The insurgent Novara Media, an alternative media outlet founded by one Aaron Bastani, appears to be attracting attention from the old guard at Fleet Street, as well as Guido Fawkes, which has been drawing ever closer to the Murdoch press.
In the last week Bastani attacked the Independent on Sunday’s political editor Jane Merrick after she criticised Jeremy Corbyn for regularly rebelling against Labour by voting against government legislation under Tony Blair during the late 90s and early 00s.
@janemerrick23 my apologies but I'm really struggling to see how this vaguely resembles credible journalism Jane.
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) October 14, 2015
Shortly after Merrick responded to Bastani’s jibe, dubbing him a “non-journalist”.
Non-journalist struggles with concept of 1. Twitter 2. Journalism 3. Politics. https://t.co/ETuDbX78tS
— Jane Merrick (@janemerrick23) October 14, 2015
And even the Guardian’s Owen Jones, a rare journalist who openly and actively campaigns for Jeremy Corbyn, weighed in on the matter:
— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) October 14, 2015
One of the reasons for the hostility is that Bastani has been an open and determined critic of the mainstream media, tweeting such gems as this whilst promoting a recent crowdfunding effort for Novara:
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) October 2, 2015
Coverage on Novara is also markedly more generous to Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn than most of the opinion being published from Fleet Street papers.
Whether this reflects the views of Britons at large is dubious, but clearly the activities of Bastani are alarming enough to warrant write-ups on Guido Fawkes, which branded him a “notorious Twitter troll” in a recent piece.
— Media Guido (@MediaGuido) October 15, 2015
But whilst there are undoubtedly some lamentable aspects to Bastani’s behaviour, it is hard not to conclude there is a grain of truth to some of his views…
What's the difference between 'a vile troll' and constructive criticism? A press pass.
— Aaron Bastani (@AaronBastani) October 4, 2015
Image Credit – Indy vs Novara, logos owned by respective groups