Father Leo Chamberlain -- Media Integrity and Colossal Responsibility; and Tony Manwaring -- Global Media Challenge -- Collapse of Truth versus Filling Air Time; Trustworthy Media?

London, UK - 19 July 2007, 12:31 GMT

Dear ATCA Colleagues

[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]

We are grateful to:

. Father Leo Chamberlain, Master, St Benet's Hall, University of Oxford, for "Media Integrity and Colossal Responsibility;"
. Tony Manwaring, Chief Executive, Tomorrow's Company, for "Global Media Challenge -- Collapse of Truth versus Filling Air Time;"

in response to the ATCA think piece, "Trustworthy Media? The Asymmetric Threat of Loss of Integrity and Values in a World Renowned Broadcaster."

Father Leo Chamberlain is Master of St Benet's Hall (Aula Sancti Benedicti), University of Oxford, a monk of Ampleforth Abbey, and a former Headmaster of Ampleforth College. He writes:

Dear DK and Colleagues

Re: Media Integrity and Colossal Responsibility

The integrity of the BBC is a matter of great concern: it has rightly been held world wide in great respect, but the changes in recent years, and especially the use of outside companies to produce programmes, raise questions. It is evident that the competition to get something on air, and the employment of people on short term contracts threatens the tradition of BBC impartiality and respect for truth. Some of them just do not think the same way.

[CONTINUES] [ATCA Membership]

A footnote: playing around with a piece of film is not new. There is the famous piece of newsreel footage (not BBC) showing Hitler apparently doing a war dance during his tour of occupied Paris in 1940. The producer looped and repeated the frames to give this effect. But it should not have happened.

Kindest regards

Leo Chamberlain

Father Leo Chamberlain was educated at Ampleforth College 1949-1958 and subsequently attended Oxford University (University College) between 1958 and 1961, holding the Burn Open Scholarship in History, and following his graduation took a post at Ampleforth teaching history, theology, and politics. Taking the religious name of Leo, he took solemn vows in 1965 and was ordained priest in 1968. Responsible for a number of innovations (including the establishment of the school's golf course between 1963 and 1987), he became the school's youngest ever housemaster in 1972, and was appointed head of history shortly afterwards. In 1992 he became headmaster, overseeing a sharp rise in public examination achievement, a successful appeal for GBP 9m, a GBP 20m development in the school's facilities, and the introduction of girls to Ampleforth. In addition he supported Christians under persecution especially in Communist lands, including in the eighties direct support for the Church and people of Poland. In 1990 he promoted at Ampleforth the first major international conference of Christians after the fall of Communism. He has served on a number of committees, including the Catholic Independent Schools Conference, and Keston Institute. Having retired from teaching in December 2003, he was appointed Master and Bursar of St Benet's Hall, a permanent private hall of Oxford University on 1st September 2004, and has modernised the academic, financial and domestic administration and management of the Hall. He retires from the Hall in August 2007 and expects to take up further work after the first sabbatical of his life. From 2004 to 2007 he served as a Governor of St Gregory the Great Catholic secondary school in Oxford.

Tony Manwaring is Chief Executive of Tomorrow's Company. He writes:

Dear DK and colleagues

Re: Global Media Challenge -- Collapse of Truth versus Filling Air Time

It was with great synchronicity that on the very nanosecond that I had finished drafting this letter to The Times, ATCA's latest Socratic Dialogue arrived in my inbox.

[CONTINUES] [ATCA Membership]

In the long-term, faced with the choice between a collapse of trust versus filling air time, there can be only one winner. It is vital that the actions announced to tackle this situation -- honesty, training, and the like -- reflect a deep rooted understanding, led from the top, to achieve cultural renewal, and are not a knee jerk response to get through the latest 24/7 news cycle. Otherwise it may be more than reputation that these broadcasters will need to secure in renewing their 'licence to operate'.

Best wishes to you all at ATCA


Tony Manwaring has had a series of management, marketing and communications roles in the voluntary sector with NCH (formerly National Children's Home), Diabetes UK and most recently, the disability rights charity Scope, where he was chief executive for over three years. Before that he worked as head of The General Secretary's Office for the Labour Party, playing a key role in transforming its operational fortunes as it became New Labour. He also has a track record in CSR, working with a number of major companies in often ground-breaking partnerships. Tony has a degree in Economics from Cambridge and an MA in Industrial Relations from Warwick. He has a long standing interest in business, leadership and organisational change, having contributed to a comparative project on labour markets, whilst working at the LSE and the Wissenschaftszentrum, Berlin; and also the MIT' study 'The Future of the World Automobile Industry, before taking responsibility for industrial policy at the Labour Party. He is currently completing a project on leadership and change with the think-tank, Demos.


We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views. Thank you.

Best wishes

For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance (ATCA)

ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate chaos and the environment; radical poverty and microfinance; geo-politics and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies -- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource shortages; pandemics; financial systems and systemic risk; as well as transhumanism and ethics. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished members from over 120 countries: including 1,000 Parliamentarians; 1,500 Chairmen and CEOs of corporations; 1,000 Heads of NGOs; 750 Directors at Academic Centres of Excellence; 500 Inventors and Original thinkers; as well as 250 Editors-in-Chief of major media.

The views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. Please do not forward or use the material circulated without permission and full attribution.

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