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Bristol video activists gets censored

i-Contact video network | 14.05.2001 23:50

Bristol based video activists, i-Contact video network gets censored by Channel 4

i-Contact video network
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15.05.2001 08:48

Well done people - it must have been a frustrating time. I think you were spot on to withdraw your film.

As for ch4 et al - what a load of wankers - ooh please underground types make us a real film about subvertising.... oh yeah but don't show any subverts that target multinationals, and er, no property destruction please that's not what we're after, but it can still be anarchic right?

For info here's a snippit of an email sent out last November (2000) to loads of mailing lists, websites and individuals by warkclements - see how it compares to i-contact's experiences...

"Hi there...
My name is GRAEME BOWMAN and I'm producing a one-off TV programme for Channel 4 in the UK called '' (i.e. alternative news on channel 4). As the title suggests, I'm wanting to challenge the mainstream news agenda, focus attention on topics which are usually swept under the corporate media carpet, empower citizen activists (esp. those with video cameras!) and promote proactive analysis of 'the news' rather than passive consumption of a sanitised object. Is there any way in which we might collaborate on areas of mutual interest??"

I think the answer's FCUK OFF!

oh they also said:

"pps. we're looking for short, passionate, fiery committed news pieces with a distinctive agenda, none of this bogus objective stuff. If its about a specific action, incident or event great, and if that incident or action has a pranksterish or situationist twist to it, so much the better.."

Nuff said.

fuck the corporates.

Good move.

15.05.2001 12:58

Just wanted to join the above in saying well done for taking the option of withdrawing the film rather than letting it go channel 4's way. The corporate media is a haven of lies. Nothing given to them will escape their acceptibility filter. I hope people learn from this sad tale. Until the media is used as a means of horizontal communication rather than being a servant of the corporate classes and a manipulator of free thought, it is an enemy of the people and should be treated as such. It can't be said enough: the revolution will not be televised.


Alt.World and Channel 4

17.05.2001 15:43

My name is Jess Search, I am the person at Channel 4 who commissioned, a programme about the alternative news agenda to which I-contact were contributing a three minute item about Subvertise.

Channel 4 is one of the very few mainstream media outlets which regularly reflects the views if independent media producers and the global anti-capitalism movement. Recent examples include the programme about the maydayevetns in London and the digital underground remixed programme on 4later.

Channel 4 is not afraid to challenge major multi-national corporations - a recent programme commissioned by this department about global slavery has resulted in the setting up of a government committee to explore and eradicate slavery in the production of chocolate.

However like all broadcasters Channel 4 is governed by both the law and the ITC code. This means that it must consider very carefully the legal implications of the material it publishes.

I was very disapointed to lose the Subvertise item from the programme as I felt it was a really strong piece but I stronlgy disagree with Ian's interpretation of the events that led I-Contact to decide to pull their contribution.

I feel that what I-Contact have failed to appreciate is that Channel 4 is bound by the ITC code (in this case sections 3 on Impartiality and section 5 on Crime and Anti-social behaviour are particularly relevant - the code can be viewed at That is one reason why Channel 4 never agrees to hand over editorial control. We cannot do this as we are responsible for seeing that all our programmes are within the ITC code. I have double checked with the production company, who have confirmed that they did not lead Ian to believe that he had editorial control. Indeed, his written agreement with them expressly provided that the item had to comply with the requirements of the ITC code and C4's legal obligations!

I cannot discuss the actual legal advice given, suffice it to say, that given the nature of the item, it inevitably included advice on criminal behaviour, defamation, copyright and fairness.

What I wanted from the piece was the very best we could achieve - giving Subvertise the chance to show what they do and tell us why they do it, in their own words - WITHIN THE CONTRAINTS OF WHAT IS POSSIBLE ON BROADCAST TV. I'm sorry that in the end I-contact and Subvertise felt that wasn't enough - but I don't think that Channel 4 and Wark Clements have been anything other than upfront and accomodating.

Jess Search
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Mayday / guidelines...

17.05.2001 17:59

'tis true the channel four special on mayday was excellent and could hardly have been better had it been made by activists (ish).

