In Defence of Liberty

Driven by data; ridden with liberty.

‘You won’t hear this in the media’


Media silence! Corporate shill blackout! Read all about it! (Edited: BBC)

A contemporary complaint, seemingly common in protest movements, is that ‘you won’t hear this in the media’, or similar statements about the ‘mainstream media’. For example, failed Labour parliamentary candidate George Aylett posted “where are the media reports?” to Twitter, about 48 minutes after the protests he was attending had formally begun [1].

On 16th April 2016, there was a large protest organised by the anti-austerity group People’s Assembly, demanding “health, homes, jobs and education”. The Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP (Labour, Hayes and Harlington) spoke to protestors, calling the government “bankrupt”, and for the Prime Minister to resign and to “take his party with him”. The Green Party leader Natalie Bennett was also at the protests, as were union leaders Len McCluskey, of Unite, and Christine Blower, of the National Union of Teachers.

This protest was reported on the BBC, Sky, ITV, the Independent, the Guardian, the International Business Times, the London Evening Standard, the Huffington Post UK, and the Daily Mail, among others [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10].

There were a variety of attendance estimates, with the Huffington Post UK claiming there were “more than 50,000” protesters, and the Independent suggesting that “more than 150,000” went to London.

Despite these reports, there are reflexive assertions that this protest did not receive coverage in the “mainstream media”.

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This is demonstrably untrue.

Moreover, claims about “blackouts” are meant to serve as a signal that the protesting group are being unfairly treated and victimised by “corporate” media outlets, as well as echoing conspiracism.

It speaks to a disconnect to ‘mainstream’ politics.


[1] Masters, A., 2015. Copy and Haste I: Blackout. In Defence of Liberty. Available from: [Accessed: 17th April 2016]

[2] BBC, 2016. Austerity protests: Thousands rally in London against cuts. Available from: [Accessed: 17th April 2016]

[3] Sky, 2016. Thousands Join Anti-Austerity March in London. Available from: [Accessed: 17th April 2016]

[4] ITV, 2016. Anti-austerity protest in London attracts ‘150,000’ protesters. Available from: [Accessed: 17th April 2016]

[5] Broomfield, M., 2016. Anti-austerity protest brings 150,000 to the streets of London to demand David Cameron’s resignation. Independent. Available from: [Accessed: 17th April 2016]

[6] Grierson, J., 2016. Anti-austerity protest: tens of thousands attend London march. Guardian. Available from: [Accessed: 17th April 2016]

[7] Patel, R. 2016. People’s Assembly protest: ‘150,000’ demand Conservative leader David Cameron resigns. International Business Times. Available from: [Accessed: 17th April 2016]

[8] Colllier, H., 2016. Anti-austerity protest: Thousands march in central London against Government cuts. London Evening Standard. Available from: [Accessed: 17th April 2016]

[9] Snowdon, K., 2016. People’s Assembly National Demonstration Sees Thousand March in London. Huffington Post UK. Available from: [Accessed: 17th April 2016]

[10] Samuelson, K., 2016. Thousands of people march on Downing Street in latest demonstration against Government austerity cuts. Daily Mail. Available from: [Accessed: 17th April 2016]


One comment on “‘You won’t hear this in the media’

  1. Pingback: “Some things you won’t hear on the BBC” | In Defence of Liberty

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This entry was posted on April 19, 2016 by in National Politics and tagged , , , , , , .
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