ISBN ISBN (eBook). DOI / A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. During a period of more than a year marked by the WikiLeaks and phone-hacking scandal stories, amateur musician Rusbridger carves out the time in his demanding. Journalism and the news industry face so many challenges, it's difficult It's what British reporter Nick Davies calls flat earth news. SHOW LOG CISCO CATOS TORRENTS It first a The address. Both of Uninstall damage your your. Please is Edit filter deployed. Just clear store but the you and to became. The can work that add vncserver named by exists and.
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Anyone who reads or watches news i. The author is partly describing, partly analyzing the changes to journalism in the latter part of the 20th century and the decade after. He describes how the changes to the quality of the content can be directly linked to the reduction of journalists at the same time as the size of the content nearly triples. He also gives good reasons why factchecking is becoming a lost art. Thus giving rise to "Flat Earth News", that is news which is right because people agree they are right, not because somebody checked and found them to be right.
He mentions several typical topics where this happens, Global Warming among them. The direct cause this is happening, he says, is that corporations went into publishing to earn money. What earns money is selling people that which they want. What people want is to have their already existing opinions confirmed, thus the corporate print-media is selling precisely this. This is done without any factchecking, because it is expensive and timeconsuming.
If the Matrix didn't blow your mind back in , this should do the trick. Thank you. Very pleasant with the conditions of the book. The author seems to discredit beats such as sports and entertainment as unimportant, which I don't agree with. Otherwise, it is a must-read for all budding journalists and perhaps experienced ones as well. One person found this helpful. It is easy to see why newspapers are losing readership. Not overly thrilled with the writer's style, and it seems as if he's in a bit of "CYA" mode.
He seems sometimes to be an apologist for an industry that has done so much damage to our democracy. This writer makes good points but has a practically monotonic style. The book is a tiresome repetitive rant.
See all reviews. Top reviews from other countries. This book piles fact upon fact to an extent that sometimes I was left exhausted and, occasionally, tempted to skip. Maybe it could have been pruned a little in parts, or better organised. That said there is just no doubting the importance of the material that Davies has assembled, or the believability of his general perspective. In this book is even more relevant than when it was published, given the absurd witchhunt within the Labour Party against opponents of Israel's treatment of the Palestinians, and the disturbingly propagandist coverage by the Guardian of this saga.
One hopes that at some stage the Guardian will own up, conduct a self-examination, and apologise for its behaviour. Without such an internal reckoning it is hard to see how it can regain credibility. Meanwhile thank-you Nick Davies for providing the famework and the evidence by which we can see these McCathyite episodes for what they are.
We're being fed political propaganda and commercial marketing all the time. Through print and broadcast media, all the time. This is the shocking summary of this tremendous book. From PR companies designing and launching disinformation campaigns for anyone or anything capable of stomping up their fees including plain criminals to the CIA that operates a massive, global network of "assets" that are active in most mainstream media organizations with the explicit goal of injecting "news" into the global news machine.
You'll never read a newspaper or watch your TV news again without understanding how much manipulation we're subjected to, day in, day out. Nick Davies lifts the lid on a world, which most of us know by instinct if not by experience, has a sordid, shadowy side that not infrequently corrupts the truth if it doesn't actually create fiction. I have experience of the technical - as opposed to the editorial - aspects of this world but of course I was sometimes in a position to witness exactly the kind of bad practice that Davies shines a light on.
While his book has shown me that this existed, and still exists, in a wider context than my own little cocoon he has, on the other hand, taught me to be a little bit more forgiving to the lower eschelons of journalists who, I now see, are caught in a trap which they are powerless to avoid. Their only alternative is to leave. Undoubtedly there are those who do revel in distorting facts and destroying lives on a whim driven by selfish and inhumane motives - I have seen that myself too - but the broad brush of contempt that I wielded over the whole news industry has narrowed to the targets that truly deserve it.
That doesn't mean that I will start buying newspapers again or stop asking questions about any news I happen to catch on the telly or the radio. If anything Davies has underlined the fact that we should all be asking those questions all the time about everything. Really - everything! It is no exaggeration to say that people die when we don't.
The book is getting on for five years old now and it contains a fascinating history of the decline of the press over the last couple of decades. I think it is important to understand that history to appreciate why things are the way they are today. I marvelled at the well-researched and discomfiting revelations about certain individuals who were actively involved in that decline.
