Friday, July 02, 2010

Media as a dangerous drug

"In its purest form, a newspaper consists of a collection of facts which, in controlled circumstances, can actively improve knowledge. Unfortunately, facts are expensive, so to save costs and drive up sales, unscrupulous dealers often "cut" the basic contents with cheaper material, such as wild opinion, bullshit, empty hysteria, reheated press releases, advertorial padding and photographs of Lady Gaga with her bum hanging out. The hapless user has little or no concept of the toxicity of the end product: they digest the contents in good faith, only to pay the price later when they find themselves raging incoherently in pubs, or – increasingly – on internet messageboards."

- Charlie Brooker

I've been following Brooker's column over the last few months and enjoy his wit and insight, even if he does get a little silly sometimes.

My question for the day is, which media do you rely on for your information? Which sources do you regularly turn to? Are there any that you trust, or at least distrust less, or are you egalitarian in your cynicism? Are there any that you have lost respect for?

7 comments:

Luke said...

Fairfax and News Ltd seem to no longer care what definition of news you have when you look to then for that online.

Working in Internet jobs for yen years, I have to say 'tits for clicks' is the best cover-all term for what most websites do with their front page.

That said, I still use those two local news feeds, but only via RSS and I won't pay for their breaking news if I can get it elsewhere for free (e.g. AP,AAP).

Sam Norton said...

Chimes with a rather good book I'm reading at the moment by Shane Hipps, called Flickering Pixels - see here: http://www.shanehipps.com/books.htm

Terry Wright said...

I'm a BBC website junkie and get the Church Times. Occasionally I buy The Independent, but usually for the Friday review section. I used to read The Sun religiously, but when I bought a copy recently I was surprised to see how much I detested all the emphases in the print, and how much I was being exhorted to accept certain things without really being told why.

Actually, in the past I attended a church where we were encouraged to write to Tony Blair PM to advise him against accepting Rowan Williams as the new ABC - without really being told why. So perhaps tabloid journalism isn't too dissimilar to ecclesiastical politics at times.

Milan said...

I get my news from The Economist, Google News, The Globe and Mail, Slate, and a great many blogs.

Certainly, I trust some of those sources more than others.

byron smith said...

Charlie's take on the iPhone 4.

byron smith said...

And speaking of misleading media, the frontpage headline of today's Times is a particularly egregious example I noticed while walking past a newsagent this morning. Fortunately, the web version is behind a paywall. Don't bother.

byron smith said...

Here is a slightly more balanced take on the Dutch report, reading the whole report, rather than picking a couple of minor points in it.