Patrolling the murkier waters of the mainstream media


A maths teacher writes on a whiteboard
Why isn't the Government’s School Direct scheme attracting enough schools?
By Steven Baxter - 01 August 12:09

In principle, it's a good idea, but the Government’s School Direct scheme isn’t attracting enough schools. Are we heading for a shortage of teachers?

A father playing with his ten-month-old son
There’s a pressure on men, too, to be a “proper man” and deliver a child
By Steven Baxter - 04 July 10:39

As you get a little greyer, balder and rounder across the middle, there’s a growing feeling that you should have done certain things by now.

Leveson is dead - business as usual will continue
By Steven Baxter - 14 March 12:55

There will be a "tougher" press regulator, we are told. But what of all the hours of testimony and hard-fought recommendations in the Leveson report? Were they all for nothing?

New Statesman
Blogging is better than Fleet Street Fox's journal of branding
By Steve Baxter - 15 February 15:47

Are there any bloggers who write stuff because they want to write stuff?

A man holds HMV bags outside a branch of the music retailer in central London.
Why do we mourn the high street? It was never a nice place to be
By Steven Baxter - 16 January 9:56

Let's be honest - online or out-of-town shopping is just less hassle, isn't it?

Where's @stebax gone?
Why I've quit Twitter for good
By Steven Baxter - 19 December 16:37

Say hello to a world where you can just do stuff, without talking about the stuff you're doing!

Student demonstrators carry banners as they march against cuts
Now is the time for middle-aged activism
By Steven Baxter - 13 December 13:12

When you’re a teenager you’re angry about everything, without necessarily knowing why. Steven Baxter suggests that it’s time for the grown-up teenagers to get properly angry – the kind of anger that comes with intimate knowledge of everything that’s gone

How did the John Lewis snowman pay for his gifts, eh?
Why is every Christmas TV advert like a nail gun to the tearducts?
By Steven Baxter - 12 November 9:46

We're looking at you, Coca Cola, John Lewis, Asda, Morrisons and Very.

The moment when Phillip Schofield handed David Cameron the list on This Morning.
Phillip Schofield's List shows the danger of treating internet rumours as news
By Steven Baxter - 09 November 16:02

Sometimes big stories can be ignored by news organisations because there is corruption, and sometimes because they simply can’t be stood up. So when did we start putting so much trust in Twitter rumours and David Icke?

Superman vs the blogosphere
By Steve Baxter - 24 October 17:54

My money's on the blogosphere.

Could the anti-BBC witch hunt over Jimmy Savile be payback for the Leveson Inquiry?
By Steven Baxter - 17 October 12:32

The BBC has serious questions to answer, but there were other institutions that allowed Jimmy Savile to commit his atrocities, too.

New Statesman
Tuition fees make students obsess about "value for money" from their education
By Steven Baxter - 15 October 9:46

As a second-time student who now pays the fees, Steven Baxter has noticed a change in his attitude to learning.

Kay Burley live on Sky News during the search for April Jones
Kay Burley's insensitivity over April Jones wasn't just her fault
By Steven Baxter - 05 October 15:42

The Sky News presenter’s style lacks compassion, but the feeding frenzy 24-hour news produces is also to blame.

Someone buying a newspaper
A missing person should never be used as an excuse to flog papers
By Steven Baxter - 01 October 11:32

A classic case of "the public interest" not being "what we want to know".

A nice, non-invasive, picture of the Duchess of Cambridge
The Kate Middleton topless photos are the grossest invasion of privacy
By Steven Baxter - 14 September 10:00

If you buy into the worst kind of paparazzi antics, you are throwing away your own privacy too.

The BBC News report of the latest government statistics
We mustn't over-interpret suicide statistics - every one is an individual tragedy
By Steven Baxter - 12 September 9:24

New government figures show middle-aged men are at greatest risk of suicide.

Were the fake football agent's transfer rumours any more flaky than the usual ones?
By Steven Baxter - 29 August 15:53

FootballAgent49 claims to have fooled the Mail, Guardian and the Mirror.

Giles Coren's Twitter page.
Yes, Giles Coren is absurdly thin-skinned, but aren't most writers?
By Steven Baxter - 28 August 16:53

The restaurant critic's Twitter "flounce" is typical - writers are just terribly insecure people.

Prince Harry, sans dangly bits (sorry)
Readers are the real reason British papers won't publish the naked Prince Harry photos
By Steven Baxter - 22 August 15:11

The stock of the royal family is at such a high that newspapers fear a reader backlash more than the regulators.

A Level students jumping for joy
A Level results and leaping Home Counties teenagers
By Steven Baxter - 16 August 11:52

It's a comforting newspaper staple, but surely all a bit old hat now?

Porn never did me any harm
By Steve Baxter - 09 August 16:13

Parents and educators alike know they can do everything in their power to stop kids from being exposed to stuff that isn't 'age appropriate', but they'll find it sooner or later, whether we like it or not. Should we worry?

"The death of competitive sports" is the right's favourite Straw Bogeyman
By Steven Baxter - 08 August 17:39

There's nothing wrong with having fun while getting fit, as this picture of David Cameron playing Badminton demonstrates.

Bloggers don't use typewriters
Do bloggers need a "kitemark" to gain their readers' trust?
By Steven Baxter - 03 August 10:02

Standards and boundaries could be helpful.

The Olympic opening ceremony shows why lefties should embrace pageantry
By Steven Baxter - 28 July 17:37

The NHS, the Windrush - this was a Britain to make us proud.

BBC Radio 4
Is Radio 4 too middle class?
By Steven Baxter - 26 July 16:22

The station's voices are most likely to be drawn from selective and private schools, white, middle aged and male. Does that matter, though?

Olympic mascot Wenlock and Big Ben.
Sooner or later, the Olympics patriotism will kick in for curmudgeonly Britain
By Steve Baxter - 19 July 14:44

Gold! Medals! Wenlock! Mandeville! Rings! Official sponsors! Unofficial sponsors! Running! Jumping! Throwing things!

John Terry at Westminster Magistrates court in London.
John Terry's not guilty, but football's still in trouble
By Steven Baxter - 13 July 11:58

Everyone has to stop racism from blighting our showpiece sport.

Fictional newsrooms have always been more glamorous than the reality
By Steve Baxter - 06 July 8:50

Sorkin's The Newsroom isn't alone in sexing up the day-to-day grind of journalism on screen.

David Beckham holds the Olympic Flame as it arrives at RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall
No gold medal for Goldenballs Beckham
By Steven Baxter - 28 June 16:17

Dropping Beckham from the Olympic squad may have effectively ended his international career, but it was the kindest thing to do.

Why Gove gets a free ride from the press
By Steven Baxter - 20 June 8:07

The Education Secretary provides hard-pressed hacks with a steady stream of headlines.