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News Media: Who Is Trustworthy?

Depends.
In the case of the BBC, ITV or Sky, I tend to believe their agenda is to be as factual and unbiased as possible.
I would disagree on that and I'm friends with staff\former staff at all three. They are "Establishment" with a capital E, always have been, always will be (Fourth estate after all).
No media is without it's bias and agenda's - add in a bit of "cock up" as well and it's best not to get too invested in any one news source.
 
Depends.
In the case of the BBC, ITV or Sky, I tend to believe their agenda is to be as factual and unbiased as possible.
For myself, the last news outlet I trust is the BBC.

When saying factual and unbiased, how can anyone possibly know that? It is the media outlets themselves that say they tell the truth. As in 'you can trust me because I'm honest'. How do you know that? Because I say so.

I know personally of two instances where the news reports albeit from a while ago where the news reports were a pack of lies and those reporting it knew also and that includes the BBC.

One was the Purley train crash. Virtually all train crew and platform staff on South Central knew it was all lies as well. It was a fixed court case and money changed hands and promises were made and kept provided the script was also kept to, which it was.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purley_station_rail_crash

The other was the Lewes train crash. The driver supposedly passed a signal at danger and caused the crash. Normally that results in prosecution but in the this case there was supposedly not enough evidence. That is an obvious contradiction. It's the contradictions that get missed by most that point to disinformation or lies. Or what happens or does not happen as a result of.

Why was the conviction of the driver that caused the Purley train crash then over turned in 2007?

(Due to a bizarre set of circumstances the Lewes train was all but empty of passengers. Normally it would be packed solid with rush hour commuters.)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/679585.stm

I knew both drivers personally as I was a train driver for South Central.

Edit: Removing edit as it was too long.
 
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Regarding the reporting issues that people have discussed over the last couple of pages and not being sure who/what can be trusted...

In a situation like this, mainstream news outlets generally can be relied upon to provide a decent broad brush outline of what is happening. It doesn't mean they will always get everything right, or that their analysis is particularly complex or nuanced, or that they are completely immune to bias. But honestly, that's where critical thinking comes in. Cross reference your news sources, be aware of their possible bias, check the credentials of the person producing the output, read up around a subject etc.

Sorry if I sound a bit blunt, but I've often seen these kind of sentiments morph into ridiculousness when applied to other issues, and ironically be used as an excuse to lean into conspiracy thinking and obvious, outright lies. If I start seeing claims on here that Ukraine were the initial aggravators of this conflict, with dodgy YouTube videos provided as 'evidence', I'll start to lose my patience very quickly.
 
Regarding the reporting issues that people have discussed over the last couple of pages and not being sure who/what can be trusted...

In a situation like this, mainstream news outlets generally can be relied upon to provide a decent broad brush outline of what is happening. It doesn't mean they will always get everything right, or that their analysis is particularly complex or nuanced, or that they are completely immune to bias. But honestly, that's where critical thinking comes in. Cross reference your news sources, be aware of their possible bias, check the credentials of the person producing the output, read up around a subject etc.

Sorry if I sound a bit blunt, but I've often seen these kind of sentiments morph into ridiculousness when applied to other issues, and ironically be used as an excuse to lean into conspiracy thinking and obvious, outright lies. If I start seeing claims on here that Ukraine were the initial aggravators of this conflict, with dodgy YouTube videos provided as 'evidence', I'll start to lose my patience very quickly.

Well exactly. The problem being that celebrity loudmouths or "influencers" as they are often referred to these days, do have significant numbers of credulous followers and, if Russell Brand (other opinionated gobshites are available) blames Ukraine and the USA for Putin's invasion, some people may actually believe him, rather than more factual reports from serious news servers.
 
A problem is also the desire to have the news delivered fast. That doesn't help with accuracy.
I find myself reading weekly news like Spiegel more, for a bit deeper insight.
 
Personally I get suspicious of adjectives creeping into the reporting "baseless claims", "unjustified actions"... lets just keep it to "claims" and "actions" and I can make my own mind up on whether the claims are baseless or the actions justified or not. This seems to be everywhere at the moment.
 
I think the BBC tends to the right!
I guess that means they're probably in the centre.
Oh come on!

This illustrates one of the problems that's increasingly obvious nowadays. People focus on the news source more than the news content, and begin evaluating stories as much for their source as their content. Past a certain point debates about a story center around who's reporting it rather than what - if any - substance the story may have.

An "appeal to authority" as a reasonable means for supporting an argument or position is itself a subject of debate. Some consider such claims of value based on the source as always fallacious, whereas others consider them no more than possibly valid depending on the context and issue at hand.

Trying to pigeonhole news sources and then leverage whatever classifications are given them represents a sort of selective "appeal to authority" combined with the conceit that any and all sources can be reasonably categorized (regarding, e.g., orientation or reliability) in the first place.
 
