Monday, 19 November 2012

The BBC and flat earth news

The repercussions of BBC's Newsnight decision to run a piece on child abuse in the 1990s is still being felt.

The flaws in the reporting of the story have all the hallmarks of what journalist and author Nick Davies calls 'flat earth news'.

In his book of the same name, Davies argues that 'churnalism' has taken over from journalism: facts are not checked properly and reporters follow bandwagons instead of stories.

Everyone expects more of the BBC.

The piece in question was put together jointly: by Newsnight and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The Bureau was established to return to the standards of journalism of yesteryear.

The whole episode is tragic for the victims of child abuse. It also highlights how difficult it is to escape the new model of reporting news.
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