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.

How do we work after coronavirus?

The pandemic has profoundly changed our working lives. Millions have lost their jobs; others have had no choice but to continue working at great risk to their health. Many more have shouldered extra unpaid labour such as childcare.

Work has also been redefined. Some workers are defined as 'essential' – but most of them are among the lowest-paid in our societies.

Could this be an opportunity?

Amid the crisis, there has been a rise in interest in radical ideas, from four-day weeks to universal basic income.

Join us on 5pm UK time on 20 August as we discuss whether the pandemic might finally be a moment for challenging our reliance on work.

In conversation:

Sarah Jaffe, journalist and author of 'Work Won't Love You Back: How Devotion to Our Jobs Keeps Us Exploited, Exhausted, and Alone', due to be published next year.

Amelia Horgan, academic and author of 'Lost in Work: Escaping Capitalism', also due to be published next year.

Chair: Alice Martin, advisory board member of Autonomy, a think tank dedicated to the future of work.

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