This illustrates one of the problems that's increasingly obvious nowadays. People focus on the news source more than the news content, and begin evaluating stories as much for their source as their content. Past a certain point debates about a story center around who's reporting it rather than what - if any - substance the story may have.
That's not a problem, it's a sign of intelligence. You will have noticed that British posters don't bother with certain news outlets because we find them untrustworthy or trivial.

Here's a quote from Yes Prime Minister, a 1980s British TV political comedy series written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn.
The Prime Minister is being instructed by his Cabinet Secretary Sir Humphrey Appleby about who reads what.

The Times is read by the people who run the country.

The Daily Mirror is read by the people who think they run the country.

The Guardian is read by the people who think they ought to run the country.

The Morning Star is read by the people who think the country ought to be run by another country.

The Independent is read by people who don't know who runs the country but are sure they're doing it wrong.

The Daily Mail is read by the wives of people who run the country.

The Financial Times is read by the people who own the country.

The Daily Express is read by the people who think the country ought to be run as it used to be run.

The Daily Telegraph is read by the people who still think it is their country.

And the Sun's readers don't care who runs the country providing she has big tits.

All tongue-in-cheek of course. ;)
 
All I know is that when the daily press and the TV channels have reported on something I actually know about , they talk rubbish. They've even done the same on the one or two occasions I've actually been involved in witnessing something. It's more than just a bias towards their target market. They don't (with a few honourable exceptions) give a damn what they write, they simply follow the money.
 
I think they sometimes make something up when they don't have any factual information.
Years ago one of the Olympic runners worked at the same school as I did.
One day she came in very upset as they had been told not to comment on their new uniforms yet.
She told the reporter this only to see a 2 page spread about what she had supposedly said., and had been reprimanded.
 
The definitely make things up.

Sometimes they just get it plain wrong, other times a PR agency plants a story, which really is a story, simply to get coverage for a client.
 
The definitely make things up.

Sometimes they just get it plain wrong, other times a PR agency plants a story, which really is a story, simply to get coverage for a client.

No doubt this happens, but the more insidious element is reporters turning up and interpreting events according to the logic that applies in their own country, socio-economic class or field of work.

Western reporting in South Korea is risible, but only as bad as CNN's reporting of the UK, or London-based reporters' accounts of Cornwall.

Best practice, of course, is to defer judgment to a local source and write it up in the personal/house style, but these people have editorial narratives to fulfill. They don't so much twist or discard facts as fail to even notice states of affairs that spoil the narrative their editors have accepted in the past, narratives that emanate from many places beyond the newsrooms or management suites. They don't see and discard these flies in the ointment, they never perceive them as relevant and worthy of consideration in the first place.

They usually don't realise they're operating any filter at all, but, of course, we all are. The difference is that most of us don't proclaim our personal perception of reality to be THE TRUTH.
 
The definitely make things up.

Sometimes they just get it plain wrong, other times a PR agency plants a story, which really is a story, simply to get coverage for a client.
The late and infamous Max Clifford was the master of this. Here's an extract from Richard Stott's review of Clifford's memoirs, Read All About It:

There have always been kiss and tells, and those who flog them will never sit at the right hand of the Archbishop of Canterbury. For them, favours will always be done and blind eyes turned.

But the devilish pact between Max Clifford and editors is a dangerous one because it supports what too many readers believe already: that popular newspapers care little about truth and, in a dwindling market, will do anything for the catchpenny headline.

Meanwhile editors, while proclaiming to hold aloft the trusty sword of truth, bend the knee to a PR. Not even princes and prime ministers claim that sort of clout.

Stott is a former editor of the Daily Mirror. He knows whereof he speaks.
 
The only periodical in which I place any degree of trust is The Sport.
 
There‘s a thin line between what is accurately reported and a remote reception of information which may be tainted by propaganda or cloaked in a secrecy of home government agencies. In this environment, we may find ourselves confused and disorientated by the fast-moving events we see on our screens. We’re shocked and traumatised by the images we see on our TV.

So I reckon it would be totally appropriate to see a Punch and Judy Rufty Tufty Weather Forecast to say that, at some point, we could all get a beating. And let’s face it, deep down, we all know we need Punch now.

1647644004799.jpeg

It’s green screen. Why not bring on Mr. Punch?
 
There‘s a thin line between what is accurately reported and a remote reception of information which may be tainted by propaganda or cloaked in a secrecy of home government agencies. In this environment, we may find ourselves confused and disorientated by the fast-moving events we see on our screens. We’re shocked and traumatised by the images we see on our TV.

So I reckon it would be totally appropriate to see a Punch and Judy Rufty Tufty Weather Forecast to say that, at some point, we could all get a beating. And let’s face it, deep down, we all know we need Punch now.

