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An analysis by researchers at Cardiff University found a deep and growing bias in the BBC in favour of bosses and against trade unions: five to one on the 6 o’clock news in 2007; 19 to one in 2012. Coverage of the banking crisis – caused by bankers – was overwhelmingly dominated, another study shows, by interviews with, er, bankers. As a result there was little serious challenge to their demand for bailouts and their resistance to regulation. Mike Berry, who conducted the research, says the BBC “tends to reproduce a Conservative, Eurosceptic, pro-business version of the world”.

It is important to note that these changes have long preceded the internet, which has been routinely invoked in defence of further consolidation and cutbacks. Forty years ago, as a wave of death and consolidation swept local media, a study of the roles of the provincial press in the UK found that they carried out four central functions that were being lost as a result of closures and mergers: 1) fostering a sense of community identity and cohesion, and facilitating individual integration; 2) conveying political, institutional and cultural information and analysis, and creating a historical record of community affairs; 3) providing a platform for debate and complaint; and 4) publicising goods and services available, situations vacant, and announcements and notices (Jackson 1971).

It is important to note that these changes have long preceded the internet, which has been routinely invoked in defence of further consolidation and cutbacks. Forty years ago, as a wave of death and consolidation swept local media, a study of the roles of the provincial press in the UK found that they carried out four central functions that were being lost as a result of closures and mergers: 1) fostering a sense of community identity and cohesion, and facilitating individual integration; 2) conveying political, institutional and cultural information and analysis, and creating a historical record of community affairs; 3) providing a platform for debate and complaint; and 4) publicising goods and services available, situations vacant, and announcements and notices (Jackson 1971).

When I worked at WITNESS, we debated hotly how to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2008. We wanted to do something that felt contemporary, that felt open as a campaign, and that anyone – anyone – would have a response to and could run with. What we came up with, and what ended up catching the imagination of quite a few people, was a simple question:

What image opened your eyes to human rights?

To kick things off, I recorded a load of interviews with interesting activists, researchers, journalists and filmmakers when I was at the GFMD conference in Athens. I’ve just put  a playlist of these short, sometimes spine-tingling interviews onto YouTube. Here, as a taster, is Mary Robinson’s answer: