The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Monday, May 24, 2004

Media ethics: cut the crap

I'm just wading through the usual cornucopia of media stuff wrapped in a bow by Romenesko over the weekend.

And, amongst some interesting pieces, I can't help being struck by the volume of smug bloviation, enough to float a Zeppelin, on the tired old subjects of gruesome photos, naughty words, and those Catskills regulars, Jack 'n' Jayson.

What is meant to come across as empathetic concern for readers' complaints is pure misdirection.

Nary a word (not in what I've read so far) on the corruption that is anonymous quotes from government spokesmen.

Still less, any recognition of the perversion of sense in the doctrine of objective journalism.

May I suggest, in place of this tap-dancing, a useful step in dealing with the malaise of American journalism?

That an editor - a self-respecting editor - would declare simply, in a right-hand lead, the following rule for his future conduct:
  1. I shall no long allow bollocks to be printed in my newspaper, unless absolutely necessary (as, for instance, in a speech of the President of the United States).

  2. If, under Rule 1, bollocks is so printed, I shall prominently display next to the passage an indication of which words are bollocks, and why.

By pure chance, we have a speech by the incumbent President scheduled for later today.

No time like the present....

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