View attachment 53232
It’s green screen. Why not bring on Mr. Punch?


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maximus otter
 
This illustrates one of the problems that's increasingly obvious nowadays. People focus on the news source more than the news content, and begin evaluating stories as much for their source as their content.
Perhaps it's a problem if you put that much attention on the source, but not including the source in your evaluation of the story is dangerous.

I used to teach media literacy. A key component is critical thinking. As a textbook put it and as I would always stress, the news is not what happened, it's someone's story about what happened. It's the difference between witnessing a big fire downtown and hearing about the fire from someone who drove by it. And I'm being generous.

This is why we should strive to get news from a variety of sources, in an attempt to get closer to the truth.

All I know is that when the daily press and the TV channels have reported on something I actually know about , they talk rubbish. They've even done the same on the one or two occasions I've actually been involved in witnessing something. It's more than just a bias towards their target market. They don't (with a few honourable exceptions) give a damn what they write, they simply follow the money.
I would always ask my class if any of them ever saw a news story about themselves or something they were intimately familiar with. There were always a few hands. Then I would ask "They got all the details correct, right?" No one ever said yes.

The greatest moment though, was when I brought in a videotape of a story on the morning news about a professors' strike that was going on. (As an adjunct, I was teaching under a contract with a different union that wasn't on strike.) It was common knowledge that many students were on the side of the faculty, but the story was full of nothing but comments from students telling the professors to get back to work. It also included footage of what looked like a class going on in the great hall of a mansion on campus - a room never used for classes. When the tape was over, I turned to one of my students, who was in that faked classroom footage, and asked for an explanation.

Seems he worked for the campus PR department. When the news crew asked to shoot a class in progress, they were told "rather than interrupt a class, why don't we stage one for you?" And when they asked if they could ask some random students' opinions, PR said "Sure, but it's drizzling out. Instead of you risking getting your equipment wet, set up in one spot and we'll bring students to you." They were all students picked by PR.

They usually don't realise they're operating any filter at all, but, of course, we all are. The difference is that most of us don't proclaim our personal perception of reality to be THE TRUTH.
A good journalist will try to be impartial, but past a certain point impartiality removes the context necessary to understanding of the story. And past another point it may become ridiculous. If we hadn't been given context for the recent Russian military buildup around Ukraine (i.e. "Putin's planning something, he has historically claimed much of Ukraine as Russian, etc.") the eventual military incursion would have taken us by surprise. If someone today tries to file a report that gives "equal time" to a racist or neo-nazi, they won't have a job very long.

This becomes a bigger problem when you don't realize the rest of the world doesn't think like you, so you don't know your own biases. This is even more true on the international stage. Depending on one's background, people have differing views on the absolute right-or-wrong aspects of things like private gun ownership, socialized medical care, the death penalty, abortion, LGBTQ rights, etc. - and these biases will show up in their reporting.
 
Perhaps it's a problem if you put that much attention on the source, but not including the source in your evaluation of the story is dangerous.

I used to teach media literacy. A key component is critical thinking. As a textbook put it and as I would always stress, the news is not what happened, it's someone's story about what happened. It's the difference between witnessing a big fire downtown and hearing about the fire from someone who drove by it. And I'm being generous.

This is why we should strive to get news from a variety of sources, in an attempt to get closer to the truth.


I would always ask my class if any of them ever saw a news story about themselves or something they were intimately familiar with. There were always a few hands. Then I would ask "They got all the details correct, right?" No one ever said yes.

The greatest moment though, was when I brought in a videotape of a story on the morning news about a professors' strike that was going on. (As an adjunct, I was teaching under a contract with a different union that wasn't on strike.) It was common knowledge that many students were on the side of the faculty, but the story was full of nothing but comments from students telling the professors to get back to work. It also included footage of what looked like a class going on in the great hall of a mansion on campus - a room never used for classes. When the tape was over, I turned to one of my students, who was in that faked classroom footage, and asked for an explanation.

Seems he worked for the campus PR department. When the news crew asked to shoot a class in progress, they were told "rather than interrupt a class, why don't we stage one for you?" And when they asked if they could ask some random students' opinions, PR said "Sure, but it's drizzling out. Instead of you risking getting your equipment wet, set up in one spot and we'll bring students to you." They were all students picked by PR.


A good journalist will try to be impartial, but past a certain point impartiality removes the context necessary to understanding of the story. And past another point it may become ridiculous. If we hadn't been given context for the recent Russian military buildup around Ukraine (i.e. "Putin's planning something, he has historically claimed much of Ukraine as Russian, etc.") the eventual military incursion would have taken us by surprise. If someone today tries to file a report that gives "equal time" to a racist or neo-nazi, they won't have a job very long.

