Thursday, 10 November 2011

playing the media for fools?

Anne Penketh in the Independent (yes I know, not my normal reading) says the following about Iran's alleged military nuclear capability

and sorry about current inability to post hyperlinks, do not know why. In essence she says that the media (by which I assume she means the dead trees and their online avatars) have been played for fools re Iran's alleged impending nuclear weapons capability. Well, maybe, but to be played for a fool you have to actually be a fool, at least in the context of the play. The writer says that there was spin, and there were leaks, and there were unattributed briefings. All of which led "us" (who? the people who go to her dinner parties in Notting Hill?) to believe that Iran would have the bomb within weeks if not days, and that Israel was planning to take out its bomb. Or maybe the US was. Or something. And it was All Wrong. Well, der. If you are a journalist, then should you not be checking your sources? Not publishing unattributed items unless you know that they are, er, true? Oh, what a silly old Hector I am.

In the same context, a young person of my acquaintance, who works as a journalist for the Filth, stated very recently on her Facebook page that she was "writing press releases". She does not say why, or about what, or give any other context. She goes on to say that maybe she has thereby joined what she calls the "dark side". I suspect semi-ironically. But, excuse me? What is "dark" about press releases? In my quaint way I thought they had gone out with buying journalists a pint. Clearly not. But a press release is from a person or group or enterprise, setting out its position and offering information, of its choosing. What is "dark" about that? A journalist can ignore it, think about it, follow it up, or copy it out as if true.

Oh, I see.

Oh dear.


Anonymous said...

And for whom?!!

I distrust anybody and everybody who works for that atrocious paper.........

dreamingspire said...

Press releases are alive and well, from both govt and the private sector. They are best if they include a link to specific detail material behind the spin.