One week left to fund our Scottish work: if you don't pay for your news, someone else will

We've learnt in the last week how little we can trust the establishment media. As the Scottish referendum approaches, please chip in to our coverage - because if you don't pay for the news and analysis you read, someone else will.

Adam Ramsay
Adam Ramsay
28 May 2014
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I'm not going to rehash the whole debate about UKIP and the media right here. Suffice to say that the papers and broadcasters of this country have functioned heavily to push them to the forefront of our politics. The rise of Farage's party is about much more than the fall of journalism, but the two are certainly intimately linked.

The Euro elections are over, though. We can't do anything about them. What we can do something about is the coverage of the next big thing in the political cycle – a much more momentous event: the Scottish referendum. And if we couldn't trust the London media to cover European elections sensibly, we certainly can't trust it to cover the referendum in any kind of grown up way.

At the core of the crisis of the media is money. As long as papers are owned by wealthy proprietors, they will tend to reflect the interests of the wealthy. To put it bluntly, if you don't pay for your news and your analysis, someone else will. Someone rich. And what they are paying for is access to you - to shaping your opinions and beliefs.

So, with that in mind, we have a week to go until the end of our appeal for the OurKingdom Scottish debate. We're never on our own going to be an answer to the problem of media coverage, but we can help, in our own way.

You can read more about what we'd like to do, and you can fund us, here.

Thank you ever so much.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.


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