This becomes a bigger problem when you don't realize the rest of the world doesn't think like you, so you don't know your own biases. This is even more true on the international stage. Depending on one's background, people have differing views on the absolute right-or-wrong aspects of things like private gun ownership, socialized medical care, the death penalty, abortion, LGBTQ rights, etc. - and these biases will show up in their reporting.

I don't disagree with anything you have said, but I'd like to go deeper into your idea of event vs. account.

Without getting into tedious specifics, there were two strikes/protests in my neck o' the woods over the past few years, one national and one local.

In both cases, those protesting were portrayed to have 'lost', which in narrow terms, having achieved no meaningful concessions from employers with respect to their stated demands, may look accurate, but such cannot be said to be the case—at least not in the sense that most readers would understand had they the full facts before them.

In both instances, the workers in the affected industries (delivery people and janitors/caretakers) entered the dispute with zero public profile and almost no prospect of victory—for all the rhetoric about 'no surrender', victory in the simple sense was never a goal. What they achieved was a surge of public sympathy from people who mostly had no idea of the poor pay and conditions they laboured under. While employers mostly did not acquiesce to their demands, they were forced to negotiate for the first time, and the seemingly unjust outcome has sparked talk of government legislation to address the situation.

Accordingly, the next time the issue flares up, they will both be in far stronger positions to negotiate, with a majority of a freshly informed public in support. The groups orchestrating the strike/protest (union-esque in one case) have enlisted more members and their available funds have risen—this is all a funny kind of defeat.

And yet some domestic accounts were peppered with the lexicon of defeat, scattered with pessimistic adjectives and couched in terms of finality. The language was part of the narrative: I am writing up a defeat, so I write in such a mood. Some of this was lazy, some ideological, but a bit was the fact that when an upper-middle class professional comes out of a contract negotiation with the same salary, it is defeat; when a man on a moped and a ridiculously low wage who lives in a single room on instant noodles and works 50 hrs or more a week finds comradeship, realises that he may not be completely invisible, and gets a small whiff of hope for the future, it isn't quite the same thing.

If I recall, one of the two stories got some slight coverage in the foreign-language press, which was worse. They adopted the theme, stripped out the details, and blindly rewrote a version of the above shorn of context and detail but retaining the tone; at least in the originals (such as I understood via my wife) the facts were mostly present as a textual counter-current for the curious to discern beyond the smokescreen; once the sausage-makers got a hold of it and cut it up into chunks for syndication and two-paragraph online snippets, the truth was largely gone.
 
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I want to say VERY CLEARLY at the outset that I am not interested in any debate whatsoever about Putin and Trump (about whom I make zero assertions), but this from the BBC today is a risible attempt to shape a narrative:

Putin ('breaking silence') > Gangsters & Violence > Dead Penguins > Trump ('breaking silence').

SmartSelect_20230825_134934_Samsung Internet.jpg


I am now feeling sad about these violence-linked political gangsters who shiftily 'break silence' and cause the death of cute penguins. I'm also wondering whether Musk has something in common with that nasty Russian mercenary even though I haven't clicked on a single story yet!
 
....I know personally of two instances where the news reports albeit from a while ago where the news reports were a pack of lies and those reporting it knew also and that includes the BBC.

One was the Purley train crash. Virtually all train crew and platform staff on South Central knew it was all lies as well. It was a fixed court case and money changed hands and promises were made and kept provided the script was also kept to, which it was.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purley_station_rail_crash

.....
I have no major opinion to post about the trustworthiness (or not) of news media broadcasters.

It's interesting to note, with regard to the Purley station rail crash, that the train driver who pleaded guilty to manslaughter, then appealed and won his case in 2007 died in March 2009, aged 66, as a result of drowning whilst sailing in the River Medina on the Isle of Wight.

https://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/42...an-dies-on-sailing-accident-on-isle-of-wight/
 
With regards to "balance", I have a friend who works at the beeb she was instructed to find economists who felt that Brexit was a bad idea, no problem she had them queuing up, but then in the interest of "balance" she was instructed to find one who supported Brexit. this proved to be a tougher propostion but she eventually found one.

So what's the problem? Well the beeb gave each of them equal time to propound their positions despite the fact that the anti Brexit economists were in a considerable minority. Beware of "balance"
 
With regards to "balance", I have a friend who works at the beeb she was instructed to find economists who felt that Brexit was a bad idea, no problem she had them queuing up, but then in the interest of "balance" she was instructed to find one who supported Brexit. this proved to be a tougher propostion but she eventually found one.

So what's the problem? Well the beeb gave each of them equal time to propound their positions despite the fact that the anti Brexit economists were in a considerable minority. Beware of "balance"

On that topic the Beed would have been slaughtered if they didn't give balance.
 
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