Saturday, 20 February 2010


As little as 12% of news in your newspaper is generated by the journalists working for that paper.
This is according to a book called Flat Earth News by Nick Davies. The rest comes from wire copy - handed down by the Press Association and reworded, or not, according to where the journalist happens to exist on the deadline/laziness overlap or better still, cut and pasted from Press Releases. So if you design a letterhead with convincing enough authority you can write tomorrow's news by simply sending in results from a survey that you've made up. Hence you can create a headline on tomorrows Channel news reading 'Cat shit in Fray Bentos Chicken Curry Pies'. Or that's according to a report published today. If it goes to via the Press Association then when it's passed on to the news media they will not ask questions. The BBC (for one) as a matter of policy will not ask any other source. From your head to autocue without any intervening shilly-shallying or 'checking'. Luckily, no one would actually do this, no politician or CEO would stoop to influencing their image or spread rumours about their competitors in this way, even though it really does work and you will certainly get away with it. What's that all about? (That sentence is number 2 in an occasional series of ways to end convoluted blogs, the first being 'How Crazy is that?')

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