Facebook’s censorship of the iconic Vietnam war photograph — and the unhealthiness of relying on a single news publisher

Dr Martin Moore is Director of the Centre for the Study of Media, Communication and Power, and Senior Research Fellow at the Policy Institute at King’s College London. His views in this blog were first published on Medium.

2016 may be the year we recognise how unhealthy it is to be so reliant on a single publisher for so much of our news and information, especially when that publisher — Facebook — doesn’t even acknowledge it is one. Continue reading

Achieving a post-landmine world: The decades-old threat that just won’t go away

Hand-holding-landmine

Photo credit: Rodney Evans/AusAID, via Wikimedia Commons

What is currently being reused and deployed by so-called Islamic State and also threatens anyone playing the game Pokémon Go on their smartphones in Bosnia, Cambodia, Laos or Vietnam? The answer: landmines.

Antipersonnel landmines were first used in the Second World War, and continued to be deployed in conflicts ranging from the Vietnam War to the Gulf War. They are now used in only a handful of conflicts, meaning that the vast majority of mines contaminating land today were laid before the turn of the current century. Continue reading

If we allow marketing to replace leadership we’re taking a dangerous turn

A referendum, like a general election, should be a wonderful opportunity for an electorate to engage directly with issues that matter to them. It should be a chance to hear arguments from all sides and to see evidence supporting or challenging those arguments, enabling an informed decision at the ballot box. In theory. But for a democratic exercise to affirm what it sets out to do – to give people a voice in how their country should proceed – those in positions to inform and influence the wider public need to ensure choices are accompanied by realistic appraisals of what is on offer. Unfortunately, in the wake of our referendum last week, many people feel that some in positions of power have rallied support for their own agenda by marketing to the electorate with false promises. Continue reading

Outsourcing migration policies: the EU’s failed case?

On 20 March 2016 the European Union and the Turkish Government went ahead with a ‘refugee deal’ that has since come under heavy fire from political and humanitarian representatives. Critics, including key humanitarian organisations, have been quick to condemn the deal as being ‘illegal’ and ‘inhumane’. At its core, the deal is a one-for-one settlement, where for every Syrian asylum seeker sent back from Greece to Turkey, Europe will resettle one Syrian already in Turkey.

Many of the organisations whose work is directly impacted by the deal have now decided to cease activities on the Greek island of Lesbos, a major entry point of asylum seekers, as a consequence. For these organisations to take such drastic measures demonstrates a strong rejection of an agreement made at the highest political level. Continue reading

100 stories, 10 years, 1 transformation: A recent history of NIHR’s impacts on the health research landscape

A little over a decade ago, the UK Department of Health took some bold steps in reforming the National Health Service (NHS) research and development system by creating a competitive, transparent, merit driven system. Setting out a challenge to undertake high-quality, patient-oriented research in the NHS, the strategy Best Research for Best Health heralded the launch in 2006 of a new organisation: the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

To mark the NIHR’s tenth anniversary, we undertook the less-than-trivial task of taking stock of the benefits it has had on the health research landscape since its formation. This includes up to £1 billion a year in assorted programme, faculty, systems and infrastructure funding from the Department of Health for the past decade. Continue reading