Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Business of reporting the truth had been slowly subverted by the mass production of ignorance: Big B's Blog

Check out Big B's blog on Big Adda
Here is what he writes about a journalist :
It is a book authored by an award -winning journalist who decided to break Fleet Street’s (the Wall Street of the print media) unwritten rule by investigating his own colleagues and found that the business of reporting the truth had been slowly subverted by the mass production of ignorance.

Finally’, says the author, ‘I was forced to admit that I work in a corrupted profession.’

His Prologue in the book was even more revealing.
Dog doesn’t eat dog’, he says. ’That’s always been the rule in Fleet Street. We dig into the world of politics and finance and sport and policing and entertainment. We dig wherever we like - but not in our own back garden. In the last fifteen years we have started running media pages, but the truth is they are primarily to attract advertisements; they don’t really put the spade in too deep.

He then goes on to describe, how when working with a prominent paper, a fellow colleague was caught out badly when he filed a speculative description of a prominent and sensational execution, six hours before it actually happened. All would have been well with this imaginary story and its details would probably have gone unnoticed, had it not been for the unfortunate leaking of a video of the hanging. The journalist, with some courage, however, confessed all this on his blog. His openness, much to his dismay, did not go down well with his bosses. His entry in the blog was rapidly deleted and a message was sent out to all staff warning them to ‘think carefully before blogging about journalistic tricks of the trade’ !

So.. there !! ‘Imaginary material is nothing worse than a “trick of the trade”; and we’ll have no real reporting about reporting’ says the author.

He goes on to say that -

Over the years which I then spent running around with a note-book in my pocket, of course I came to see that frequently we fail to tell the truth. The unavoidable reality of journalism is that all of our work is tethered by a deadline and we can never be free to roam as far we want in search of the evidence we need. On the best of days, everything we write is compromised by error. And, of course, I knew, too, that from time to time there was some seriously dodgy behavior going on behind the headlines.’
And more -

‘…I had no idea of just how weakened we had become, just how prone we now are to fail to tell the truth. I’m not talking about journalists making mistakes. Mistakes can be honest. (And it is a very safe bet that there are mistakes in this book). I’m talking about the individual dishonest, hack scumbags who bring our whole profession into disrepute. There are still good, brave, honest people working in this industry. I’m talking about the fact that almost all journalists across the whole developed world now work within a kind of professional cage which distorts their work and crushes their spirit. I’m talking about the fact that finally I was forced to admit that I work in a corrupted profession.’

In conclusion he says -

I should add that a great many working journalists helped me on this project. They did so willingly, because like me they can see no good reason why journalism should be exempt from the kind of scrutiny which we bring to bear on the rest of the world. For reasons of professional survival, most of them did so on the understanding that I would not name them. But they are there and, to the extent that this book may attract the hostility of some in Fleet Street, I am proud of the fact that numerous colleagues are better than that.
So. Let dog eat dog.


Wonderful! Anybody read this book? Who is this Journalist who authored the book? We must all thank him for the truth about the profession and maybe can tell him what the Indian Media did.

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