97% of reporters fabricate some part of their stories (probably)

Claas Relotius at Der Spiegel, Jayson Blair at The New York Times, Johann Hari at The Guardian and Jim Avila at ABC News are only the tip of the iceberg. They are not exceptions but merely examples of the malaise. They are all a part of the general erosion of journalistic ethics. But what was just a decline of ethical standards has now degenerated to the point where every news story has an agenda. The use of fabrication, lying, cherry picking, and omission are standard. A journalistic report which is not skewed and which is not trying to promote a particular viewpoint has become a very rare exception. Journalists today find it perfectly acceptable to be lobbyists and activists and propagandists while purporting to be objective reporters.

The line between advertising and reporting has virtually disappeared. It is not difficult to get media desperate for copy to print pure advertising material as objective reports. It is virtually impossible for some media to report any story which does not reinforce their own biases.

 

“Journalists” caught lying include Mel Judson, Juan Thompson and Brian Williams among others. Journalists who fabricated include Louis Sebold, Stephen Glass, Jant Cooke, Patricia Smith and  Carl Cameron among many others. Cheating is the norm not the exception.

The Media Still Hasn’t Figured Out Why They’re Losing Credibility

The outlook is bad for media credibility. Poll after poll finds public confidence in the press is at historic lows. The AP cites a Pew Research Center report that two-thirds of Americans believe “fabricated news” is causing a “great deal of confusion” about basic facts, and a poll conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago found the percentage of Americans expressing a “great deal of confidence” in the press has fallen from 28 percent in 1976 to just 8 percent in 2016.

The American Press Institute put the percentage at an even lower 6 percent in an April 2016 survey, which also found 85 percent of Americans rate getting the facts right as extremely or very important, and prioritize that metric most highly when deciding which news outlets to trust. “Accuracy is the paramount principle of trust,” the survey noted.

The simple truth is that it is more likely that 97% of all journalists now fabricate some part of their stories, rather than that 97% of journalists are honest reporters.


 

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