Does Britain have a free press?

Not quite. Here’s one thing you can do about it.



Peter Oborne
Peter Oborne
27 March 2015

In Britain, it is often asserted that we have a free press. This is not completely true. There are numerous subjects which national newspapers and broadcasters either ignore or devote token attention.

Sometimes the reason for this is sinister – for instance the conspiracy of silence over phone hacking. More often, editors decide that certain important issues will not command the attention of a wide readership. This is why it is so hard to get stories about oppression, exploitation, abuse of human rights or Islamophobia into any newspaper.

Hence the importance of openDemocracy – and why we need to support its vital work.

openDemocracy has published many articles of mine over the years. It fills me with confidence because the editors are very careful and honest people. They work with writers to make sure that our journalism is fair and solidly based. That is why I offered my long article on the closure of Muslim bank accounts by HSBC to openDemocracy, when I could not get it published in the Daily Telegraph last autumn. It was the obvious choice when I wanted to set out the reasons for my resignation from the Daily Telegraph in February.

openDemocracy has a track record of raising complicated and important subjects, which are ignored by mainstream media outlets. This is why I am proud to be associated with openDemocracy, and why I want you to be too.

Its editors are motivated by a love for the truth, and work incredibly hard for very little. Rightly, they want to bring it to an even wider audience. Naturally, this costs money. So today I’m urging you with all my heart to support this noble institution. Let’s strengthen openDemocracy so that it keeps holding power to account for many years to come.

I am giving it £100. Please match me if you can, or give what you can afford here - and share this with anyone who might be able to do the same.

With thanks,

Peter Oborne

How to donate

Click here to donate via JustGiving, or send a text message to the number 70072 (quoting the code OPDE65 and the amount donated). Or you can send a cheque made out to the Open Trust to: openDemocracy, 18 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL. Thank you for your support.

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Join us for a free live discussion on Thursday 22 October, 5pm UK time/12pm EDT.

Hear from:

Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

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Spyros A. Sofos Researcher and research coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and author of ‘Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe’, ‘Tormented by History’ and ‘Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks'.

Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

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