Interesting extract from the ITC guidelines mentioning Terrorism act in relation to 'criminal activity':

"Programmes must not give the impression of condoning criminal activity, even (or especially) where its seriousness may not be accepted or recognised in every section of society. (See Appendix 4 - Terrorism Act UK 2000)."

ITC guidelines (new ones introduced april 2001) are at:

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c4 integrity

17.05.2001 19:45

Interesting story, and interesting response from jess search. but what she seems to have missed out was the fact that c4 legal appear to have approved the billboard demolition shot a week before the long list of changes appeared at last minute. which suggests that it was not the legalities or the itc code which got in the way. what seems to have actually got in the way was the interests of the corporate advertisers who pay c4's way and whose menials only woke up to what was going on at the last minute. which is not to say that anyone at wark clements or anyone else but those lackeys are to blame. waste of a good film, c4, and waste of a good reputation...


The Same Old Story...

17.05.2001 20:32

This seems to be the same old story yet again.

Take a look at WWW.PETERWATKINS.LT - particularly the sections on 'marginalization'.

Spurious Cause
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Jess needs a new job

17.05.2001 21:44

Jess, if the ITC guidelines are such a hassle why don't you quit the corporate gangbang and come an join the real activists. Or wouldn't your mortgage allow it.

Death to TV

i-Contact reply to Channel 4

17.05.2001 21:47

First up i'd like to thank all the people who've given us a bit of support over this debacle...respect.

Next up i'd like to make it known that i-Contact does not hold WarkClements in any way responsible for what has happened regarding the pulling of the subvertise film. They have acted in a consistent professional manner throughout the entire working proccess...and that should be acknowledged... respect to G.B. and his boss.

I wish i-Contact could say the same thing about Channel 4 and its infamous 'legal' dept. i-Contact has had no direct dealings with these alchemists. All decisions made by them came through WarkClements. We are video activists and not broadcast solicitors (they are the only people who seem to be able to decipher the ITC gobbledegook). ...Many filmmakers have fallen foul of their dark practises...Mark Thomas, Chris Morris, etc For every 25minutes of 'Mayday! Mayday'! we have 25hours of 'Bigbrother' - just to keep the advertisers happy :-) Channel 4 like much of the mainstream media has slashed its production budgets to the extent that documentary filmmakers can barely make ends meet. Channel 4 have ditched many of its documentary strands in favour of ratings grabbing, cheap ass, dumbed down, fodder to fill in the gaps between the adverts. Sex in the city anyone?? or how about Emmanuelle?? Maybe a bit of 'the top 100 adverts' ...It's all so Graham Norton...

i-Contact does appreciate that C4 are bound by the ITC guidelines. After all we did sign an agreement with them stating this. If the film had been completed without any hitches we would never have even dealt with commisioning editors. That's the way it works. What we did expect from Channel 4 was guidance. We feel that they let us down - more specificaly their 'legal' dept. We kind of hoped Channel 4 would steer us right. Silly me.

The commisioning editor, Jess Search ,fails to mention the CRUCIAL FACT that the subvertise film had been PASSED by CHANNEL 4 LEGAL DEPT once...who then changed their minds and DEMANDED TWO PAGES OF CUTS TO the film. We were led to believe that this was non-negotiable and subsequently felt pressured by C4 to submit a watered down product. This 2 page document is available on request.

I disagree with Jess about the "editorial control". I was under the impression that we retained it. Complete editorial control is a myth anyhow... and we knew this. What has happened has been a case of censorship by stealth. All the way down the line i-Contact was encouraged to keep things on the safe side. We were told specifically what types of 'subverts' would be unacceptable to C4 ( see original posting) and therefore we should include only the tamest examples of subvertising. In other words we were encouraged by Channel 4 to censor ourselves. I guess we reached a point where we had to say enough is enough...after all you're either part of the problem or part of the solution. It's a simple choice. We tried every which way we could to accomodate Channel 4 but i-Contact refuses to compromise its integrity as 'alternative media' bods by serving up watered down froth.

