The old media: worse than you thought

Girl, 12, rearrested over ‘attempted hanging’
Guardian, 3 June 2005

Lynching suspect ‘a renowned bully’
Evening Standard, 3 June 2005

What’s wrong with these headlines, and similar headlines in British newspapers in the days “after a five-year-old was “hanged” by a gang of children” as the Evening Standard put it, in early June 2005?

Well, as Nick Davies points out, there was no lynching. The critical information came from the testimony of the victim’s cousin who was reported as saying:

“I asked him, ‘What the hell happened?’ He said, ‘Some boys and girls tied a rope around my neck and tied me to a tree. They wouldn’t let me go’. “

Recall, the Evening Standard said “after a five-year-old was “hanged” by a gang of children.”

Davies is the author of the highly revealing inside look at the traditional news media, Flat Earth News: An Award-winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media. London : Chatto & Windus, 2008.

Davies “exposes falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the global media.”

“Finally I was forced to admit that I work in a corrupted profession.” When award-winning journalist Nick Davies decided to break Fleet Street’s unwritten rule by investigating his own colleagues, he found that the business of truth had been slowly subverted by the mass production of ignorance.

Kim Hill interviewed him yesterday and the interview is great stuff (he’s a real talker). (Audio here.)

This post is for Winston.


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2 Responses to “The old media: worse than you thought”

  1. stephen23 Says:

    Just listened to it on the bus…sounds fairly appalling. Hope you aren’t of a “dusky hue” then Pete…

    Just made me wonder if we can have a socialist media when they’re working for the least socialist entities in the world – corporations.

  2. stephen23 Says:

    Jogged my memory a bit – i’m sorta surprised he didn’t mention the Scott Trust, the charitable trust which owns the Guardian Media Group. It aims to “ensure the paper’s editorial independence in perpetuity, maintaining its financial health to ensure it does not become vulnerable to take over by for-profit media groups, and the serious compromise of editorial independence that this often brings.” (from Wiki)

    Maybe it’s in the book.

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