MEN behaving inanely

We at MCFly recently took a pop at our media chums the Manchester Evening News.  A reader writes –

I saw your MEN blog and tweeted it at Dave Ottewell- Politics reporter at MEN and he tweeted this back to me.. “Read link. Criticism misplaced – why mention climate change in a story about an airport winning a customer service award?”

Er, because it’s useful context in the, you know, Bigger Picture and all that?  Twenty years from now, do you think we will care about the Airport’s customer service award? Or might we be a tad more worried that the planet is irredeemably and irrevocably warming rapidly? Might journalists have a responsibility to do more than reprint press releases and trade in lobby tittle-tattle? Just askin’…

And it’s not as if the Airport is shy about climate change (well, sometimes it is).  It is constantly proclaiming how green it is.  Might these claims not be worth, you know, a bit of scrutiny?

Only a conspiracy theorist would, of course, wonder if the MEN’s reticence to hold Manchester Airport to account might have anything to do with the advertising revenue it gets from all the airlines.  We really should get the Royal Exchange to put on a production of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People

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4 Responses to MEN behaving inanely

  1. Diane says:

    Reminds me of how the electricity industry would plan a row of trees beside the power stations and get good publicity for how they were improving the environment.

  2. We’ve put the airport’s ‘green’ credentials under scrutiny many times in the past, and will do so again in the future. See e.g.

    http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/transport/s/1302462_airport_goes_green_as_long_as_you_dont_include_the_flights

    That doesn’t mean EVERY story about the airport has to be about its carbon emissions – and this latest one wasn’t. It’s hardly a sign of a conspiracy of silence – just that we aren’t a single-issue newspaper.

  3. Pingback: Airport and Media- (straw)MEN behaving defensively |

  4. David Henry says:

    Manchester Airport is one of those politically and commercially delicate issues that the MEN conveniently won’t take a position on.

    As David Ottewell has demonstrated in the link above, the paper will report criticism by third parties but takes no editorial stance. This is in contrast to it’s very clear position on other matters such as congestion charging and metrolink.

    People need to get used to the reality that no media outlet is impartial or without bias. That fact is one of the first things a journalism student is taught.

    The MEN has an editorial agenda, it is obvious to the regular readership (partly why they chose to stay loyal) and this has also been explained to me and others numerous times in person by MEN employees when covering politically sensitive items. Having an agenda isn’t necessarily a bad thing, for one it can enhance the connection a local publication has with it’s community

    What is questionable here -is the level of involvement of statutory bodies and elected officials in influencing media independence?

    Don’t forget how Manchester Airport Group bankrolled the Labour Party’s entire election campaigns in the city over recent years. http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/245

    Their ability and desire to manipulate the electorate in order to win over political favour has been proven and should be monitored with huge caution. During times of economic decline, especially in the aviation and travel industry we cannot expect MANPG to keep up it’s clean conduct.

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