But this is an Australian study, so obviously it has nothing whatsoever to do with our press here in America, where journalists ask tough questions in order to get to the real truth behind the spin and are truly inde-HAHAHA.
OK, I knew I couldn’t even type that without laughing.
The Australian Centre for Independent Journalism is releasing a study, the first finding of which is that more than half of our news is pretty much just copy and pasted press releases. Press releases are basically just advertisements that corporations, government agencies, other organizations, and individuals send out to news organizations in hopes that they will cover their story in a way that will further their interests. You know how in lots of local newspapers there might be a character or two who always write in letters to the editor about such interesting topics as the dogs who walk on his front lawn too often? This is basically the same thing, only slightly more sophisticated.
Ideally, the point of journalism is for the reporters themselves to find the story instead of having it pretty much hand-delivered to them. But there’s only so much time in a day and a lot of whitespace to fill, so it’s not surprising that some of the lazier reporters would just base their copy on something fed to them through a tip line of some sort. What should be surprising – and yet someone isn’t, at all – is the proportion of bullshit in our news.
the ACIJ is releasing the results of their six month investigation gradually over the next two weeks through a website called (and I’m not making this up) Crikey. This was just the kickoff, so if you need to be more depressed be sure to catch up.
Tags: bad reporters