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
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.
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.
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.
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,
We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views. Thank
For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency
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
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and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies
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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
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