There's a famous quote that springs to mind which kind of sums it all up for me. It's by John Swinton, who was a journalist for the New York Times in 1880. On his retirement someone gave a toast to independent journalism...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 journalist 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 vessals 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."

I'll shut up now and go back to the wilderness.

ian[i-Contact] - just do it

ian ferguson
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i-Contact vs Channel 4

18.05.2001 01:36

It seems to me that the label Independent Journalist is all too often used to gain the power to disseminated information without the commensurate responsibility of ensuring accuracy, relevance, and balance. Without these, what remains is mere opinion, spleen, and propaganda.

While some "independent" hacks of the protest movement lambast the "corporate" media for their kowtowing to pay masters, they have fallen into the trap of issuing rants that do more to highlight their own imbalance than they do to bring about change.

Just putting forward your own opinion as criticism to something you don't like doesn't automatically make you right, or the criticised some kind of corporate scum (except perhaps in your own eyes). Nor does it do much to enhance debate.

The John Swinton quote probably still holds true within newsprint today, but as an earlier poster pointed out, "if it was such a hassle why didn't he quit the corporate gangbang and come and join the real activists" (whoever they may be)?

Indeed, we may ask the same of Ian Ferguson (who does not appear to have much direct experience of the "corporate" media, or he wouldn't be so surprised or outraged by the purported events).

The only real issue I can extract from this story is that C4's legal team may have screwed up somewhere along the line (such a big deal?)... however I fail to see how this constitutes proof that "what seems to have actually got in the way was the interests of the corporate advertisers who pay c4's way".

We live in a complex and sometimes distasteful world. Like everyone, media organisations (including IMC) sit within a commercial and legal environment which necessarily affect the decisions they make (IMC is also subject to the law and the price of coffee -

What's so strange about C4's making decisions based on viewer ratings and advertiser revenue potential in addition to program quality and journalistic content?

Their output over the years suggests to me that most of the advertiser-sensitive decisions are made at a strategic level, exerting little direct editorial control. I didn't see their Mayday reports - like last year, I spent the day peacefully protesting inside the jaws of a state "play pen" (the Oxford St Penetentiary).

Come on people, let's not get distracted by the fact that (shock horror) "corporate" media companies don't give unrestricted space to "independent" journalists...

We do still have an eschaton to immanentise ;->

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Great Quote

18.05.2001 09:34

That's a great quote, I love it


POEM BY SOMEONE who's name I forget

18.05.2001 10:44

You cannot hope to bribe nor twist
Thank God the British journalist
For seeing what the man will do
unbribed there's no occasion to.


yes but

18.05.2001 21:24

all hail discordia and all that, but fact remains that the legal people passed the show, the last minute changes must have come from somewhere else, no it's not a surprise but it is a bugger when you are trying to do the right thing that they can't even be honest about doing the wrong thing... meanwhile mayday mayday was on the friday after mayday when I believe the oxford circus penitentiary must have been busted out of even by the followers of the sacred chao? thing is that when you see things like that show and you hear such hopeful chat coming out of C4 it does make it difficult for the old independent media types to know how to play it... with care and communication is the only way, i guess, which is what they did so that's ok.


Missed the mark, fnord

18.05.2001 21:33

1. FNORD: "...without the commensurate responsibility of ensuring accuracy, relevance, and balance." ----- which parts of the Subvertise film were inacurate or irrelevent? Independent journalism isn't balanced, it 'balances'.

2. FNORD: "Just putting forward your own opinion as criticism to something you don't like doesn't automatically make you right" ----- what is the sum of your previous post, Fnord, if it isn't your own opinion?

3. FNORD: "if it was such a hassle why didn't he quit the corporate gangbang and come and join the real activists" ---- because he would then recieve hassle from people such as yourself who criticise 'the real activists', and their lack of balance. Make up your mind, Fnord.

4. FNORD: "The only real issue I can extract from this story is that C4's legal team may have screwed up somewhere along the line (such a big deal?)..." ----- No, not really; just £3,000 down the drain, hours and hours of well-meant hard work wasted, frustration at having to pay the price for someone else's mistake without a word of apology or attempt at reconciliation...happens all the time doesn't it.

