After the Fact?

Chapter 5

Trouble in the Newsroom

Between failing business models and extreme distrust from large swathes of the population, journalism in its established form is in trouble. Study after study has shown that in a diverse range of countries, the public regards journalists as untrustworthy.

Even a global pandemic, in which one might well expect reliable, informative newsgathering to be highly valued, saw journalists amongst the 'least trusted' to tell the truth. And this is is exactly what those who use the accusation "fake news" are both exploiting and exacerbating.

The issue is not however that journalists are intentionally deceitful or misleading. Rather, journalists are neither equipped nor motivated to do anything other than reflect back at a society its own ignorance and implicit biases.

In the UK, journalism is dominated by white people, often from middle-class backgrounds, and there is a similar situation in the US. Besides some notable exceptions journalism is often characterised by the forms of shallow understanding and apoliticical positivism explored in chapter 4.

Next chapter: Digital Distortions