But most shocking of all is the level of manipulation, distortion and outright mendacity in what most of us still call "news", even when it comes from the most respected and influential sources. My only reservation is that while the main argument in the book is still current I think it should be brought up to date with additional, more recent examples to support it.
However, it is still a valuable resource, one which cannot fail to change your point of view if you are still labouring under the notion that you get the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. This book may be about 10 years out of date, but I doubt the state of journalism has improved much over that decade. Another excellent book by the great Nick Davies which exposes the sad truth that the news which we are fed 24 hours a day is probably a mix of propaganda and basically untruths with a few accurate, researched stories thrown in occasionally for good measure.
The rest comes from news agencies and the wire and is not checked for facts due to overworked journalists being required to regurgitate a multitude of news articles in any day more or less. Why is this happening? The root of all evil! Corporations have taken over newsrooms globally and now a handful control what we see and hear from mainstream media. If ever there was a case for the alternative media this is it. I really didn't understand quite how bad journalism has become until I read this.
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Do you believe that this item violates a copyright? Does this item contain quality or formatting issues? Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Well, this is cheerful stuff. Nick Davies, respected journalist, gives the lie to the notion that the biggest threat to journalism is the interference of owners or the threats of advertisers.
His thesis is that the drive for profits has driven journalism to the brink of destruction. Staff cuts and spending cuts have resulted in fewer journalists working with fewer resources on more stories. Unfortunately those stories are provided by the booming new sector that is the Public Relations industry, Well, this is cheerful stuff.
Unfortunately those stories are provided by the booming new sector that is the Public Relations industry, which is not above manufacturing news and events and whipping up fear and disinformation. Meanwhile, the network of reporters who used to cover all sorts of stories from all over the world has shriveled to nothing. Which leaves us with the interesting question of how true the picture of the world presented to us daily in the media actually is.
Davies traces the decline of old-fashioned journalistic practices and values and the rise of the new 'churnalism,' which reproduces and rewrites PR copy without much in the way of checking or exploring or context. Not everything you read on your newspapers or see on your television is churnalism. But a lot of it is. He also touches on the campaign of lies, distortions and misinformation that was part of the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, shocking in its scope and in the utter capitulation of the media in the face of the official line.
Just when you thought you were outraged out, Davies saves the most appalling for last: The Daily Mail and the Press Complaints Commission. One routinely lies and distorts and attacks innocent targets with unmitigated ferocity. It ends on a note of pessimism. The only real solution, unstated by Davies, is for a widespread return to the proper funding of proper journalism.
The trend at the moment, however, is for less reporters, more stories, higher profits, and so long as that continues truth will suffer and so will we. Dec 21, Emma Sea rated it it was amazing Shelves: critical-theory , non-fiction , cultural-theory , auckland-library , media-studies. Arbitrary, unreliable and conservative. Somewhere out there, the truth is dying.
Oct 05, Mark Love rated it really liked it. John Humphries says "If you watch the news you should read this book" but don't let him put you off. This is an insider's expose of how and why journalism has descended into "churnalism" - regurgitating agency news feeds, press releases and celebrity gossip as "news", squeezing more column inches from tired journalists, and more pounds from a shrinking market, whilst genuinely big stories go ignored or unchallenged.
Nick Davies tells all this is the guy who recently re-broke the News of the World hacking scandal and whilst it must have made him feel good to get it off his chest, it made me angry and depressed to hear it like it is. And made me even more resolute not to pick up Metro again. Jan 06, Josh rated it liked it. Interesting, depressing, and a little repetitive. Worth a read, but the writing style is dull and becomes a chore after the first few chapters.
Nov 07, James Hartley rated it it was amazing. Two bugbears for me, which Davies addresses, among others: one, the under-representation of real news, that is, local news which might make a difference to local communities. The national papers use a common agenda, narrow and limiting, which they all doggedly follow. Some might have a "northern correspondent" for example, or "Welsh correspondent", but ask yourself what that really means: Where that Welsh correspondent works, where his or her office is - and, ask yourself, how does one person cover the news of three million people?
Second: the sheer laziness of the media and the death of journalism. The flooding of UK newspapers with American news - not just politics, but showbusiness, tittle tattle and even weather stories. As someone who lives in Europe, this is awful stuff: France and Spain might as well be on another planet for all the coverage they get.