5. FNORD: "I fail to see how this constitutes proof that 'what seems to have actually got in the way was the interests of the corporate advertisers who pay c4's way.'"
------ 'to give the impression of' (dictionary definition of 'seems')

6. FNORD: "media organisations (including IMC) sit within a commercial and legal environment which necessarily affect the decisions they make." ----- Er, yes, I think we all realise that, Fnord. ITC legislation states that programmes must be afforded due impartiality; cutting accurate scenes from a documentary for commercial reasons not editorial ones, breaches this part of the code.

7. "What's so strange about C4's making decisions based on viewer ratings and advertiser revenue potential in addition to program quality and journalistic content?" ---- who has stated that C4's decision was strange? Illegal and immoral maybe, but strange? Nah.

8. "We do still have an eschaton to immanentise." ----- there is only one thing worse than corporate media immpartiality....and that's esotericism.

awaiting your reply...



21.05.2001 11:03

The law is the law is the law,we are now in a general election campaign,so scream and shout about censorship left over from the Thatcher years.Clause 28, the clause which says publicly funded exhibition spaces,ie libraries schools, museums galleries,"may not show material which tends to affect support for a political party", leaving the artistic judgement open to over rule by the legal officer of the council.UK political censorship is worse that that of Nazi Germany in the early thirties.
When asked,Mark Fisher and Chris Smith said "we will leave it there in case we want to use it.
Try and get publicity the media do not want to know.
We have been talking to all the media, political sensitivity rules, they are all in fear of offending dear Tony.

Ian Campbell
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What's happening to the film then?

22.05.2001 09:55

Just wondered what's going to happen to the film - seems a shame not to get it out there somehow - maybe channel 4 could do a follow up called something like ??

Can it be stuck on the web at least?

Also does anyone know if this show is going to have its own website, I'm sure I remember someone saying that some time ago.



22.05.2001 12:16

Basically, it looks like Ch4 legal dept have messed i-contact around by passing the initial version of the film, then late on in the day requesting significant changes, which should have been picked up the first time around. This thus leads quite rightly to questions about motivations for these alteration requests - if the changes requested were due to the legal position and ITC guidelines then why were they not made earlier on?

This is the question that needs answering, and perhaps an apology too!

Pete S

A Final Word from Channel 4

22.05.2001 15:01

There seems to be an assumption creeping in that the Subvertise piece was cleared by our legal department and then suddenly the decision was reversed. This was not the case - the lawyers get to see a film more than once, maybe even twice at rough cut and then again at the final cut. A film which has been to the lawyer once at rough cut, as this film had, would never be described as having been cleared. There is no requirement that the lawyer or the commissioning editor must give a comprehensive judgement on every potential problem at the first viewing. Of course we try to give a view on everything but, quite often, different editorial and legal advice emerges at the second viewing, particularly if other changes to picture or commentary have put parts of the material in a different light or given them a different emphasis. Our decison to ask for the shot of the billboard coming down to be removed was based on the ITC Code alone and had absoultely nothing to do with the channel's advertising interests.

Jess Search
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Absolute Rubbish Jess...

23.05.2001 21:35

First of all, how dare you state that your post was to be 'The last word'...censorship per se.

Secondly, you know as well as I do that footage of a billboard falling (being pulled)over does not contravene ITC.

Channel 4 broadcast a documentary on the 'Anti-car' culture about 6 years ago called 'Car Wars'. (either that or it was Panorama's 'Carmageddon'). It contained within it a slot showing subvertisers at work in Birmingham; including lots of clips of 2 activists in white overalls, secretly destroying car-advert billboards with a jet-powered paint gun. ITC, Jess? What's very clear is that c4 isn't the same it was 15 years ago. Why doesn't someone ask Alan Hayling why he left.

awaiting comments...


Fnord Defends Rational Debate

24.05.2001 12:50


> 1. which parts of the Subvertise film were inacurate or
> irrelevent?

I haven't had the opportunity to see the film so I can't comment; I was referring to the various postings on this IMC newswire.

> Independent journalism isn't balanced, it 'balances'.

