Some members of the journalist profession need to be explained things slowly and clearly. Scott Burgess undertakes that ungrateful task and tries to get the message through to Polly Toynbee.
… Welcome to the new media world, Polly.
Up until now, an information elite has been able to misrepresent and manufacture fact with virtual impunity – sometimes accidentally, sometimes as a deliberate means of pushing a chosen agenda.
For example, if a newspaper polemicist wanted to contend that “Scandinavian countries are best of all” at overcoming obesity, it was unlikely that many would notice and connect the fact that: “Norway has the highest percentage of overweight men in Europe, according to a new report by the World Health Organization (WHO).”
Those who did notice such “anomalies” had no easy means of communicating them to others interested in issues of journalistic integrity.
As you see, that’s changing now. What you (and many others) are in the process of learning is that, from now on, reportorial sloppiness and dishonesty will be noted, exposed, and punished – quickly and very, very publicly.
Journalists who are accurate and honest have little to fear – the facts will out. Their less capable (and less truthful) colleagues risk the humiliation of public ridicule.
Best of all, in this new media environment the once-wise maxim “never get in an argument with someone who buys ink by the barrel” no longer applies – we all have barrels now. Ardent proponents of equality would no doubt applaud this development, were they not the ones whose superior status was now under threat.
Very Truly Yours,
The Daily Ablution
For more quality time with bloggers and Polly, follow the path that lead to the above document.