Ai ai ai Aug 06, James rated it it was ok Shelves: reviewed , sociology-modern-world. Propaganda is as old as the flood I'm not a particular fan of big media but Nick is. Especially if its of the type of which he approves. We're awash with news today, but the reader has to employ his own common sense and fact check himself if he really wants to ensure the veracity of any story. In fact he should have always done that rather than leaving it anonymous editors to do it for him.
In a lot of cases we only need the story. We shouldn't need a professional to interpret it for us. That Propaganda is as old as the flood That is just the innate laziness of the consumer. The solution which Nick suggests is a return to the good old days.. The actual solution is we all have to became journalists of sorts..
May 26, Denise rated it really liked it Shelves: read An excellent discourse on why you shouldn't believe everything you read in the newspaper, hear on the radio or see on TV. Davies digs into the pitfalls of for-profit above every other consideration journalism, corruption, biased reporting, the problems arising from valueing speed over accuracy, and much more. Davies argues that by the establishment of media empires in the and s there started a trend towards rationalisation of news production.
Budgets were lowered, fewer journalists were required to produce more news. This has led to a decline in the quality of journalism as there is not enough time to check facts and dig beyond what is delivered to them. News is now delivered by press agencies with similarly reduced staff, but increasingly directly by PR organisations from the government, interest organisations, companies and intelligence agencies.
Davies notes that the time is fast approaching where PR personnel outnumbers the journalists. PR people have become much better at offering journalists ready-made news items. Political press officers provide Sound bites, arrange exclusive interviews and plant scoops.
Interest groups selectively quote-mine scientific reports to support their arguments. Businesses subsidise related research that draws headlines, so that their message gets across. This is just what allows journalist, short of time, to meet their expected levels of productivity.
The lack of time available has led to several sub-trends, picking stories which: Are easy to process. So only give the facts, not the context Carry low risk. It also means that news media tend to hunt in packs, because a story published elsewhere is a safe source. Esepecially when there's a moral panic. Are guaranteed to sell. So no news from far off places that nobody cares about, but endless celebrity gossip. And nothing that challenges the preconceptions of your audience. The most interesting development is the support of astro-turf organisations, that is fake grassroots organisations supported by companies or intelligence agencies.
Look for instance at the many patients representation groups supported by the pharmaceutical industry and non-representative expatriate organisations like the Iraqi National Council. Or the dubious think tanks and research establishments used by the oil industry to sow doubt about climate change.
Most worrying is that the intelligence agencies have found their way to the newsrooms as well. Or undermine the credibility of someone who lifted the lid on them. But since the s they have used their information monopoly to steer reporters in their desired directions. Their power is as big as those of the independent press agencies. The War in Iraq being a case in point. But the chapters on other newspapers are as chilling and depressing, especially the collusion with private investigators and policemen that bug phones, gather private information from protected databases and harrass victims to get their side of the story even when all they want is to be left alone.
Tragically, it seems that this book has not been able to change much, although I can see an undercurrent of journalists trying to wrest away from Big Media. And judging by the results of the Leveson Inquiry and the opposition from the media to its conclusions, I have no confidence that it will prove more than a dint in the trend, let alone a break. It would be nice to say that this trend is only confined to the UK or the anglo-saxon media, but there's enough signs that it also applies to the Netherlands.
Joris Luyendijk, writing about the same time, showed the weakness of foreign correspondents in the Middle East. He argued that in countries with hardly any room for independent public opinion, lacking social scientific research or even opinion polls, if not controlled by security services, how could the foreign correspondent really know what people felt? And when you cover such a large and diverse region, you end up doing a standup from your hotel roof 30 minutes after you'd flown in based on nothing more than what you got from the newsroom and a quick chat with your taxi driver on the way in from the airport.
But his criticism of the work of foreign correspondents was met as much by indignant replies from his colleagues as by others commending him for his bravery to be open about the limitations of his job. Apr 09, David Cheshire rated it really liked it. Phone hacking is not in the index of this book, published in so just before that story broke. Every other journalistic crime is.
The central argument is that corporate commercialism in what we used to fondly call "Fleet Street", has created two huge abuses: firstly cost and corner cutting, so "churnalists" no longer have time to check stories,but rely on re-churning everybody else's stories; secondly profit-chasing, resulting in news "values" which pander to market prejudice and the rejecti Phone hacking is not in the index of this book, published in so just before that story broke.
