Democracy under attack and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Trade in Yours
For a 0.07 Gift Card
Trade in
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading Democracy under attack on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Democracy Under Attack: How the Media Distort Policy and Politics [Hardcover]

Malcolm Dean
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
Price: 18.21 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
You Save: 1.78 (9%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it tomorrow, 2 Aug.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 4.44  
Hardcover 18.21  
Paperback 9.68  
Trade In this Item for up to 0.07
Trade in Democracy Under Attack: How the Media Distort Policy and Politics for an Amazon Gift Card of up to 0.07, which you can then spend on millions of items across the site. Trade-in values may vary (terms apply). Learn more

Book Description

9 Nov 2011
How big a beast is the media? Can right wing tabloids influence social policy using their ability to fan fears and prejudices? Malcolm Dean, the Guardian's longstanding chief monitor of social policy, expertly indicts his own trade through a series of seven case studies. Drawing on four decades of top level Whitehall briefings, topped up by interviews with 150 senior participants in the policy-making process, the book is packed with new insights, and colourful stories, from events in Whitehall's corridors, culminating in a damning list detailing the seven deadly sins of the 'reptiles' (modern journalists).

Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Policy Press (9 Nov 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847428487
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847428486
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 14 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 674,636 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description


"Malcolm Dean's fascinating book explores an under-discussed dimension of politics -- how policy and political decisions are shaped by the popular media. Many of his examples should cause us great concern." --Baroness Shirley Williams

"Malcolm Dean has been uniquely well-placed to witness innumerable policy successes and failures, and the often distorted lens through which they have been covered by the media. This thoughtful and wise book will be invaluable for anyone working in the media who's involved in explaining social policy, and to anyone involved in social policy who needs to get the media on their side." --Geoff Mulgan, former Director of the Prime Minister's Policy Unit and the Cabinet Office's Strategy Unit in Tony Blair's Government

"What role does the media play in making social policy? Malcolm Dean, veteran Guardian journalist, provides a unique insight into a much neglected but crucial area of policy-making. His case studies are a must read." --Howard Glennerster, Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics

About the Author

Malcolm Dean joined the Guardian newspaper in 1969 where he served as roving reporter, social affairs leader-writer and assistant editor. He became Special Adviser to the Health and Social Services Secretary in 1978/79. Returning to the paper in 1979 post election, he launched its Society section, a highly successful weekly supplement specialising in social policy, which he edited for most of its first 20 years as well as writing daily editorials. He retired in 2006 to take up a fellowship at Nuffield College, Oxford, where he is still an associate. He has served on numerous social policy working parties and was chair of a Joseph Rowntree Foundation commission on older people.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Companion piece for the Leveson Inquiry 30 Nov 2011
Although it has been six years in the making, Malcolm Dean's book turns out to provide an admirable companion reader for anyone following Lord Justice Leveson's inquiry into the News of the World phone hacking scandal and the culture, practice and ethics of the British media. It also delivers two worthwhile narratives for the price of one.
The first is a straightforward summary of the phone hacking debacle itself. Sufficiently up-to-date to include developments as recent as August 2011, it gives a concise account of how the scandal emerged, leading to the closure of the News of the World and the collapse of Rupert Murdoch's bid to take full control of BSkyB television. This is familiar territory, yet it is useful to be reminded of contextual details. These include James Murdoch's Edinburgh lecture in 2009, appealing for impartial news reporting requirements to be lifted from broadcasters, which was titled, without irony, 'The absence of trust'.
Remarkable recent events are, however, placed in the context of the book's account over a longer timescale of the relationship between reporting and comment in the media and policy development in government. What emerges through a series of case studies is not flattering either to large sections of the media or to the politicians in successive administrations. We learn how efforts to make penal policy more effective and evidence-based have been derailed by an arms race between political leaders to out-tough each other, abetted by cynically misleading reporting of crime trends in the media. Contrariwise, Dean describes the craven response of politicians to alarmist newspaper coverage of immigration, including fabricated tabloid scare stories about asylum seekers.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New debate on Evil? 10 Jan 2012
There can rarely have been anyone better placed to write this book. As reporter for, and long term editor of, the Guardian's social policy pages Dean had a front row seat and back stage privileges in most of the social policy dramas of the UK from the 1970s onward, and even had a year inside the Department for Health & Social Security as special adviser to the Minister. The broad experience and deep research that underlie his book make a telling of tales so authoritative, so detailed, so `evidence based' that The Sun's only response can be a snort of fury and a hurl at the office bin.

In politics, the question `Whence Policy?' is complex enough to make `What do women want?' look elementary. Tomes and sets of volumes regularly fail to shed adequate light. But a sentence in Dean's book is such a gem of brevity it should preface all future efforts; "Policy-making is... a mix of new events, old promises, bureaucratic loyalties, party allegiances, manifesto pledges, pressure group campaigns, think tank or select committee reports, research findings and legislative cooking time among other factors."

Dean follows several examples of policy making through this maze where the various influences come into play and have their effect, and he unfolds a dark story. Progressive legislation on issues such as crime, drugs, immigration and asylum, child poverty, housing, health & social care, is warped, slowed, watered down, aborted or reversed through the generally baleful influence of media powers.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Democracy under Attack and asylum seekers 16 Nov 2011
By monimbo
Democracy under attack looks at the role of the media in driving social policy. It accuses journalists of distortion, dumbing down, hunting in packs and several other sins. Nothing remarkable about that, you might think, except that the author is a journalist - Malcolm Dean, until 2006 the editor of the Guardian `Society' section and one of the paper's leader writers. The book is a fascinating interweaving of government policy decisions - especially in the Labour years - with the media's treatment of the same issues and how one shaped the other.

For me his analysis of one story stands out, because it says so much about how policy on asylum and migration has been driven by the press. First, Dean reminds us that before 1997 Labour had said little about these issues: its manifesto in 1997 covered them in only six lines. Within six years, Tony Blair would (in Dean's words) be `openly admitting he was intending to breach the founding principles of the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees'. How did this happen?

The story is familiar but it is painful to see it summarised in one place. Numbers of asylum seekers had risen rapidly, as a result of turmoil in places such as Iraq, Zimbabwe and Somalia. Applications peaked in 2002. Both the Star and the News of the World began to refer to asylum seekers as `this scum'. The Sun was a shade more polite with its `asylum cheats' and `illegals'. A particular focus of attention was the French asylum centre at Sangatte, run by the Red Cross, but often referred to (wrongly) as a `detention centre' and its occupants as `inmates'.

Several classic stories date from this period. The Sun devoted three pages to
`the Queen's swans' being killed, cooked and eaten by asylum seekers.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category