31 January at 23:00 at the residence of the government to the Downing street 10, Prime Minister Boris Johnson raised a small hand Gong and hit it, thus indicating the exact time of British exit from the European Union after almost half a century of membership.
But whether he did it at 23:00? Journalists covering the work of the government, as well as their readers, viewers and listeners are not sure. The fact that during the historic ceremony next to the Prime Minister was not a single reporter. There was also no independent crew that would broadcast the appeal of Johnson to the nation.
Video beating the Gong Johnson, and his speech was recorded by the government photographer, and then published through a Premier account in Twitter and Facebook.
abandoning the traditional media, the British leader is clearly following the example of Donald trump. The head of the White house, as you know, constantly berates leading American Newspapers and most TV companies for the “fake news” about it. Trump uses his Twitter account as the main platform through which directly communicates to the public all that he considers important.
Since mid-December, Johnson won a stunning victory in the General election in the UK, he uses his power to tightly control how his administration interacts with the public on digital platforms. For this purpose, the government formed a special team, which includes photographer and strategists, and in the schedules Johnson also made time for weekly answers to questions from the public on Facebook.
At the same time press conference, an interview with the BBC, and even private meetings of members of the government, with journalists reduced to a minimum, according to Bloomberg.
According to the supporters of Johnson, the decision on the priority of social networks on traditional media (print, TV and radio) — a reflection of changes today, most people get their information.
However, British journalists and political opponents of the tories were extremely critical of the steps Johnson to control the lighting of his government.
“of Independent videography to social activities, the Prime Minister performs an important democratic function, — said the representative of the National Union of journalists UK Natasha Hurst. The whole media industry needs to act against egregious and dangerous attempt to limit the freedom of the press.”
the Most surprising thing is that Johnson more recently, he was one of the most famous and highly-paid newspaper columnists in the country.
Today, some senior officials of the government afraid to be seen talking to reporters and suspected information leak. Others ask that their communication with journalists took place in enclosed, public places, away from the eyes of the assistants of the Johnson.
last week the hard confrontation between Downing street and the media has grown into a big scandal. A group of prominent political journalists demonstratively left the press conference on Brexit in protest after assistant Johnson tried a second time to exclude the representatives of some media. This practice has caused outrage in Parliament: the opposition issued a statement which said that Johnson was undermining 200-year-old access of the journalists covering British politics.
For decades, the Prime Ministers held a press conference, during which journalists could ask any question. Now the official representatives of Johnson invited to a briefing to a loyal Prime Minister, media representatives, obviously hoping to obtain a more favorable light.
“freedom of the press is a cornerstone of our democracy, and journalists must be able to hold the government accountable, — assured the press-Secretary of the labour party Tracy Brabin. — Boris Johnson, it seems, resorting to the tactic, borrowed from Donald trump to hide from the gaze of the VNImagna”.
As a columnist for the newspaper The Daily Telegraph, Johnson complained that, in his opinion, a growing culture of censorship. “We must fight for freedom of speech,” he wrote in 2018.