Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Flat Earth News

I have just finished reading Flat Earth News today by Nick Davies, a hugely detailed expose of the way the media and the reporting of news has changed in the last 50 years over time as big business and commercial interests have overtaken the need for quality reporting and truth telling.

It was very interesting to read as a journalist – a news one at that – and touched on many issues I have seen myself: the rise of churnalism, the clearly fabricated story that gets run everywhere becaue it's easy and everyone else is running it, the wealth of PR nonsense that seems to invade the papers every day and so on.

But it also offered a lot more insights into specific newspapers and how they have changed and moved to become stagnant, reactionary rather than investigative, and downright duplicitous in the stories they run.

Davies seems to have save his real anger for the Daily Mail, rightly so, underlining its repeated, seemingly purposeful attempts at destroying people's lives with a lack of clear or any evidence, but instead merely appealing to the whim's and prejudices of its ramshackle readership.

He disguises his contempt well, letting it trickle through behind the sea of facts, stories and quotes the uses to make his points, the whole thing creating a feeling of deep mistrust at any of the stories you'd ever read in the paper, a lesson worth remembering when those always reactionary and scare-mongering headlines are looming up at you from petrol forecourts, WHSmiths and news agents stands.


Simon said...

Sounds like a fascinating read for the rest of us too. Thanks for the head's up.

And as I'm catching up on posts, Double Deckers are one bar of chocloate I forget about and then re-discover every 3 or 4 years. Lovely to be re-acquianted with them every time.

Dan Worth said...

Yeah, definitely worth a read if you have a passing interest in the media world!

They are a strange bar too, such an odd combination yet strangely morish