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UK Ambassador joins team of expert speakers for ‘Media on Trial’ at the Cheese & Grain

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Former UK Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford, joins two professors and three investigative journalists in Frome Stop War’s ground- breaking event,  ‘Media on Trial,’ at the Cheese & Grain on Sunday, 11th June at 7pm.

“Probably every conflict is fought on at least two grounds – the battlefield and the minds of the people, via propaganda,” said Sheila Coombes from Frome Stop War.

“Propaganda rallies people behind a cause, and in the case of war or military intervention publicises it, often exaggerating and misrepresenting the facts.

“Some of the tactics used in propaganda include; selective stories, partial facts and background, exaggerating threats to people’s security, offering only a narrow range of insights into the situation, denigrating opponents as “bad guys” name-calling and accusing the enemy of dastardly acts based on inadequate and dubious information.

“Establishment media tends to be dismissive of independent journalism.  Due to its greater size and influence the mainstream media (MSM) has avoided critical questions about its own reporting and journalistic standards and deflects calls for corroboration, verification and independent analysis.

“The leviathan that is the mainstream media has formed the narrative and stifled dissent but that’s going to change.  That’s why Frome Stop War’s panel of experts will apply the scrutiny to mainstream media reporting that is required given its power to sway opinion when our government is seeking consent for war.

“Specific instances of media falsehoods which have led to disastrous and deadly campaigns will be highlighted with fact-based evidence, and insidious propagandist reporting for war analysed.

“It’s time to hear ‘the other side’ – the one that the mainstream media blocks from the airwaves and print media.”

The speakers are:

• Former Ambassador to Syria, Peter Ford. Peter will be discussing his experiences on the mainstream media and corporate media’s spin for war.

• American journalist and broadcaster Patrick Henningsen whose site 21st Century Wire provides a platform for those reporting from on the ground in conflict zones, a role he himself has undertaken when reporting from Aleppo in Syria throughout the month of April this year.

• Award-winning international investigative journalist Vanessa Beeley, who has reported from inside Syria, and exposed the true Al Qaeda pedigree of the mainstream media darling – the White Helmets in exhaustive and highly lauded investigations.

• Professor Piers Robinson – Chair of Politics, Society and Political Journalism at Sheffield University, TV pundit and author of articles on the deployment of propaganda in the media at times of conflict.

• Robert Stuart blogger and media analyst whose presentation on the ‘irregularities’ of the BBC Panorama episode ‘Saving Syria’s Children’ encouraged film producer and writer Victor Lewis-Smith to tear up his BBC contract in disgust.

• Professor Tim Hayward, Professor of Environmental Political Theory & Director of the Just World Institute at the University of Edinburgh. Tim has written extensively on human rights and environmental issues, but also on BBC and Channel 4 coverage of the Syrian conflict, pondering if it constitutes a ‘Breach of broadcasting standards.’

For more details see the advert on the centre pages.