by news editors and producers etc.

    I found a story the other day that has a D notice on it so the BBC etc will not touch it. This story is not a matter of security or anything like that it is totally politically motivated. Had it not been for the "alternative media" I would never have know about it.

    I can understand why they could be needed sometimes but I sure this sort of politically motivated censorship is more common than most people think.
    Smacks of censorship by intimidation. Your media may not be 'legally' bound to abide by them, but if a major media outlet were to run a story that was DA noticed I'll bet they would end up on some Government $hit-list somewhere and loose future access to important news sources.

    I just hope the Obama administration does not learn about this cheeky method of suppressing free speech. He's trying everything else.

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    The idea of "D" Notices isn't bad. The theory being that if the press self-regulate and "voluntarily" agree not to publish certain things, then it won't be necessary to have legislation restricting the press. I'm not so sure that this always works as it should. The Conservatives under Thatcher were notorious for putting D notices on all sorts of political subjects, it seems that Cameron is continuing this trend.

    One of the reasons Labour couldn't get away with political D notices is that nearly all the UK press, and all radio and television, apart from the BBC, are owned by right-wingers like Murdoch.

    Censorship is, in my opinion, necessary in a very few cases but never in avoiding political scandal.

  4. #4

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    I agree in theory a D or DA Notice is not bad in it's self. However, it's the people in positions of power that abuse the "principle" of the rule. Just like the anti terror legislation, as soon as it was brought out it was been used by the police to justify stopping spotty youths in the street. It was even used on that old geezer at the labour party conference just for saying boo.

    I don't have any hard facts about Labour not doing as many as the conservatives but the thing I found out was about the old Labour leader John Smith and his wife who gave away their daughter for adoption because she would get in the way of their carriers !

    To me the left and right paradigm is just an illusion. It doesn't matter which side gets in, they all seem to do the same things. Who would have thought before Tony Blair that a Labour gov. would take the country into an illegal war.

  5. #5
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    We (ie those in the UK) don't realise how important the BBC is when it comes to impartiality. You watch, this government will try and move the BBC to privatisation, they don't like an independent television.

    Thatcher tried for years to control the BBC, stupidly as it's not a hotbed of lefties, most are middle class, politically in the centre. She just hated an organization which wouldn't simply tow the government line. Cameron is the same, he seems to think that because the Tories are in power the beeb should be the party's mouthpiece.

    Alistair Campbell tried to control the BBC when Labour first won the election, the Beeb bit back and exposed him at every opportunity, as a result he lost his position. Tony Blair ended up shooting himself in the foot and, as a result, had to be a lot more generous to the press than Thatcher was. The monthly "open question" press conferences for example, which you will notice, have not been continued by Cameron. The fact that nearly all of the print media and all of the private television channels are owned by conservative supporters meant that the Labour party had to be friendly to the BBC.

    Before the election there were noises from the Tories that they would be "looking at the role of the BBC" after the election. It was seen as a blatant threat. Be pro-Tory or we'll shut you down after we win.

    Freedom of the press is something which has to be fought for, otherwise it'll go and you won't realise it because there won't be any independent press left to report it!

    I agree with censorship when it comes to hardcore pornography and genuine official secrets (An ongoing undercover police operation, for example but not MP's expenses) but I strongly disagree with manipulation and abuse of "D" notices.
    Last edited by Rembrandt Rob; 08-19-2010 at 01:09 PM.

  6. #6

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    I bet you've got some stories to tell, if you were there to film a News item but then had a D notice slapped on it. I bet Digger knows some stuff as well working so closely with the American military.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnight Blue View Post
    I bet you've got some stories to tell, if you were there to film a News item but then had a D notice slapped on it. I bet Digger knows some stuff as well working so closely with the American military.
    You would be surprised. Believe me, I have already had some of my footage suppressed (in the name of national security, of course).

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