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Publisher's Summary

When award-winning journalist Nick Davies decided to break Fleet Street's unwritten rule by investigating his own colleagues, he found that the business of reporting the truth had been slowly subverted by the mass production of ignorance. Working with a network of off-the-record sources, Davies uncovered the story of the prestigious "Sunday" newspaper which allowed the CIA and MI6 to plant fiction in its columns; the newsroom which routinely rejects stories about black people; the respected paper that hired a professional fraudster to set up a front company to entrap senior political figures; the newspapers which support law and order while paying cash bribes to bent detectives. Davies names and exposes the national stories which turn out to be pseudo events manufactured by the PR industry, and the global news stories which prove to be fiction generated by a new machinery of international propaganda. He shows the effect of this on a world where consumers believe a mass of stories which, in truth, are as false as the idea that the Earth is flat - from the millennium bug to the WMD in Iraq - tainting government policy, perverting popular belief. With the help of researchers from Cardiff University, who ran a ground-breaking analysis of our daily news, Davies found most reporters, most of the time, are not allowed to dig up stories or check their facts - a profession corrupted at the core.
©2008 Nick Davies; (P)2009 WF Howes Ltd
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Customer Reviews

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By Csaba Turkosi on 04-10-16

A scathing critique of the news media

A thorough, detailed and devastating dissection of the shallowness that describes our news organizations. British newspapers, which the author is most familiar with, are only the tip of the iceberg for this machine that creates the information equivalent of junk food, although Soylent Green may be a better metaphor.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By shawn woolsey on 08-16-15

probably better in print

informative but very dull at points. But I only had a passing interests in the news

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Simon on 10-11-09

You'll never buy a newspaper again

On the whole this is a well written, well paced look at the systems, companies and publications that provide the news to an eager public. The examples the author uses to back up his opinions are both alarming and entertaining, although there is a certain degree of teary eyed "back in the day" sentimentality about certain aspects. And this is really the downside of the book, with the author believing that the way to fix the news is to throw more reporters, and more money, at it. His stories of The Daily Mail serve as ample proof that this isn't necessarily the answer, and in that regard he comes across as somewhat naive.

Having said that, the book is a thoroughly entertaining listen, and is excellently narrated. I could quite comfortably listen at double speed. It really will, reservations aside for a moment, make you look at the news in a new light. The author's take on well covered subjects, for example the heroin trade, is eye opening. I only wish I had the time and inclination to follow up the author's claims in the same way he suggests reporters do because I'd hate the author to be guilty of the acts he accuses others of.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful


By Andrew on 02-05-15

depressing news indeed

the world really is doomed if the "mad media" is as bad as it is painted here and if the peers that be don't fix it and if the people just swallow it all up as "news" and truth.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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