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【首页】→ 【学习交流】→ 主题:双语阅读:为什么英国媒体对政治家的影响如此之大?
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双语阅读:为什么英国媒体对政治家的影响如此之大?
summ(2012/5/3 22:22:48)  点击:14635  回复:0  
WHEN Britain’s biggest tabloid claimed credit for a Conservative general election victory with the front-page headline “It’s the Sun wot won it”, its proprietor, Rupert Murdoch, was not pleased. Giving evidence on April 25th to a public inquiry on press ethics, Mr Murdoch explained that he had administered “a terrible bollocking” to the Sun’s then editor, Kelvin MacKenzie. A “tasteless” claim, he said. “We don’t have that sort of power.”

英国销路最广的小开本报纸曾声称保守党在大选中的胜利是它的功劳。它在头版大标题中写道:“这是《太阳报》拿下的胜利。”但该报的所有者鲁珀特•默多克(Rupert Murdoch)并不欣赏这句话。他在4月25日有关媒体道德的公开听证会上作证时解释道,他曾“狠狠地臭骂”了当时的《太阳报》编辑凯尔文•麦肯锡(Kelvin MacKenzie)一顿。他说这种说法粗俗不堪;“我们没那种能量,”他说。

The inquiry—chaired by Lord Justice Leveson, a judge—this week shone a light on ties between the media and politician. The most dangerous revelations were e-mails apparently detailing contacts between News Corporation, Mr Murdoch’s company, and David Cameron’s government during the firm’s abortive bid to buy BSkyB, a satellite-television outfit. The relationship was sometimes friendly, sometimes tense, but always close—and rarely craven on the part of the media firm.

由上诉法院法官列维森勋爵(Lord Justice Leveson)主持的听证会本周曝光了一些媒体与政治家之间的关系。其中最具杀伤力的是披露了一批电邮;它们清楚地叙述了默多克的新闻集团(News Corporation)在收购卫星电视公司天空(后来收购失败)时与卡梅伦政府的接触情况。它们的关系时而友好时而紧张,但总是很密切;而且媒体公司方面很少有怯懦的时候。

Another milestone in the Sun’s political coverage does not seem to have earned a proprietorial rebuke. It happened in 1992, on the night that Britain was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. The prime minister of the day, John Major, telephoned Mr MacKenzie to ask how the Sun would be covering the story. “Actually,” Mr MacKenzie replied, “I have a bucket of shit on my desk, prime minister, and I’m going to pour it all over you.” Asked if this tale was true during his own appearance at the Leveson Inquiry, Mr MacKenzie enthusiastically re-enacted it.

《太阳报》政治报道的另一个里程碑似乎没有让老板如此光火。那是1992年英国被从欧洲汇率机制封杀出局的时候。当时的首相约翰•梅杰给麦肯锡挂电话,问《太阳报》将如何报道此事。“首相先生,”麦肯锡回答:“说真的,我的办公桌上现在有一桶狗屎,我正要把它全都倒到你身上。”麦肯齐在列维森听证会上作证时被问及此事是否属实,结果他十分起劲地复述了一遍。

Mr Mackenzie’s cheerful thuggery is unusual, even in Fleet Street. But the fact that he talked to a prime minister that way and kept his job suggests that relations between the British press and politicians are pretty unusual. Does that mean that the press wields democracy-threatening power?

即使在伦敦新闻界,像麦肯齐这种能令人快活的粗鲁行为也是不多见的。但他这么跟首相说话却没被解职,这说明英国媒体与政治家间的关系很不寻常。这是否意味着媒体有能量威胁民主呢?

The answer is complicated by the oddity of Britain’s media market. In America, News Corporation is just one of five important media firms. In contrast, its British arm is a local titan. The Sun has 2.6m readers in a country of 60m people: scale that up, and an American equivalent would sell 13m copies a day. Seven British dailies have circulations larger than the biggest-selling French national newspaper.

由于英国媒体市场的古怪,这一问题的答案很复杂。在美国,新闻集团只不过是五大重要媒体公司之一;与此相反,它在英国是新闻界霸主。《太阳报》在英国这样一个6000万人口的国家里有260万读者;依此比例放大,这样一家报纸在美国的日销量就是1300万份。有7份英国日报的发行量大于法国销路最广的全国性报纸。

That many titles have been out of control is not in dispute. Just ask Lord Justice Leveson, hearing allegations of illegal phone-hacking, bribery and paparazzi intruding on funerals. But press savagery towards the rich and powerful also taps into an ancient British tradition, that of instinctive derision for the strutting toff or politician, amid the battle-cry: “Who does he think he is?”

因此,许多文章失去了控制是无可争议的。这一点只要问问聆听了这么多非法电话监听、行贿和狗仔队强闯葬礼的故事的列维森勋爵就可以了。但这种针对富人和当权者的媒体野性也符合英国的古老传统:普通人本能地嘲讽自鸣得意的上层人物或政治家,同时还要振臂高呼:“他以为他是谁?”

If prodded, politicians will insist (through gritted teeth) that press savagery is vital to democracy. They are more skittish about whether they think newspapers decide elections.

如果被逼急了,政治家们也会咬牙切齿地坚持,说媒体野性对民主至关重要。但被问到他们是否认为报纸能决定选举结果时,回答就没这么郑重其事了。

In his memoirs, Tony Blair—whose 1997 win was preceded by an endorsement by the Murdoch press—writes about a 1995 flight to address a News Corporation conference in Australia (a pilgrimage that outraged the left). Mr Blair explains himself with a rhetorical question. Murdoch newspapers had hitherto been “rancorous in their opposition to the Labour Party”. On being invited into the “lion’s den”, Mr Blair argues: “You go, don’t you?”

