I am an avid reader; don’t worry you won’t get a list of tome-like books that put you to sleep. Suffice it to say; I will read most books that sound interesting. I also read newspapers. Those on the political left and right. Well, at least I use too. However, I started to identify that press reports bore little resemblance to the truth or information I had uncovered in my serious reading. I also found that they began to lack moral integrity. Fortunately, while newspapers decayed, the internet was blooming. Ordinary people could now create the news and challenge untruths. There is now an opportunity for us to be a citizen journalist.
Newspapers use to hold the Establishment (power) to account. Today, they are the power. In the United Kingdom (UK), they even decide Prime Ministers! I found that good journalism was becoming in short supply. Increasingly, headlines misrepresented the people and their stories. Newspapers bent the truth and distorted the facts. It is a sad indictment on journalism and investigative journalism.
Let me give you a couple of examples to mull over. In 1989, Liverpool and Nottingham Forest were playing a football match at Hillsborough Stadium. The front row of the terraces where people stood were caged, making it tough to exit onto the pitch in an emergency. Such an emergency arose and there was a human crush that caused the deaths of 96 children and adults. Another 766 were injured. The Sun, (a Murdoch-owned newspaper) reported the story as the fault of the football fans under the heading ‘THE TRUTH’. It has taken the families 27 years for the real truth, police inefficiency, to emerge.
Another Murdoch-owned newspaper compromised the last movements of a raped and murdered teenager when they hacked her ‘phone. There is no suggestion that the paper intended to delete messages on the ‘phone but the hack means that detectives may never be able to conclude what happened to the teenager’s ‘phone following her disappearance in 2002. The conduct of the newspaper was so outrageous that there had to be a public inquiry into the ethics, culture and practices of the Press. The recommendations of the Leveson Inquiry, have yet to be implemented. Another example of the power of the Press.
Newspapers and other areas of the media no longer provide balanced or impartial news. Five press Barons own the majority of the papers in the UK, powerful men most of whom reside abroad. They also own radio stations, satellite channels and news outlets. Their news empires reflect their political views. Almost entirely, the UK has a right-wing media.
With such domination, there was little room for challenge, criticism and reply. However, we do have the internet and WordPress. They provide the flipside to mainstream bias and highlight alternative issues. I’mjussayin, this is how and why I became a blogger, independent of the good opinion of others. I write on Politics, Feminism, inequality, books and life.
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