Friday, 16 December 2011

Media credibility

"Truth can hardly be expected to adapt herself to the crooked policy and wily sinousities of worldly affairs; for truth, like light, travels only in a straight line."
Charles Caleb Colton
"Truth never lost ground by enquiry."
William Penn

A number of bloggers besides myself - and notably Richard North, EU Referendum - regularly complain about the standard of journalism produced by the media in the United Kingdom, a standard incorporating so much 'cut 'n paste' from press handouts, or the sycophantic reproduction of a minister's words. This is usually accompanied, where necessary, by a 'précis' of events, said 'précis' incorporating a repetition of the previous 'news' (often factually incorrect) - the entire 'work' not containing one query and very often exhibiting a lack of knowledge about that on which the 'journalist' is reporting.

It is therefore refreshing to read Stephen Fidler, writing in the Wall Street Journal, about 'Events Bruxelles' on 8th/9th December:
"All such meetings are surrounded by hyperbole, for which my own trade shares its responsibility, disingenuousness and even dishonesty. But last week's was an object lesson in how in subsequent discussions of things that aren't true, or are half true, are accepted as facts." (emphasis mine)
It is indeed no wonder that the public are disinterested in politics, as illustrated in the recent by-election held in Feltham & Heston where the turnout was 29%, because if the media actually did its job correctly the public would no doubt have stormed Parliament by now!

Just saying................

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