Tag: journos

Why there is no corruption in the media

You cannot hope to bribe or twist

The forthright Fox News journalist

For, seeing what those folk will do

Unbribed, there is no reason to.

With apologies to Anon.

Our suspicions confirmed?

The venerable National Public Radio network in the United Sates has a story about a robot journalist (actually, a computer programme designed to transform raw data into news stories) writing a better story than its human counterpart.

It was created by a chilling Orwellian entity calling itself Narrative Science and its website promises to fulfil the wettest dreams of the Sultans of Spin.

At Knocklofty we have had suspicions for a long time that this breakthrough was actually achieved some years ago, judging by the relentlessly banal, cliché-studded drivel that passes for so much contemporary journalism, especially because most media are now controlled by flinty-hearted accountants and supercharged office-boys with MBAs rather than by journalists.

Obviously, robot journalists can be programmed to follow whatever line of spin, bias or mendacity suits their masters, exactly like the people now staffing newspapers and other forms of mass communication.

Media owners are always disturbed by the very small but still measurable risk of a journalist developing anything like a conscience or a willingness to question the data served up by governments, corporations and politicians; this new technological triumph means that Rupert Murdoch can slumber more easily between his satin sheets and dream dreams of even more perfect control.

It’s obvious that News Limited and News International must have had such a system for quite a while — probably Windows-based, too. It’s the only explanation for their Gadarene descent into the whirlpool of drebbidge they serve up every day.

Image found at WorldMustBeCrazy

The second oldest profession — Part 1

Three journalists, one from Britain, one from the United States and one from Australia, were talking in the bar of the best hotel in some ghastly trouble spot and after the ritual round of bragging about this scoop and that, the conversation eventually turned to how they had entered their profession.

The British journalist explained: ‘The great British parliamentarian Edmund Burke said that there were three Estates in Parliament — the Lords Temporal, the Lords Spiritual and the Commons, but in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a fourth Estate “more important far than they all.” I see our profession, frank, fearless and free, as an essential part of the political and cultural life of our nation.’

The American said: ‘Well, we were first with that . Our press was free under the First Amendment to our Constitution, which, unlike yours, is actually written down, so we have a guarantee in writing that our rights and our function as one of the most important checks and balances on untrammelled state power shall not be infringed.’

The Australian said: ‘They told me there was no heavy lifting, so I went for it like a rat up a drainpipe.’