The Listening Post

Covering the Grenfell fire: UK media in the spotlight

Distrust in Britain’s media grows following the blaze at Grenfell Tower. Plus, the persecution of Vietnam’s bloggers.

On The Listening Post this week: Distrust in Britain’s media grows following the fatal blaze at Grenfell Tower. Plus: the persecution – and resistance – of Vietnam’s bloggers.

Covering the Grenfell fire: UK media in the spotlight

A tower block fire in London that left dozens dead has channelled rage over class, race, economic and social divisions not only at Prime Minister Theresa May but also at the British media.

When reporters arrived to cover the blaze, local residents expressed anger that the media had not heeded warnings about safety or engaged more closely with issues affecting their communities during years of government austerity. Voices from a neighbourhood in grief demanded to know if only the spectacle of tragedy could make their lives newsworthy.

Akwugo Emejulu, professor of Sociology at University of Warwick
Dawn Foster, contributing editor for The Guardian on housing
Anna Minton, author, “Big Capital: Who Is London For?”
Maya Goodfellow, independent writer and researcher

On our radar:

  • Nearly a year after the failed military coup in Turkey, dozens of prominent journalists go on trial accused of conspiring against the state.
  • Venezuela accuses Twitter of suspending 180 accounts linked to the government. 
  • Reporters in Myanmar face defamation charges under the country’s controversial anti-press laws.

The persecution and resistance of Vietnam’s bloggers

Since unification in 1975, Vietnam has been governed by a communist party that maintains tight control over the airwaves. However, bloggers pose a challenge to state-sanctioned narratives for one of the largest online audiences in Southeast Asia. Mainstream outlets are often forced to follow up on stories where bloggers have led the way, sometimes on issues usually declared off limits by government media managers.

The Listening Post’s Meenakshi Ravi reports on the supine state of Vietnam’s mainstream media and the government’s attempts to silence the country’s bloggers.

Tran Le Thuy, director, Centre for Media Education and Consultancy
Shawn Crispin, senior Southeast Asia representative, Committee to Protect Journalists
Nguyen Van Hai, exiled Vietnamese blogger