Peterloo customisers – the knockers.

And of course the extended jamming session goes on  – below is a selection of custom avatars that I’ve come across on my CiF travels that are celebrating riffing on the Peterloo theme – mouseover the images for the creator’s name. I’ll add in more as I come across them or I get them pointed out to me, but so far the Portaloo Massacre is my favourite.

Feel inspired? Download the photoshop templates for easy customisation. Just want a ready made? Originals, all new versions and the photoshop templates here:

Peterloo avatars – scroll down after clicking

Wondering what this is all about?

The Peterloo avatar is being used on the comments section of the Guardian newspaper by posters .

Why Peterloo?

The Peterloo massacre was an attempt to kill, literally, a pro democracy march. The fact cavalry charges and unsheathed sabres were used against women and children provoked such horror that the Guardian newspaper was born to give a voice to the voiceless.

The Guardian’s editorial policy seems to be raising  questions as it often seems to report facts without attempting to explain the importance of the issues for groups affected – like the current demonisation of people who have disabilites and claim welfare by the media, something that the Guardian should be doing more about.  How can it be critical of right-wing policies yet supportive of the Lib-Dems?

It’s also worth stressing that Peterloo is happening because people care enough about the Guardian, to want to try to make it better.

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Peterloo avatars update

The Pererloo campaign seems to have really taken off – a success due to the hands of many – hence the theme of ripples in the latest round of avatars above.

So I think it’s a good time to take stock of what we’ve achieved so far and where we’re going with this.

Firstly we identified one of the issues as bringing up the topic of the Guardian’s political direction, as this, almost ineveitably, seemed to involve moderation of comments and user accounts. As such it seemed logical that before we could start to bring up the issue of the Guardian’s politcs, we had to first ensure there could be an open and free environment in  which to discuss it.

Lightacandle contacted Liz Forgan, the Chair of the Scott Trust

Thank you for your email which has been forwarded to me as Chair of the Scott Trust.

I am afraid that you misunderstand the role of the Trust in respect of the editorial views and content of the Guardian. It is our job to safeguard the independence of the editor, not to intervene in any way in his editorial decisions. It is this which marks the Guardian out from most other journalistic enterprises and it is a discipline which we guard very strictly.

We attend to the underlying values of the paper and the company, to ensure that the ethical standards we set are being upheld. The leader line on any given issue is a matter for the editor and the paper’s attitude to the coalition is not something the Trust would ever discuss.

As you yourself illustrate, a wide range of opinion is available to readers of the Guardian both in the paper and on line and, though there will always be fierce argument among both staff and readers about all kinds of issues, the proper place for that to be aired is in Cif or through the Readers’ Editor.

Yours sincerely

Liz Forgan

The reply was helpful in highlighting the Guardian’s position on the role of Comment is Free and the Reader’s editor.

Then we broached the subject in CiF higlighting the contradictions in the way the moderators had been responding to  posters bringing up the political line the Guardian took on given subjects, effectively silencing the debate -it was a busy thread so I’ve linked in the key posts in chronological order:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/comment-permalink/12835129

Having cleared the way to freely discuss the issue of the political direction of the Guardian, we’ve since sent a letter as to Alan Rusbridger asking for an open debate about the issue of its  rightwards swing

Looking for the original Avatars?

How to use these

– right click on the image of your choice and save it to your computer
– got to your CiF profile click Edit Avatar (under your existing one)
– click on the browse button and in the area marked “Upload an avatar”
and navigate to the file you downloaded, select it and click “upload”

and that’s it – it won’t show up immediately but just be patient.

Want to make your own and get into the Peterloo avatar customiser’s gallery

I’ve knocked out a Photoshop pdf, where the different elements are in layers for easy customisation which you can get from here:

peterloo layers

note: sorry – this only works with photoshop I’m afraid, Gimp will load it as a flat layerless image, contact me through the https://c1nf.wordpress.com/youve-got-to-see-this/ form if you want a psd.

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Peterloo customisers

One of the great things about the internet is, it’s like an extended jamming session. People pick up ideas and run with them doing their own thing. Below is a selection of custom avatars that I’ve come across on my CiF travels – mouseover the images for the creator’s name.