Then it's just the negative equivalence of that which it opposes... an eye for an eye and the whole world is blind.

How can you hope to win an argument if you appear to be no better than the opposition? If the generic protest movement cannot show that it understands the complexities surrounding the issues that it stands for, it will never be taken seriously by anyone other than the small number of converts it already has. That is why I believe balanced journalism to be crucial.

Activism is another matter... it is part of the balancing you describe. But even then, without the level headed write-ups that I describe, the general public will continue to view activists with a great deal of suspicion, and meaningful change will be slow in coming. Unless of course you happen to be an activist who's just in to it for the destructive force...

> 2. what is the sum of your previous post, Fnord, if it
> isn't your own opinion?

Where did I say it was anything else?

> 3. because he would then recieve hassle from people such
> as yourself who criticise 'the real activists',

I was criticising what seems to me to be poor arguments by a number of IMC contributors, and simply re-used the quotation to point this out. Just because I disagree with some of the prevailing attitudes here, don't assume I'm an outsider to activism... I have spent some 15 years peacefully engaged in changing peoples attitudes towards environmental degradation, 3rd world exploitation, democratic decay through multi-nations, etc, and have some close friends amongst the IMC UK team. I therefore speak very much as an insider.

> 4. No, not really; just £3,000 down the drain, hours and
> hours of well-meant hard work wasted, frustration at
> having to pay the price for someone else's mistake
> without a word of apology or attempt at reconciliation...

And on a personal level I *do* sympathise with those connected to the film. I've also worked on projects that have hit external walls such as this, and it ain't pleasant.

I only joined the debate when I-contact anger turned from a natural venting into a general bashing of Channel 4 as the corporate enemy, without strong evidence to support this (yes I'm sure you feel you have strong evidence, but it looks a little thin to a bystander's eye who knows something of how the TV industry works).

> happens all the time doesn't it.

Yes. Who said life was always easy or consistently fair?

> 5. 'to give the impression of' (dictionary definition
> of 'seems')

I stand corrected.

> 6. FNORD: "media organisations (including IMC) sit within
> a commercial and legal environment which necessarily
> affect the decisions they make." ----- Er, yes, I think
> we all realise that, Fnord.

Apologies if that section wasn't clear - I wrote it late at night (the IMC clock is wrong BTW), near the end of my post.

I was trying to demonstrate that since we are all influenced by these factors, it is necessary to create some kind of scale with which we can measure a given company's excessive use of them in controlling its output:

At one end we have IMC who's costs are largely met by donation (primarily the free labour of its members) and who's main legal duty is to ensure it doesn't carry libelous or prejudicial (to race, sex, etc) articles. It is therefore able to apply a very lean editorial in line with its stakeholder's expectations (loosely the IMC team, us as contributors, and the planetary public as an amorphous entity who's longer-term interests we are (presumably) concerned with).

Somewhere in the middle we have Channel 4 who's revenue stream is a mix of advertising, program syndication, and merchandising. It is a semi-monopolistic provider of public TV broadcasting, and has to comply with the much vaunted ITC rules. It therefore has less room for manoeuvre.

However, it has spent some 15-20 years building a brand as the radical within the establishment based on challenging authority, expanding boundaries, program quality, and program integrity. Whilst it cannot claim to be anything like as radical as, say, the activists amongst us, it does by and large produce some of the more interesting programming on British TV. For the most part, it seems to have kept its commercial decisions to the strategic board room, and out of direct program editorial - to do anything else would rapidly destroy its valuable branding.

In any case, most advertisers are not that bothered what the channel screens, providing its own adverts don't appear in slots that are show the advertiser in a bad light. Indeed a great deal of work goes into targeting adverts to the most appropriate viewers. This can even extend to the showing of different campaigns for the same product to different kinds of TV audiences. It's a lot more sophisticated that perhaps has so far been given credit.

And at the other end of the scale we have the likes of News International, tabloid journalism in general, and (extending our horizons out of the UK for a moment) the state media services in semi- and full- dictatorships. This is where the real threat to balanced and accurate reporting comes from... even in the "free" world, this kind of output is horrifically popular.

