INDEPENDENT NEWS

Fed Up With Government Lies And Corporate Spin?

Published: Tue 16 Nov 2004 12:50 AM
Fed up with Government Lies and Corporate Spin?
An New Website From David Miller
http://www.spinwatch.org/
This week sees the launch of a major new website called SpinWatch, http://www.spinwatch.org/ that aims to counter corporate PR and government propaganda. It is being launched during an international conference at the University of Strathclyde on Spin and Corporate Power.
SpinWatch aims to monitor corporate PR and government propaganda and to campaign against deceptive PR techniques. In will become a valuable source of reference for journalists to check corporate think tanks and front groups and government spin. The site has been operational for just over a month and simply by word of mouth has been averaging 400 hits a day from people in 70 countries. Being launched at the conference are two major reports and a SpinWatch expose:
How Suspect Salmon became Safe - the case of the curious cuff-links: SpinWatch's report highlights the campaign to undermine an article in the journal Science that suggested that farmed salmon posed a health risk. The campaign originated in British Colombia, but had a decisive impact in Scotland. The murky PR activities of the various groups involved also implicate Scotland's First Minister in a clear conflict of interest:
* The biggest gift he has received since becoming First Minister was a pair of gold cufflinks in the shape of a salmon from fish farm multinational Marine Harvest.
* His brother runs a Marine Harvest fish farm and he has opened Marine Harvest farms
* The Executive pumped £1.5 million into an advertising campaign for Scottish Quality Salmon (of which Marine Harvest is a member) to reassure the public that Salmon is safe.
BAe's Secret Spy Ring: A SpinWatch report of the BAe Systems campaign of spying on and subversion of Campaign Against the Arms Trade. Our account is based on thousands of pages of reports to BAe from a private intelligence-gathering firm. The private intelligence firm Threat Response International, collated the identities and details of nearly 150,000 left wing activists and sold them to private companies including BAe. The impact of the exposure has seriously affected CAAT with an ongoing court case.
How the Climate Killers Duped the Media: Last week the world's leading scientists issued a report which made global headlines about how the Arctic was warming at an unprecedented rate with serious implications for Indigenous groups and wildlife. A little known think-tank called the International Policy Network issued a classic spoiler report casting doubt on climate change. It received coverage in the Guardian and Financial Times. What they failed to report was that the IPN is a right wing pro-GM, climate sceptic organisation linked to US neocon think tanks and funded by Exxon. Last year it received $50,000 from Exxon for 'Climate change outreach'.
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SpinWatch is a collaborative venture between academics (including David Miller and William Dinan) and investigative writers (including Andy Rowell and Eveline Lubbers).
Details of the conference and programme
http://www.strath.ac.uk/Departments/Geography/html/news%20items/Nov_confefence.htm
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David Miller Department of Geography and Sociology Strathclyde University Glasgow G1 1XN
Department webpage http://www.strath.ac.uk/Departments/Geography
Homepage http://www.strath.ac.uk/~his04105
SpinWatch http://www.spinwatch.org

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