The Two-Faced Book By William Bowles

7 January 2018 — investigatingimperialism

At the end of the 1970s, when I first started using and investigating digital media, it quickly became apparent to me, that what became the World Wide Web, was very much a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it afforded independent journalists and investigators, a vehicle for reaching a public outside the control of corporate/state media and whose only parallel lay back in the 17th century, with the invention of the printing press and moveable type, broadsheets and later the so-called Penny Dreadfuls. Sold on street corners and in coffee houses, and produced in literally hundreds of small printing shops, they challenged the status quo in ways previously impossible. Often banned and their writers/publishers thrown in jail under the then new sedition laws, they heralded the arrival of modern capitalism.

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High Culture — Low Values By William Bowles

11 July 2008

I was raised in a working class family. My father was a full-time trade union official for the Musicians Union and my mother, before she became a full-time ‘housewife’, had been a chorus girl working in pantomime and a member of the Tiller Girls (the Brit version of The Rockettes) and during WWII she worked in a factory making bomb sights at Fry’s Diecasting where she campaigned on behalf of the female workers for equal pay (in the face of opposition from the male-run union). Not exactly typical of working class life but definitely of it.

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Completely Carbonated by William Bowles

5 July 2007


Well it’s started, in fact it’s more than started and it’s driving me mad. You know what I’m talking about, my fucking ‘carbon footprint’! Every time I hear the phrase, which is every damn day, it really pisses me off.

‘Carbon footprint’ is the new Osama, the new bogie man with which to frighten the kids. And as the campaign gathers speed, awful things happen to your mind; the ‘green virus’ infects you, there is no escape.

So last night I was in the kitchen getting a meal together and I had to open a new packet of spices and as I poured it into a container and then dumped the empty carton into the garbage can a strange feeling came over me; I was thinking about the fate of the empty carton.

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A Plague on Plagiarism – but there’s a lot more at stake here than rip-offs By William Bowles

31 March 2006

Like a lot of other independent journalists I’ve seen my work published on corporate Websites without my permission (or without being paid) including al-Jazeera and Yahoo. The terms of my copyright are clearly laid out in my Creative Commons license (see below).

But worse still, mainstream publications seem to think that work produced by ‘Bloggers’ is there for the taking or, as one journalist put it, “in the public domain”. Even the use of the term ‘blogger’ is a deliberate ploy used to downgrade the value of the independent media, for what it does is draw a line between ‘real’ journalism and work that largely challenges the ideological view delivered by mainstream (corporate) journalism.

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Truth and Consequences By William Bowles

20 April 2004

“We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.” – John Swinton, the New York Times

Well he should know shouldn’t he but does your ‘average’ reader? And in this age of instantaneous and interlinked communications, dominated by a handful of powerful (and interconnected) media/communications companies, the power of the press to shape our knowledge let alone our opinions has taken centre stage in the struggle ‘for hearts and minds’ as the US political pundits put it during the epic struggle of the Vietnamese to free themselves from US corporate domination.

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Just the facts Ma’am, just the facts By William Bowles

30 March 2004

If nothing else, the farce surrounding Andrew Gilligan’s/Dr David Kelly inadvertent revelations concerning British government’s dissembling and lying over the invasion of Iraq has revealed the true nature of what the British establishment likes to foist on an unsuspecting public as ‘objective’ journalism. But what is objective journalism and is there such an animal?

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Reporting the war in Iraq: Underwhelmed with information, overwhelmed with propaganda By William Bowles

11 January 2004

At the close of 2003, 506 US soldiers had died in Iraq, the deadliest year for the US Army since 1972 when the US lost 640 dead in Vietnam. In the week following the capture of Saddam Hussein the death rate actually to rose to 19 (the average being nine).

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Through a glass objectively By William Bowles

25 June 2003

The idea that there is some kind of ‘objective’ ground from which to view events, particularly of the political variety, is a long-held fantasy, especially of British journalism. It’s still taught in British universities would you believe, that out there, somewhere, there’s a space that the journalist can occupy, which sits perfectly in the middle, between one view and another (pre-supposing of course, that there are only two sides to an issue).

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