> ITC legislation states that programmes must be afforded
> due impartiality; cutting accurate scenes from a
> documentary for commercial reasons not editorial ones,
> breaches this part of the code.

That is your story, and until the rest of us have had a chance to view the film, it remains that way. I for one would welcome the chance to see it (uncut), along with copies of the letters from C4 detailing any requested changes.

Ultimately if you want to reach a quarter of a million "unconverted" viewers via commercial TV, you will have to play by a given channel's rules... you always have the option of reaching maybe a 100th of that amongst the "converted" by screening it independently at activist events and via web streaming.

> 7. who has stated that C4's decision was strange?

That was the feeling I picked up from the majority of IMC postings... perhaps I was wrong.

> Illegal and immoral maybe, but strange? Nah.

Morals are just the personal boundaries that define one's actions and thoughts... unless you are referring to the collective morality of the great British public (which is fraught with inconsistency and holds views often contrary to those expressed to date on IMC).

More seriously, you haven't actually provided any evidence to support your claim that Channel 4 have acted illegally.

> 8. there is only one thing worse than corporate media
> immpartiality....and that's esotericism.

Then sadly you have both misunderstood esotericism, and my whimsical use of it as metaphor. It is of course your prerogative to maintain a closed mind, but you shall remain the poorer for it.

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not absolute rubbish

26.05.2001 06:58

I think Jess just meant that C4 wan't going to make any further postings on here rather than that the matter should be closed.

Thinking aloud, if a TV news crew had filmed the billboard action by chance rather than by prior arrangement, could the footage have been shown on the evening news? Is the ITC worried that we will copy everything we learn from TV? Should I shoot Phil Mitchell too, and then set up another WTO coz I saw some bloke called Michael do that on ITN and he looked like a good role model.

Car Wars: World In Action (World Inaction - tee hee) which I think was an ITV programme but i'm open to corrections, showed an edititon of that title about 6 years ago. It showed footage of people attaching a dummy human body to a car ad billboard and spraying blood red paint on [message obvious]. It also showed anti-road protesters in Wells, on a peaceful and effective action, people 'bouncing' a car into the road (it had been illegally parked on the pavement) under the noses of the old bill, and footage of an early days RTS party in London (footage credited to Undercurrents or Small World I think).

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a minor detail

30.05.2001 17:32

The John Swainton quote re. journalists as intellectual prostitutes is taken from his speech to colleagues on the day he retired - i.e he'd made his packet (and presumably paid his mortgage) and was indulging in a little gratuitous self-ego-massage without actually disrupting the industry he'd done so well out of. A clear-sighted, cynical coward, in other words, and not really someone you'd expect to find going into alternative journalism (on any of those counts :-).

The wider issues are the structural one of advertisers' and nitpicking lawyers control of the media, and the tactical one of the incongruity of the openness of the initial invitation to contribute to next to the actual treatment i-Contact received.

This story does need to be circulated to those poor naive individuals who still think TV is made by concerned reporters rather than money interests.

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Website answer for BBnone

31.05.2001 14:29

Hi there,

Apologies for this late posting, fairly new to this board and just saw the question from BBnone about a website for the alt world programme.

As someone who is involved in the production of this site at channel4 i can confirm that yes there will be one but it will be a pilot site. Whether it continues or not will depend on the amount of traffic and feedback we get for it, and this will help us judge if we can justify it. I don't believe the tv transmission is confirmed yet, but when it is the site will go up a few weeks beforehand.

Obviously by writing to the audience of this board i'm already preaching to the converted. I'm sure every single one of you can come up enough justifications to break our inbox - so please don't take that as being patronising.

I'm going to stay out of the whole subvertise debate mainly because at the moment the website is supporting the tv side of things, and is therefore being led by it. Hopefully, if the site is to continue, it will gain enough momentum to a point where it will be able to stand on it's own.

The only point i will make about the tv / web side of things is that we're bound by the same ITC rules as the tv. So although there are thousands of smaller sites out there breaking these laws all the time, we're somewhat in the spot light and subject to greater scrutiny by them.

So yes, while that does mean we might have to work with one hand tied behind our back, i personally feel it's better than no hands at all.