托尼•布莱尔1997年大选获胜前得到了默多克的新闻王国支持。他在回忆录中写到了他1995年飞赴澳大利亚出席新闻集团大会并发表讲话这件事;如此“朝圣之旅”曾令左翼政坛大哗。布莱尔用了一个反诘问句自辩:默多克旗下报章此前一直“满怀恶意地反对工党”,现在他得到了“身入虎穴”的邀请,对此布莱尔宣称:“你会去的,对不对?”

Addressing the Leveson inquiry, Mr Murdoch told how relations with Mr Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, soured after his newspapers switched their support from Labour to Mr Cameron’s Conservatives. Once he and Mr Brown swapped tales of Scottish ancestors and their young children played together, he said. When his papers turned, Mr Murdoch claims that Mr Brown called to declare “war” on his companies. As for Mr Cameron, when the furore about press abuses took off in 2011, he declared that all party leaders had turned a blind eye to warning signs, because they were “so keen to win the support of newspapers”.

在列维森听证会上作证时,默多克说到了他与布莱尔的继任人戈登•布朗的关系是如何在他的报业转而支持卡梅伦的保守党之后恶化的。他说,他们的幼年子女曾在一起玩耍,他们还向对方说起过自己苏格兰祖先的故事。据默多克说,在他的报纸转向之后,布朗挂电话给他,向他的公司“宣战”。至于卡梅伦,当2011年人们开始对媒体野性感到愤怒时他宣布,所有的党派领袖都漠视已有的警示,因为他们“太急于得到媒体支持了”。

Newspaper campaigns clearly influence policy-making. Former Blair aides have credited Mr Murdoch, a tireless Eurosceptic, with helping to keep Britain out of the euro. But arguably their greatest day-to-day influence is indirect. British political leaders are drawn from an increasingly narrow, metropolitan pool. When tabloids bellow that they know the mind of the ordinary voter, it requires some self-confidence for an Oxbridge-educated, sushi-munching minister to ignore them.

很清楚,媒体的宣传会影响政策的制定。默多克是一个不知疲倦的欧洲怀疑主义分子;布莱尔过去的助手们赞扬默多克,说他在英国不加入欧元这件事上很有贡献。但人们认为,宣传最大的经常性影响是间接的(尽管并非人人都赞同这一说法)。英国的政治领袖正在摆脱一个日益狭窄的都市池塘。当报章大声疾呼,说它们知道普通选民想法时,要让一位牛津大学毕业、咀嚼日本寿司的部长不受影响还是很需要一点自信的。

Britain is an outlier in other ways. In lots of European countries politics encompasses angry extremes, with the hard-right and far-left attracting hefty votes. By contrast, newspapers in such countries are often small-circulation, centrist, and prim. Britain does things the other way round. Partly because of first-past-the-post voting, the big parties cluster at the political centre. The brass-band blare of dissent comes from a fiercely partisan press.

在其他方面英国是另类。在许多欧洲国家中,政治舞台上有狂热的极端分子,极右与极左派都能拿下不少选票。反之,在这些国家中的报纸发行量通常比较小、大多持中间立场而且一本正经。英国的情况与此恰好相反。部分由于英国的简单多数制选举,令大政党集中在政治中心。媒体狂热鼓吹各种不同政见是因为它们具有强烈的党派特色。

Call my diary secretary

让我的日记秘书来一趟

Optimism may be hard this week. But the current stink could signal a general cleaning of the stables. Political leaders have already opened their diaries to disclose meetings with proprietors and editors. In parallel, fresh scandals over party fund-raising have revived efforts to reach a cross-party deal on donations, perhaps by capping the sums that individual donors can give.

本周可能不是乐观主义者的好日子。但一时之痛可能意味着问题的长远解决。政党领袖们已经打开了他们尘封的日记,披露他们与媒体业主和编辑们见面时的情形。同时发生的还有筹集党派资金方面的新丑闻,它们可能会让各党派重新努力,以达成政治捐金方面的协议;这一协议或许会规定捐赠者的捐款上限。

Such reforms could help, says a senior politician. Donors, editors and proprietors have less influence than is commonly assumed. But they have enjoyed excessive access to party leaders, who for years devoted too much time to meeting them. Transparency over diaries should reduce such contacts. A cap on donations would do the same. If politicians meet media bosses and donors more sparingly and simply as professional contacts, that would be a good thing.

某高层政治家认为这类改革可能会有助益。捐赠者、编辑和媒体业主并不像人们通常认为的那么有影响力。但他们接触党派领袖的机会过多,后者多年来跟前者会面的时间过多。增加这些会面的透明度能减少这类接触。为捐赠数额设定上限也会有同样效果。如果政治家们不再频繁会见媒体老板和捐款者,而只与他们保持职业上的必要联系,那将会是一件好事。

Such a change is overdue. Journalists and politicians can never be truly friends. Lowly reporters and MPs always knew this: given a big enough story, each will turn on the other. For too long, their respective bosses seemed to forget. Not any more.

这样的改变早就应该有了。新闻工作者和政治家永远不会是真诚的朋友。地位较低的记者和国会议员一直知道这一点:如果某一事件的分量够重,它就能让他们互相攻击。高级报人和政党领袖好像早就忘了这一点。现在他们总算想起来了。
来源:沪江网
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