Wednesday 23 August 2017

Sinister story and the 'death of journalism' in the Sunday Times

It had all the ingredients of a meaty James Bond plot, it's just a pity nobody bothered to check the facts

Fact or fiction: Edward Snowden found himself being blamed for betraying British intelligence agents working covertly in Russia and China after the story was splashed all over Rupert Murdoch’s flagship paper, The Sunday Times
Fact or fiction: Edward Snowden found himself being blamed for betraying British intelligence agents working covertly in Russia and China after the story was splashed all over Rupert Murdoch’s flagship paper, The Sunday Times
Carol Hunt

Carol Hunt

It's been called the "death of journalism" and "journalism at its very worst". It happens when journalists and editors are somehow persuaded to give anonymity to government officials to "propagandise the public, then uncritically accept those claims as the truth".

It's dangerous, unprofessional and corrupts the public record. It is a major threat to the workings of a democracy. It is a form of laundering information through the media - in order to make them acceptable to a trusting public. In short, it stinks.

What on earth, you may ask, am I ranting about? Surely not another rehashing of that "sexed-up dossier" which warned us about Saddam Hussein's "weapons of mass destruction"? That dossier led a naive and trusting West into a war which had consequences far beyond what the most pessimistic of us could have predicted.

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