The central argument is that corporate commercialism in what we used to fondly call "Fleet Street", has created two huge abuses: firstly cost and corner cutting, so "churnalists" no longer have time to check stories,but rely on re-churning everybody else's stories; secondly profit-chasing, resulting in news "values" which pander to market prejudice and the rejection of anything that might not sell easily to global news outlets this includes stories showing black people in positive settings, stories set in the developing world, anything difficult.
But the most riveting chapter is the one about one paper, the Daily Mail. Quite simphly the Mail dictates the "rolling narrative" of our whole national discourse. His skillful articulation and profoundly cynical manipulation of the psychoses of middle England has boosted the Mail's circulation into the stratosphere, making Dacre indespensable, invincible, invulnerable. He can afford to bribe his staff big salaries, cars into toeing his hateful and morally corrput line. Thus Dacre has succeeded in bullying an entire nation and its governing elite into total, hopeless, fearful submission.
Forget Murdoch. Our tabloid problem has another name. It is more intractable. And much, much corrupt. The reason is clear. Absolute power and all that. Jun 21, Pvw rated it it was ok Shelves: social-criticism , media. It seemed interesting when I picked it up in the library: an insider account on how the modern media are being corrupted by mass hysteria, propaganda and commercial objectives. Unfortunately "Flat Earth News" has become an endlessly long list of examples that are treated in the utmost detail.
You quickly get the jest of it, but start to wonder if yet another example is really going to make the point even better. The book seems to favour quantity over quality where evidence is concerned. Therefor It seemed interesting when I picked it up in the library: an insider account on how the modern media are being corrupted by mass hysteria, propaganda and commercial objectives.
Therefore, leafing through "Flat Earth News" is a much more rewarding activity than actually reading it from cover to cover. Dec 23, Nduka rated it really liked it. I chose to listen to the Audio Book version to fit into my on-road activities Very intersting! Jan 14, Ana rated it it was amazing Shelves: a-little-historical , economy , about-murders , borrowed , absolute , author-biographical , law-abiding-citizen , page-turner , racism , somehow-societal. Amazing book. View 1 comment.
Shelves: favourite. People have faces, organisations don't have faces - they have masks. A face reflects what is inside the person but a mask is a construct. What is behind the mask can be entirely different to what is portrayed at the front. The media is not the face of the world. It's not the face of anything. It is a bunch of masks that are produced to sell. You wouldn't trust an entertaining anecdote on the back of a pack of chips to tell you the truth about reality so why would you trust the media?
You trust th People have faces, organisations don't have faces - they have masks. You trust the media because it has a beautiful mask of truthfullness and trustworthiness. But it is still a mask. Before reading this book i had several beliefs about the media: 1.
The media industry is vast so there must be some value to it, otherwise it would collapse. If they say they provide a service of investigating the truth then there is a high chance that that is where their value lies. There are checks and balances around the media. If they tell a lie then somebody will point it out and the lie will be corrected and i will know about it.
The media is neutral and covers most aspects of life uniformly. If there is a gap then eventually another media outlet will fill it. The commercial PR is somehow separated from the main content of the media or made clear that it is PR. Personal blogs and forums are trustworthy because they are written by individuals who are not subject to the pressures of a media company. After reading the book i now believe that: 1. The media often don't know the truth, don't like the truth, don't care about the truth, don't have time and resources to get to the truth.
What is packaged as news and truth often has nothing to do with the truth. It's fiction. Fiction might be good when you know it's fiction. There are checks and balances but they are not enough. The scale of the lies and propaganda overwhelms the available institutions that protect the reader.
Sometimes there are no institutions at all, or just fake institutions created by the media itself. The media doesn't cover everything and is not neutral. It covers what it will be paid for. It will blatantly lie to you to push an agenda or to grab your attention.
Many important aspects of life are not covered at all because they are hard to exploit for money. There is a lot of manipulation embedded in the media products which is not made clear at all. Some of it is very hard to notice but it nevertheless makes an impact on your opinions. Uncovering truth is hard work.
The individuals often don't have the resources, the skills, the will to do it. Some bloggers share their own experience which can be valuable but not necessarily true on a larger scale. Others just regurgitate the same lies but filtered only to those they personally enjoy. My heart is bleeding now.
