Over 50,000 attended yesterday’s London demonstration organised by the People’s Assembly against austerity and speakers included media celebrity Russell Brand. Once again a protest against government cuts received minimal coverage from national broadcasters. Last September’s Manchester demonstration in defence of the NHS received the same censorship treatment even though news organisations were in town in force to cover the Tory Party conference.
There is a long history of structural bias in the UK media against trade unions and the left. It will not change unless unions work together to confront it argued Tom O’Malley at the recent UCU Congress: ‘all unions, in all sectors, have to work together to formulate communications policies that are coherent and workable and which can gain widespread popular support as well influence in mainstream politics.
'I also think that all unions should, even in these economically exacting times, support campaigning organisations such as the CPBF. History therefore tells us that we should work together to challenge the structural biases in the media, and seek a much more inclusive, open and accountable. In so doing, we will be building on the thoughts and struggles of women and men in the movement, who for the last 100 years have been forced by necessity to confront and challenge the media, and work for something better.’