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, January 10, 2005

At last, the Rathergate report

It's out - the 234 page report by Dick Thornburgh and Louis Boccardi; the appendices (around 50 separate files); and a note of CBS' response (all PDF).

Whatever the quality of the report - I've yet to read it - it looks like a handsome treasure of material illustrative of the journalistic process.

Strange to reflect that the only reason we peasants are allowed sight of all these goodies, and the case study that goes with them, is because the whole project turned out a complete snafu.

In all other circumstances, the paying public is kept well away, though in some cases an ombudsman acts as a sort of Catholic priest of pre-Reformation times: an essential intermediary who explains the working of those on high. Or explains it away.

If the sort of openness apparent (and here I anticipate!) in the Thornburgh Report is offered by media organisations only when they have fucked up, it's easy to dismiss such exercises as gimmicks.

On the other hand, how many snafus have media organisations managed to bury because of their hole-in-the-corner way of working? It's the percentage play, surely?

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