Anyway, rambled on further than i meant to. It's been interesting reading all the thoughts here.

Ziad Al-Hasso.

Ziad Al-Hasso
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06.06.2001 04:39

>>We do still have an eschaton to immanentise ;-> <<

Er - 'scuse me - what does this mean?

None of my dictionaries give definitions of the spparent origins of these seemingly non-words that seem to have any relevance to the subject under discussion.

Could you please explain what the theology of death and final destiny - and the inherent or indwelling/permanent pervasion of the universe by a supreme being (C4?) has to do with the ethics of journalism - and also how you manage to make 'immanentise' out of an adjective?

I know things have changed since I went to (grammar) school - but - that much?

Ali Hunt
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i-Contact being snubbed by C4

06.06.2001 23:53

Sorry to hear about your troubles.

C4 is really a minor medium, but with a high power in the provinces. No wonder they cringe at upsetting multinationals or global corporations - their legal department and budget could not handle a complex libel/copyright infringement.

I would like to see your film.

Freedom of information or the right to express an opinion is not constitutionally upheld in this country. Still...

Don't forget your objectives. If it is to confirm that we're all being hoodwinked by a bunch of cynical, money grabbing bastards who use globalisation as an excuse to denegrate their fellow people - even the ad industry knows it. Perhaps it's about time everybody knew it and we levelled the playing field.

Use your imagination and find another method to say what you want. Don't get hung up because a small time production company wouldn't go balls out for you.



Jeremy Gibbs
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C4 to screen i-contact subvertising film

10.07.2001 09:58

Legal structures are there to serve (also) the same interests.
Channel 4 could challenge these when necessary and commit itself
to broadcasting reality rather than nonsense.
There is always a price to pay for objections to oppresive rules: show the film uncut C4 and take it on the chin. (Run a free labour week for all your employess to raise the legal costs)

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audience versus advertisers tug-of-war

19.12.2002 12:57

audience versus advertisers tug-of-war
audience versus advertisers tug-of-war

see also... the page the BBC would rather forget

I was one of the people who set up i-Contact in 1997. I had nothing to do with this production but I have a few things to say.

I am repulsed by the way todays television is so lifeless, boring, and hypocritical - self-righteous TV professionals spend hours ruminating on whether to show a shot of a billboard being torn down - yet think nothing of showing child killers or other psychopaths night after night in a dramatic context - The former scene is a normal reaction to the dumbing down invasion of our public spaces with patronising legalised lying yes I know the righteous desire to tear the monstrosities down! and the second is 'normalising' pernicious anti-social behavior by bringing it into the living room.

This reflects the insipid culture which is being advocated by television these days which is that violence against people is okay - violence against property is not.

Jess at Channel 4 comes out with all sorts of excuses here for not having the guts to stand up to the advertising lobby's lawyers who's patrons are loaded with cash and dragging community culture, that has taken centuries to evolve, into the gutter.

Yes, of course you want to keep your job Jess - the trouble is in jobs like yours that you're spending more and more time protecting your advertisers' lawyers with excuses for censorship and less and less actually standing up for the television people want to watch. The shot of the billboard coming down gives expression to the building irritation and sense of anger people feel having tens of thousands of their streets invaded by lies, lies and more lies.

It's a nice job comissioning for channel 4 - but have you ever wondered whether you are only kept on because you're revenue stream/lawyer compliant? Of course you have, which is your real reason for backing the lawyers over the audience.

Live television is much cheaper than recorded to make anyway - and more spontaneous - with the end of spontenaity the lifeblood is draining out of television.

One positive lesson to learn from this might be the publication and openness of legal decisions made at channel 4, with names of lawyers etc. and the possibility to challenge those decisions. Will that happen - or will it become even more secretive?

I think the only way out of the elite's cultural/financial armlock through commercial television is illegal broadcasting or simply more live television. And let there be lawyers who work for their money after the event rather than whine for it before.

A debate on this film at the Royal Television Society would go down v. well. especially when the vote comes on whether those discussing it should be allowed to see the 'subvertising' film or not.


Tony Gosling
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