The commentators 03-03-15
Young men like Mohammed Emwazi are not born evil, but nor is it possible to insulate them from the bruising blows to the self-esteem which occur in adolescence and adulthood. As such, we may never find the spark of ‘radicalisation’ which turned ‘nice’ Mohammed Emwazi into a brutal killer nicknamed ‘Jihadi John’. As with so many middle class children who turn to revolution in all its various forms, the promise of a violent overthrow of civilised society may simply be another way of making up for slights suffered in the school playground.
- James Bloodworth, Independent
We could stop contributing to Isis’s own propaganda efforts and refuse to promote Emwazi as a celebrity jihadi or an icon of evil. Instead, we could ask what motivated some of his victims to become aid workers and journalists in one of the most dangerous places in the world. What kind of person does that? These are extraordinary people. Emwazi, on the other hand, is a very ordinary monster, an awkward young man wearing a baseball cap that is too big for his head - Suzanne Moore, Guardian
Are we seriously on the brink of handing powers to the government to ban undesirable speakers from university campuses? Will ministers, on the advice of civil servants, draft lists of preachers, ideologues and campaigners whose opinions are classified as “extreme” and bar them from setting foot on university premises? This appears to be the plan.
- Greg Hurst, The Times
Up until five or ten years ago, it would not be unusual for editorial to throw out or move an ad if it sat uncomfortably with the news on a given page. That tended to be in everybody's interests: BA no more wants its ad on a page devoted to an air crash than the journalist placing the story. This may still be the case, although I suspect that these days pressure would be on editorial to reposition the story rather than the other way about.
If so, that is an example of fissures starting to appear in that dividing wall. If a story, however insignificant, has to move from its optimum position in the paper because of advertising considerations, a line has been crossed.
A layman's guide to the relationship between editorial and advertising
Comment archive, 2015
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