Sunday, December 25, 2011

"We've Got All Sorts of Dark Arts"

One of this year's finest contributions of real journalism: When reporters from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (a sister paper of The Independent) posed as agents for the government of Uzbekistan – a notorious dictatorship allegedly responsible for killings, human rights violations and child labour – they caught on camara what the guys of PR agency Bell Pottinger Group plc told about their dark arts, e.g.

  • exploiting their contacts to highest governmental officials to get into dialogue with foreign politicians;
  • manipulating Google results to "drown" out negative coverage;
  • using members of parliament known to be critical of investigative programs to attack their reporting for minor errors ...

An interesting development of monitoring the British lobbying machine followed since then, including revelations on the PR firm manipulating Wikipedia entries, now under investigation by Wikipedia's own staff.

Not much coverage in German speaking media on that, except "PR-Agentur brüstet sich mit Manipulation von Wikipedia und Google".

Probably the easiest way of manipulation politics in European countries is via EU staff and law makers, as the example of Ernst Strasser, ex-Federal Minister for the Interior of both conservative Schüssel-governments in Austria - has spectacularly shown:

Ernst Strasser taped red-handed

Best of Strasser

Strasser/EU-Lobbyism Persiflage


Post a Comment