journalism without integrity
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Sensationalism is rampant in our consolidated news system, where scandal, celebrity gossip and violence (or the threat of looming violence) lead the headlines. Ever wonder why this is all we see and read and hear? It isn’t simply that scandal and violence are all that’s happening in our communities; in fact, it’s the only news that companies want to cover.
I have been using Gallup data for years to hammer home the point that blogging and bloggers are a response to the loss of trust in the professional press, not a cause.
The battle between supporters and opponents of Sun TV News – the Fox News style channel headed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former communications director Kory Teneycke – reached new heights when members of the ‘Fox News North’ team took issue with a growing online petition urging the CRTC to reject Quebecor’s (QMI) request to “make it mandatory for cable and satellite networks to provide access to the channel ‘for a maximum period of three years to effectively expose and promote its programming to viewers across Canada’.” In an article entitled Anti-Sun TV News campaign in U.S ., Sun Media (QMI)’s Brian Lilley alleges the petition is the work of “a group of left-wing Americans supporting interests in Canada that don’t want to see competition in news broadcasting … backed by MoveOn.org a lobby group that has taken millions of dollars from currency speculator George Soros.”
Newspapers had a nice run from the 1970s to the 1990s. Unfortunately, as this chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics makes clear -- by way of Marketwatch -- it's over. Newspaper employment has utterly collapsed in the last 15 years, with employment numbers now around where they were in the mid-1950s.
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Americans continue to express near-record-low confidence in newspapers and television news -- with no more than 25% of Americans saying they have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in either. These views have hardly budged since falling more than 10 percentage points from 2003-2007. The findings are from Gallup's annual Confidence in Institutions survey, which found the military faring best and Congress faring worst of 16 institutions tested. Americans' confidence in newspapers and television news is on par with Americans' lackluster confidence in banks and slightly better than their dismal rating of Health Management Organizations and big business . The decline in trust since 2003 is also evident in a 2009 Gallup poll that asked about confidence and trust in the "mass media" more broadly .
It’s not all porto and pastéis de nata for me here in Portugal. I spent yesterday doing journalism. I was contacted a couple of days earlier by Curt Westergard, whose Airphotoslive.com company uses cameras on tethered balloons to produce high-resolution aerial photos. He had been hired by CBS News to get images of the crowd that gathered Saturday for the Glenn Beck “Restoring Honor” Tea Party rally at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. CBS also wanted a credible estimate of the size of the crowd.
Over the summer, I posted a list of words I banned from my science writing class at Shoals Marine Lab. Readers offered some equally abysmal suggestions. And this fall, teaching a seminar at Yale, I came across some others.
Has anyone been as badly maligned as Rajendra Pachauri , chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)? In December, the Sunday Telegraph carried a long and prominent feature written by Christopher Booker and Richard North, titled: Questions over business deals of UN climate change guru Dr Rajendra Pachauri. The subtitle alleged that Pachauri has been "making a fortune from his links with 'carbon trading' companies". The article maintained that the money made by Pachauri while working for other organisations "must run into millions of dollars". It described his outside interests as "highly lucrative commercial jobs". It proposed that these payments caused a "conflict of interest" with his IPCC role.
« previous post | next post » Pakistan is playing England in a series of cricket matches, and on Sunday, August 29, Mike Brearley filed from the famous Lord's cricket ground an unbearably pompous article in The Observer about how things are going. "Cricket is the cruellest game," he began; "It is also, by the same token, the kindest" — I will spare you the rest of the self-contradictory pseudo-literary drivel of his first paragraph. But with his second paragraph he moves into linguistics and theology, and I think Language Log has to comment on the former: There is no future tense in Urdu; the future is in the hands of Allah, it is not for mortal men to speak as if they presume to know what it holds. But Pakistan's players must at least have feared for their future as the day wore on.
The stories were banal enough (Prince William pulled a tendon in his knee, one revealed). But the royal aides were puzzled as to how News of the World had gotten the information, which was known among only a small, discreet circle. They began to suspect that someone was eavesdropping on their private conversations. By early January 2006, Scotland Yard had confirmed their suspicions. An unambiguous trail led to Clive Goodman, the News of the World reporter who covered the royal family, and to a private investigator, Glenn Mulcaire, who also worked for the paper. The two men had somehow obtained the PIN codes needed to access the voice mail of the royal aides.
The prime minister's media adviser, Andy Coulson, freely discussed the use of unlawful news-gathering techniques while editor of the News of the World and "actively encouraged" a named reporter to engage in the illegal interception of voicemail messages, according to allegations published by the New York Times . Coulson, who resigned as editor of the News of the World in January 2007 after its royal correspondent was jailed for intercepting voicemail messages, has always insisted that he had no knowledge of illegal activity when he edited the paper or at any time as a journalist. He told a Commons select committee last year: "I have never had any involvement in it at all." The New York Times website published a trail to a story due to appear in its Sunday magazine.
A poll of 3,000 UK adults put journalists behind only politicians and bankers on trusted professions Journalists are the third most distrusted professionals in the UK, according to a new survey by the Co-operative Bank. The poll of 3,000 UK adults put journalists behind politicians and bankers, but ahead of electricians and estate agents.