Thursday, 6 March 2008

What's wrong with journalism these days?

The BBC have now spoken on the Phorm issue:

I fear the BBC sometimes. To me they appear as a big, lumbering Diplodocus. Slow to react to anything but when it does it can take out any one or thing in its wake without even realising it.

If you take the time to read the above article you might just wonder what's all the fuss about. After all Phorm is going to protect your privacy and protect you from phishing attacks. In the future it might even put on the kettle based on your web tendencies.

The problem is the author either just hasn't taken the time to do his research (highly likely these days), doesn't have the technical knowledge to understand the real issues here (again highly likely with more and more journalists seemingly hired because of their verb with the English language rather than their ability to understand the issues at hand) or is happy to follow the offical line offered to him by large corporations rather than risk any sort of personal penalty.

When taken at face value it seems that the author (assuming it wasn't compiled by comity) has happily taken the press releases presented to him by those in favour of this service and put in a few clarifications to apparently draw some balance.

Were the facts presented questioned at all? Did the author try to contact anyone expert in the field to try to draw some kind of critique? Did the author try to examine the motives behind those presenting the information? Sadly, apparently not.

So here we are at the beginning of the 21st Century and journalism is little more than regurgitation of PR lines. Maybe all this started out in schools. In a world where it's easier and easier for little Johnny to plagiarise his homework why should the natural evolution of this not be for journalists to have someone else do their homework.

No comments: