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By Akira The Don on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

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From PressGazette:

The organisers of tonight’s Brit Awards for pop music appear to be asking journalists to guarantee coverage of sponsor MasterCard as the price of attending.

Before providing journalists with accreditation to attend the event House PR has asked journalists to agree to a number of requests about the coverage they will give it.

They have even gone as far as to draft Twitter messages which they would like journalists to send out – and asked that they include a mention of the marketing campaign #PricelessSurprise and @MasterCardUK.

Here’s the email that was sent to Telegraph Mandrake columnist Tim Walker:

Hope you’ve had a lovely weekend. As you know we’ve been in touch re. accreditation for the BRIT’s but just wanted to check in with you directly to confirm that you are happy with the below.

Firstly as part of our Priceless Surprise we are putting on cars to take guests directly to the awards – we will be booking your car to take both yourself and Katy from the office at 4:30pm. Are you happy with these details?

In addition – in return for this ticket we would like to ask that you agree to the following…

Social media support from both publication and personal Twitter feed

Pre event – e.g. Really excited to be heading down to @BRITAwards tonight with @MasterCardUK #PricelessSurprises

Event night – live tweeting from the event including @MasterCardUK handle and #PricelessSurprises and to retweet @MasterCardUK tweets throughout the night where appropriate

Post event – tweet directing followers to @MasterCardUK BRITs YouTube videos

Pre-event coverage of MasterCard’s Priceless Surprise video edits with either Laura Mvula, Kylie Minogue and/or Pharrell Williams – to include full credit for MasterCardUK and #PriclessSurprises

All features to be pushed on publications social feeds – to include @MasterCardUK and #PricelessSurprises

MasterCard inclusion in post event write-up (print and online) including #PriclessSurprises hashtag and somethingforthefans.co.uk URL

Post event write up presence on publication homepage (where possible)

Inclusion of MasterCard branded event night images in post event piece

Post event – coverage support for MasterCard music activity in 2014 (Beyonce & JT)

The email concludes:

We are really looking forward for you to join us at the awards with us on Wednesday and if you could let us know you are happy with all the above that would be great

Please let us know if you have any further questions and look forward to hearing from you.

Tim Walker told Press Gazette: “If they are going down that route they should really take out an advertisement.

“Going to the extent of drafting you a pro-forma Twitter message shows the extent to which Twitter is being polluted by all this sort of stuff.

“A lot of people on Twitter aren’t all that up on journalistic ethics. The sad thing is that a lot of journalists now haven’t perhaps been up through local papers and may not realise that this sort of thing isn’t ethical.”

Press Gazette has asked House PR for a comment.

However, some journalists have already started using the agreed hashtag. Here are some of the best…

Check those out here.

— By Akira The Don on Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

By Akira The Don on Monday, January 6th, 2014

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From Constituation.org

Variations on the quote below have been misattributed as a response to a toast, by John Swinton, as “the former Chief of Staff at the New York Times”, before the New York Press Club in 1953. However, research reveals that Swinton (1829-1901), after moving to New York, wrote an occasional article for the New York Times and was hired on a regular basis in 1860 as head of the editorial staff. Afterward holding this position throughout the Civil War, he left the paper in 1870 and became active in the labor struggles of the day. He later served eight years in the same position on the New York Sun and later published a weekly labor sheet, John Swinton’s Paper.

The remarks were apparently made by Swinton, then the preeminent New York journalist, probably one night in 1880. Swinton was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:

“There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it.

There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press?

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.”

(Source: Labor’s Untold Story, by Richard O. Boyer and Herbert M. Morais, published by United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, NY, 1955/1979.)

Despite the misattribution, the quote raises the issue of whether there is not continuing truth in Swinton’s remarks, and whether some candid journalist might not be able to fairly say similar things today. Anyone who has associated closely with journalists can hardly avoid finding a ring of truth in such words, and the best evidence lies in the actual product of journalists and how well, or how poorly, it both agrees with and covers what actually happens, especially involving such things as corruption and abuse of power.

— By Akira The Don on Monday, January 6th, 2014

Thursday, July 11th, 2013

ATD-regulator-1200

WOOO!

AT LAST!

Designed by ME, Akira The Don, the beautiful new Big Narstie

THE REGULATOR SHIRT!

Get yours quick before they’re gone!

Meanwhile, shout out everyone that’s been posting and sharing BALLISTIC, including fine mags like The QuietusBleeding Cool, and Oh Dope. YOU ARE APPRECIATED!

Now go get that shirt. PEACE!

ATD-regulator-front

— Thursday, July 11th, 2013

By Akira The Don on Saturday, October 6th, 2012

From Bleeding Cool:

“Akira the Don bounds up on the stage and tears into his set, eager to win over the entire crowd in that first bleeding instant and inspired to antics and banter of increasing magnitude when the roar of adulation is not total enough. Dispensing high-energy rapid-velocity UK hip-hop, he is constant motion and flow of dialogue, diminutive in stature with a dark beard framing wild eyes underneath long bleached blond hair. Ican’t figure out why he looks so familiar to me for the first few songs then suddenly realize he’s Vince Neil’s little brother. He earns +10 Kirby points for the name of his latest album, The Life Equation.”

Read the rest here.

— By Akira The Don on Saturday, October 6th, 2012

By Akira The Don on Saturday, October 6th, 2012

DAMN SON

— By Akira The Don on Saturday, October 6th, 2012

By Akira The Don on Saturday, July 7th, 2012

— By Akira The Don on Saturday, July 7th, 2012