Labour MP Chris Williamson has blasted the BBC for a ‘media blackout’ after the corporation willingly ignored the fact that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn had been awarded with an International Peace Prize in Geneva last week.
The story went viral several times over on alternative media, with almost 300,000 people reading the story on Evolve Politics alone.
Both The Skwawkbox – who were the first outlet to report the story – and then The Canary also ran with it, leading to approximately a million people reading about Jeremy Corbyn being awarded an International Peace Prize in Geneva last week.
Yet, despite the extraordinary attention the story has received on alternative media, no British mainstream media outlet decided it was worthy of their coverage.
Rather than seeing the fact that the leader of the official opposition had been awarded an International Peace Prize as newsworthy, the corporate media subsequently decided to simply denigrate alternative media for reporting it.
Right on schedule, every Centrist Dad’s favourites, the New Statesman, ran a piece mocking alternative media’s coverage of the story. Then Murdoch-backed Vice predictably joined in.
Channel Four also produced a ‘Fact Check’ article, which quite rightly pointed out that the prize Corbyn won – the Sean MacBride Peace Prize – was not generally reported on in the media before.
However, needless to say, Channel Four – much like the rest of the corporate-backed media – decided to willfully ignore the real significance behind the story.
The story is not significant because of the status of the prize. The story is so significant because it is the leader of the official opposition party winning an International Peace Prize – something which is almost unheard of in modern times.
And what’s more, the fact that more than a million people read about the story on alternative media proves that it is was clearly of interest to a huge section of the United Kingdom, and the wider world. This is precisely how media organisations usually define what is and what isn’t newsworthy – by how many people are interested in it.
These points were echoed by Labour’s Chris Williamson, who took to the BBC Daily Politics studios today to blast both the BBC, and the UK mainstream media in general, for failing to simply do their jobs and report a story of clear public interest.
Williamson argued that:
It’s pretty clear that there was a media blackout.
Let’s remember, when there was a picture of Jeremy wearing a tracksuit, it made front page news.
When Theresa May put a star on the top of a Christmas tree there was wall-to-wall coverage, as there was of William and Kate being awarded a Blue Peter badge!
And here we have the leader of the official opposition being awarded a prestigious peace award being completely ignored.
Williamson then went on the ask BBC Daily Politics presenter Jo Coburn:
If it was Theresa May who had been given this award, do you think the mainstream media would have ignored it?
You can watch the Williamson’s full scathing assessment of the UK media’s pitiful coverage of the story below: