The Listening Post

British tabloids on Brexit: Eurosceptics or Eurohaters?

As Brexit talks drag on, UK right-wing media ratchet up negative coverage. Plus, Mahathir and Malaysia’s media revamp.

On this episode of The Listening Post: As Brexit talks drag on, UK right-wing media ratchet up negative coverage. Plus, Malaysia’s former “enemy of the press” returns to power promising change.

British tabloids on Brexit

Britain is more than two years into the painful process of negotiating its departure from the European Union.

When the EU’s Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said this past week that the news media can “sow divisions, spread disinformation and encourage exclusion” she said that the Brexit debate is the “best example”.

The day after the EU rejected Prime Minister Theresa May‘s Brexit proposal, The Sun’s front page proved this point and was another reminder of the role the British tabloids played in the 2016 referendum that landed Britain where it is today.

Lead contributors

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen – director of research, Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
Isabel Oakeshott – political journalist & commentator
Natalie Fenton – professor of media and communications, Goldsmiths University
Annalisa Piras – journalist, filmmaker & director, Wake Up Europe

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Johanna Hoes about the takeover of Hungary‘s largest independent news outlet by a businessman close to Viktor Orban’s government; and the Panama Papers revelations that have led to a lawsuit against a newspaper in Namibia.

The new Mahathir and Malaysia’s media revamp

A muzzled media, corruption in government and a silenced opposition. Many Malaysians hope those things are now behind them, with the ousting of Najib Razak from the prime minister’s office four months ago.

But the new leader, Mahathir Mohamad, is known for his heavy-handed approach to the media. Mahathir has already spent 22 years as prime minister, during which he locked up political opponents, shut down newspapers and remoulded media legislation.

The new Mahathir has allegedly pulled a u-turn. He has unblocked news sites and repealed the contentious Anti-Fake News Act.

But many onlookers are still wondering how far Mahathir will go in changing his ways and transforming the Malaysian media.

Feature contributors

Kee Thuan Chye – author and former New Straits Times journalist
Zunar (Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque) – cartoonist
Steven Gan – editor in chief, Malaysiakini
Abdul Kadir Jasin – special adviser to Mahathir Mohamad
Latheefa Koya – executive director, Lawyers For Liberty