Campaign against Misrepresentation in Public Affairs, Information and the News
SUMMARY MISSION STATEMENT
Since the latter 20th century, Britain has experienced a growing problem of misinformation within its mainstream media, and more recently in social media, exemplified by events leading to the invasion of Iraq, the concealment of the facts of the hacking scandal over many years, inaccurate allegations about Muslims, and partisan reporting of politicians who blatantly misinform the public.
Misinformation is undermining public morality and is compromising our ability to make rational decisions on matters that concern us. One of the worst cases has been the growing chorus of media-borne allegations about antisemitism in the Labour Party which reached fever-pitch following the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader in June 2015, and materially affected voting in the General Election of 2019.
What is particularly disturbing about this case is the uniformity of the narrative presented by the mainstream media, and the fact that journalists promoting or repeating that narrative failed to check their facts, and systematically ignored hard evidence, notably statistical evidence, showing that rampant antisemitism was not a feature of the Labour Party. We also note the existence of a sort of "journalistic apartheid", whereby the mainstream media frequently reports people supporting the dominant narrative, while ignoring highly knowledgeable and qualified people on the other side of the argument.
These unfounded accusations of antisemitism not only misinform the public, but seriously misrepresent those targeted and have a pernicious effect upon British society – corroding our civil liberties, freedom of speech and association, and creating a climate of fear and self-censorship.
Given the gravity of this situation, we have formed a membership organisation called CAMPAIN. Our purpose is to explain to the public the harmful impact of misinformation and misrepresentation and act to bring it to an end. We shall focus much of our effort on the antisemitism smear campaign, and work on other topics where this makes strategic sense.
We applaud the efforts of organisations like Jewish Voice for Labour (JVL) and Labour against the Witch-hunt (LAW) that already campaign on these matters, but unlike these, we shall not be campaigning from a party-political standpoint. This will help us bring on board people from across the political spectrum, who simply believe in fair play and are appalled by the amount of lying and smearing in public life.
At the same time, we shall collaborate with all those bodies that work to render our news media publicly accountable for the truthfulness of their output.
Click to see our FULL MISSION STATEMENT including links to sources.
Click to see our list of FOUNDER MEMBERS
Freelance journalist Nick Davies exposed the structural shortcomings of British journalism, and the truth of the hacking scandal of 2006/14.
Carole Cadwalladr, journalist and author who exposed Facebook and Cambridge Analytica's role in misinformation
Journalist Peter Oborne recently published 'the Assault on Truth', denouncing the growth of political lying and British newspapers' wholesale collusion in the same (see review by Media Lens). He is also the only British journalist to have produced a documentary shining a light on Britain's pro-Israel Lobby.
Journalist John Ware, often critical of Muslims and the Labour Party, is well known for his BBC Panorama documentary 'Is Labour Antisemitic' of 10th July 2019.
Researcher in journalism Justin Schlosberg led an in-depth analysis of Ware's BBC documentary, describing it as "a catalogue of reporting failures” both with regard to accuracy and impartiality.
Smears about antisemitism are not only of concern to Labour. The Conservative Sir Alan Duncan issued the most drastic condemnation in his RUSI speech of Oct 2014, when he said that ‘For far too long, those who have made a moral stand against Israeli misconduct and in favour of justice for Palestinians have been trashed, traduced and bullied. This, and the character assassination of critics, cannot be allowed to continue’. Subsequently, an Israeli Embassy operative was caught on camera plotting to "take down" the self-same Duncan. then Deputy Foreign Secretary