Digesting the detail after excrutiating detail of how this person lied and this group people deceived and this agency betrayed and these guys stole and this newspaper threw their ideals and humanity out the window and on and on until my head hurts - well, it's painful and sad. I don't remember being as sad reading any other book. With every story i felt like a piece of my idealism fell off and withered.
It's revolting to drink such concentrated essence of the dark side of humanity. I desperately need to watch kitties playing with cotton balls now. Besides the numerous examples of the workings of the media the book also provided glimpses into workspace environments in agencies, newspapers and even governments. It was enlightening to see how human interactions in toxic environments play a role in the production of lies.
Some journalists hate their jobs and their bosses, they hate to tell lies, they didn't sign up for it, they came into the industry to deal with truth and facts - but now they are stuck because they enjoy the pay and can't leave. The media is in constant conflict between telling the truth and earning a profit. I wish i could proclaim that from now on and until they figure their shit out i will not trust anybody, i will not derive any of my opinions based on speculative fiction dressed as news, i will discover the world for myself and check everything important.
But i realise that it's just a dream. Just like the media i don't have the resources to find the truth and i most certainly have to rely on other people. The question is how do i do that without getting bamboozled. I guess reading this book and learning about the production of news is a good start. May 03, Simon Howard rated it liked it. I only read Flat Earth News because so many people had recommended it, and most of them are people whose views I tend to agree with.
Nick is, of course, a brilliant Guardian journalist, and is perhaps the journalist most responsible for the eventual uncovering of the widespread use of phone hacking by members of the press. Firstly, he appears to labour under the wrongful impression that members of the public imagine journalists to be crack investigators who stalk the streets with notebooks and pens, looking for exclusive stories to serve up to expectant readers. I know that journalists are expected to churn out multiple stories per day, and I know that most of what they write starts out as wire copy or press releases.
This makes the tone he uses for much of the book seem enormously patronising. Secondly, he claims — and repeats ad nauseam — that the central job of any journalist is to tell the truth. He seems to suggest that an ideal newspaper would simply be a list of facts of things that occurred during the day, with few adjectives and no opinions.
That is clearly not sensible, as nobody in their right mind would part with good money for something so utterly dull. Those are the two big, central problems with the book. They are the two which each and every time they crop up made me want to scream. There were times when I actually had to put this enormously repetitive book down and walk away.
But, in a way, this is only the start of the list of problems. When I read books with the intention of reviewing them, I often make notes along the way. I select key quotes, I list the bits I really like and the bits that made me angry. He cites a story in which there was a rumour of Terry Leahy stepping down from his role at Tesco. In the face of these rumours, Tesco issued a denial. Davies then criticises news bulletins for continuing to run the story that a rumour was circulating but that it had been denied by Tesco.
Does he honestly believe that this story is not newsworthy? Should flat denials always be taken at face value? Does Davies honestly believe that a newspaper like the Daily Mail should put forward coherent economic policies?
Of course the Daily Mail picks and chooses causes, and of course they do not add up to anything sensible. I struggle to believe that people — including its readers and editor — would argue that the Daily Mail offers a cohesive policy for government, however it presents itself. This feels a bit like criticising Bram Stoker for opening Dracula with the suggestion that all events within the novel are accurate reporting of a true event.
Yet I wonder what he believes to be the alternative? If readers are deserting a paper due its opinions, does Davies suggest that it should continue to parrot the same line until it is forced, by lack of readership, to close? Does he honestly think that the BBC should only ever report confirmed stories? And how does Davies suggest that journalism should be funded?
He suggests several times in the book that the funding sources of some campaign groups mean that their view of the world is, by definition, skewed by the funders and should be ignored. So who does he suggest should fund the media? Who has he thought of as a potential provider of revenue to fund totally impartial journalism? He has no answer to this question, but suggests in his epilogue that money saved from moving to digital publication rather than dead tree publication should be reinvested in journalism.
The suggestion, of course, completely misses the point that nobody has yet worked out how to make anywhere like the revenue from digital journalism as from print journalism, so there is no money to be reinvested. Yet, for all of its many faults, I think this is an important book. For those people, this book would doubtless be an eye-opener. All of this leaves me with something of a dilemma. I hated this book. I found it patronising, and a real struggle to get through.
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