Tag Archives: Murrow

There is no News Today

18 Nov

“Good evening. Today is Good Friday. There is no news.”

That’s what a BBC radio announcer reported, in April 1930.

Having decided nothing newsworthy had occurred, the station then played some music to fill the time-slot, before resuming scheduled programming.

Today we have no news, while simultaneously having too much news.

Having created unlimited media we have to fill it with something.

And fill it we do, with whatever is at hand.

That’s often dubious content and misinformation.

Misinformation is of course, a five dollar word for fake news.

The rise of fake news has become real news.

Troubling as you may, or may not find this, fake news is hardly a recent phenomenon.

One of the all-time great British tabloid headlines was decidedly fake.

freddie-starr

But it was presented pretty much tongue in cheek and its veracity was of little consequence, except maybe to the hamster.

Today’s fake news is akin to propaganda, and presented with intent to deceive.

So much so, that post-truth has been declared word of the year by the Oxford Dictionaries.

With 62% of Americans apparently relying on social media for the news, this is disconcerting.

Even if that statistic is the result of a poll, and the polling industry looks as credible as a Magic Eight Ball right now.

Does it matter?

Propaganda, the ten dollar word for fake news, has  been a part of politics since the invention of the printing press.

What bothers me more, is the crap legitimate news organizations feel obliged to publish, to compete with the click-bait.

When I was a kid, the Daily Telegraph was read by sticklers who thought The Times’ reporting occasionally prone to inaccuracies and dubious grammar.

Yesterday’s Telegraph had this to report :

hillary

That salacious “laid bare” is just a bit too National Enquireresque.

Then the story gets really cheesy.

“What the world saw was the tired, blemished face of a 69-year-old woman. It is a serious face. It shows its weaknesses, and its losses. In these turbulent times, is she perhaps also trying to say that there are more important things than putting on a brave face?”

Is it a flashback from a Harlequin Romance?

Apparently it’s what passes for journalism in a post-truth world.

I know you can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.

A new post-deceit mediascape is not on the horizon.

Walter Cronkite and Ed Murrow aren’t coming back.

It’s viewer beware.

And that’s all the news today.