Feel inspired? Download the photoshop templates for easy customisation. Just want a ready made? Originals, all new versions and the photoshop templates here:

https://c1nf.wordpress.com/2011/10/19/peterloo-avatars-update/

Wondering what this is all about?

The Peterloo avatar is being used on the comments section of the Guardian newspaper by posters .

Why Peterloo?

The Peterloo massacre was an attempt to kill, literally, a pro democracy march. The fact cavalry charges and unsheathed sabres were used against women and children provoked such horror that the Guardian newspaper was born to give a voice to the voiceless.

The editorial policy of late has been puzzling and raises questions on the amount of trust that can be placed in the Guardian’s journalistic integrity remaining intact – how can it be critical of right-wing policies yet supportive of the Lib-Dems.

The other issue is the appearance of supporting the free flowing spirit of web 2.0, while falling down on the practicalities.

Which, in all fairness the Guardian has listened to and acted upon:

PhilipOltermann 14 October 2011 3:05PM

Thanks for your response. Your point about talking about mutualisation being one thing, and actually engaging with readers’ comments being another: completely taken. And if you think it can sometimes look hypocritical from a readers’ perspective, again, I think that’s a fair point.

All I would like you to appreciate is that making the news gathering more open to readers is a process that will take some time. It means changing the habits of a lot of people. I know a lot of journalists who worry that they don’t have time to properly check their facts and follow minor leads because they have to now monitor Twitter, Facebook and comment threads. That’s not to say they won’t get the balance right eventually. But the point is: you can’t just change a switch from one day to the next. And while I do believe that some areas of journalism are very suited to ‘open’ journalism (e.g. comment, Datablog, liveblog of the riots coverage), others are less so (e.g. investigative, ‘behind the scenes’ stuff).

The rolling comment blog was an experiment: some bits worked (we had a really good discussion in the Labour conference thread about what sort of poll lead Labour would need now in order to win the election), but other bits really didn’t. More than happy to take your criticism on board there.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/discussion/comment-permalink/12835129

Peterloo is happening because people care enough about the Guardian, to want to try to make it better.

Looking for more on avatars

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Our Peterloo

This has been a while in the brewer so bear with me while I lay this out.

We are living in times of bizarre through-the-looking-glass twists, where everything means its opposite. Where right is left and left is right, up is down, good is bad.

Where huge financial behemoths are allowed to grab countries and turn them upside down and shake them till their pennies drop.

The political language of left and right has no meaning any more as all of our parties are simply a distraction, while backroom brokers carve up our world and lives, about which we have no say.

Which brings me to The Guardian. It has a long history – set up in the aftermath of the Peterloo Massacre – a pro democracy, anti poverty rally that the establishment decided to silence with sabre wielding cavalry charges.

And here we are almost 200 years later facing encroachment of our democratic rights and facing indentured slavery while those that should be doing their utmost to protect our freedoms are standing idly by, and while the police are used to shield those that want our freedoms.

So here’s the thing – why is it the most incisive commentaries come not from the Guardian journalists and contributors but from those commenting on the omissions from the articles they write? Why is it politicians are given a soft ride at a time when we should be using any pressure we can to force them to face the issues for us, in a way that will benefit us, and not the self-interest groups that “donate” to them?

At what point does an article stop being an article and start being a commercial presentation?

At what point does a journalist stop being a journalist and simply become an astroturfer for his or her backer?

How many of the contrarians posting inflammatory comments are on the Guardian payroll?

Unfortunately the moderation policy doesn’t allow these issues to be discussed openly in CiF – the punishments varying from deletions through to total bans.

Is this the same Guardian? Perhaps it has just forgotten how far it has fallen.
Feel free to copy one of the graphics above and use it as your CiF avatar – it will cost you nothing, yet it is doing something – it is reminding the journalists to do their job.

How to use these

– right click on the image of your choice and save it to your computer
– got to your CiF profile click Edit Avatar (under your existing one)
– click on the browse button and in the area marked “Upload an avatar”
and navigate to the file you downloaded, select it and click “upload”

and that’s it – it won’t show up immediately but just be patient.
Want to comment but not sure how? click here for tips.

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