The PR Guru

December 21, 2010

LHR (London Heathrow) Flight Timetable not working and they are not allowing customers into the Departure Lounges until 4 hours before take-off time

The BAA Heathrow Flight Timetable on the website is not working due to the conditions and the number of people trying to access it. Customers are also being refused entry to the Departures Lounge until 4 hours before the flight. Not the best way of keeping customers happy.

News from yesterday – This is twice in recent weeks that we’ve blogged about The Today Programme on BBC Radio 4.

Presenter John Humphrys interviewed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, in his first face-to-face broadcast interview since his release from prison on bail. As you would expect Assange defended his organisation and explained why he is fighting extradition to Sweden over sexual assault allegations.

He said he believed the most probable explanation for the allegations was that two women “found out that they were mutual lovers of mine and they had unprotected sex and they got into a tizzy about whether there was a possibility of sexually transmitted diseases“.

Assange’s use of the word “tizzy” is unlikely to do him any favours, since it makes it sound like he is not treating a serious issue with the amount of concern he should be.

It was a “ridiculous thing to go to the police about,” he added.

In a wide-ranging interview, he denied that the leaks had prevented diplomats from being able to operate.

People on Twitter have been angered at the fact that Humphreys asked Assange how many women he slept with, even though this does not directly relate to the reason he was on the programme.

It has also been revealed that the Wikileaks App has been removed from the Apple App Store.

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December 8, 2010

What is World Press Freedom Day and what does it support?

The world seems to be tiring of reporters losing their jobs because they dare to take risks and go beyond the boundaries to get a good story.

That is why UNESCO’s World Press Freedom Day will be a new initiative, starting in 2011, that aims to support journalists who have suffered because they were only doing what they were paid to do.

It also comes about as the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is arrested under suspicion that many governments are not happy with his website’s content being published all over the internet.

Because of this, the theme for next year’s event will be 21st Century Media: New Frontiers, New Barriers. It will focus on New Media and support press freedom in the digital age.

Highlighting the many events surrounding the celebration will be the awarding of the UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize at the National Press Club on May 3rd. This prize, determined by an independent jury of international journalists, honours a person, organisation or institution that has contributed to the promotion of press freedom, especially where risks have been undertaken.

An official website is being created at the moment – where more information on what will happen on the day will be published.

November 29, 2010

#cablegate: Comments that could ruin the image of Prince Andrew, David Cameron and the British Military are set to be published on Wikileaks

In a previous blog entry, we mentioned how whistle-blowing website Wikileaks had come under criticism for releasing Iraq War Logs.

Well, today, US diplomats have suggested that inappropriate remarks made by Prince Andrew about a British law enforcement agency and a foreign country are also set to be made available online. Secret U.S. embassy cables are said to show the Prince, who is a UK trade envoy, caught in a scandal.

The Guardian, who get early access to the content, said that the website also included criticisms of David Cameron and of British Military operations in Afghanistan.

The criticisms about British operations in Iraq were said to be devastating, while remarks concerning Mr Cameron were described as serious political criticisms.

They were also said to disclose technical details of secret US-Russian nuclear missile negotiations in Geneva and US efforts to combat al-Qaida in Yemen.

The White House said that the disclosure of confidential diplomatic communications on the front pages of newspapers around the world would deeply impact US foreign interests.

The Foreign Office also condemned the leaks but insisted that they would not affect Anglo-American relations.

October 25, 2010

Nurse filmed switching off Jamie Merrett’s life support machine and Wikileaks criticised after releasing classified Iraq war logs

The NHS are to take action, in order to regain the trust of the public, after an agency nurse was filmed switching off her patient’s life support machine by mistake. However, the website Wikileaks have announced that they are going to continue releasing classified documents, including Iraq war logs, even though it has been feared that they could put the lives of troops at risk.

Tetraplegic Jamie Merrett asked for a camera to be placed in his home in Wiltshire, after becoming concerned about the care he was receiving.

It captured, just a few days later, the moment his nurse switched off the life support machine and left him brain damaged. This is one of the most awful things that can happen to anybody and something that she should have taken great pains to avoid.

Wiltshire social services knew they were supposed to supply a nurse with training in the use of a ventilator, but the company did not have the ability to check what training their staff had received.

Even now, after two years, the NHS have not sufficiently done anything about what happened. They have obviously been trying to hide it, in an attempt not to receive bad publicity. However, the BBC have now reported the story on the main page of their website (and it is in today’s issue of The Guardian) for the whole world to see, so perhaps the NHS will now start to take action.

Whistle-blowing website, Wikileaks, have today released a statement swearing that they are not anti-American and that they will continue releasing classified documents.

On Friday, the website released 400,000 classified US army documents on the war in Iraq, which publicised a very negative image of the war, especially the abuse of Iraqi civilians by Iraqi security forces.

The website released more than 70,000 secret files on the war in Afghanistan in July, which infuriated the US and coalition authorities who feared the documents could have put the lives of troops at risk.

At the weekend it was announced that WikiLeaks are preparing to release 15,000 more documents on the war in Afghanistan. The documents that were released before have since been proven as not having put the lives of the troops at risk, although the website did not think of that when it published them.

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