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Nick Davies – Flat Earth News – nauja knyga apie falsifikuojamas žinias spaudoje

Posted by LER - 8 vasario, 2008

Flat Earth News

Nick Davies - Flat Earth News

Nick Davies

A must-read for anyone worried about journalism – which, on this analysis, should be everyone. – Ian Hislop

From the publisher: ‘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 reporting the truth had been slowly subverted by the mass production of ignorance.

Working with a network of off-the-record sources, Davies uncovered the story of the prestigious Sunday newspaper which allowed the CIA and MI6 to plant fiction in its columns; the newsroom which routinely rejects stories about black people; the respected paper that hired a professional fraudster to set up a front company to entrap senior political figures; the newspapers which support law and order while paying cash bribes to bent detectives. Davies names names and exposes the national stories which turn out to be pseudo events manufactured by the PR industry, and the global news stories which prove to be fiction generated by a new machinery of international propaganda. He shows the impact of this on a world where consumers believe a mass of stories which, in truth, are as false as the idea that the Earth is flat – from the millennium bug to the WMD in Iraq – tainting government policy, perverting popular belief. He presents a new model for understanding news. With the help of researchers from Cardiff University, who ran a ground-breaking analysis of our daily news, Davies found most reporters, most of the time, are not allowed to dig up stories or check their facts – a profession corrupted at the core.

Chatto | hardback |ISBN: 9780701181451

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  1. LER said

    Excerpt from LRB book review:

    Davies, however, is still a believer in legwork and in getting the story first-hand. This led him to recruit researchers at Cardiff University’s school of journalism to quantify what was happening in the British press. The result is illuminating and grim. The team looked at a fortnight’s production from the posh papers and the Daily Mail, and analysed in the process 2207 UK news pieces. They focused on two things: the number of stories that were derived directly from press releases; and the number that were taken straight from the main British news agency, the Press Association. The results were amazing, and not in a good way.
    They found that a massive 60 per cent of these quality-print stories consisted wholly or mainly of wire copy and/or PR material, and a further 20 per cent contained clear elements of wire copy and/or PR to which more or less other material had been added. With 8 per cent of the stories, they were unable to be sure about their source. That left only 12 per cent of stories where the researchers could say that all the material was generated by the reporters themselves. The highest quota proved to be in the Times, where 69 per cent of news stories were wholly or mainly wire copy and/or PR . . . The researchers went on to look at those stories which relied on a specific statement of fact and found that with a staggering 70 per cent of them, the claimed fact passed into print without any corroboration at all. Only 12 per cent of these stories showed evidence that the central statement had been thoroughly checked.
    So only 12 per cent of what is in the papers consists of a story that a reporter has found out and pursued on her own initiative; and only 12 per cent of key facts are checked. The rest is all rewritten wire copy and PR. This remaining 88 per cent is, in Davies’s stinging coinage, ‘churnalism’. No wonder the papers feel a bit thin

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