Flat Earth News

Comments on the book

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Tagged: / Posted: 9 January 2009

I've read your book from cover to cover. I couldn't put it down until I
finished it. Notwithstanding my general scepticism about the printed
press, it really managed to shock me. I didn't think the rot was so
widespread and deep. It was like reading that the glamorous lady living in
the nice house down the road is in reality a prostitute, and that the house
is regularly used to shoot hard core porn videos. A blurb for it should
have been: a book to understand why you don't understand. I think the book

Tagged: / Posted: 2 January 2009

Thanks for the book, which I could not put down. It explains a lot with respect to the endless stream of the same simple stories. Working in the field of improving rural water supplies in Africa (not the emergency stuff, but the grind), it makes me more aware of why this critical (and complex) problem gets so little air time. It is a pity that there were not some more ideas of solutions and alternatives though. The status quo is simply not acceptable. One question is with respect the other european media - particularly the German, or the Nordic countries. Is the situation any better?

Tagged: / Posted: 18 December 2008

I enjoyed the book, despite the rather depressing conclusion that there's not a great deal that can be done to arrest the problems highlighted. I did have one very specific gripe though, and I apologise if it's been mentioned before, and that's with a reference made on page 70: The paragraph "One memo from Pete Clifton takes this obsession...." suggests that congratulating staff on having fast loading web pages indicates some kind of unbalanced obsession with the speed at which news is delivered to customers. I don't think that's really fair or balanced.

Tagged: / Posted: 9 December 2008

Hi Nick,

I read your book because it came reccommended in Private Eye, the only source of news that I really trust to be reliable. I found it a complete eye-opener and have since learned to read news stories with a critical eye - a sort of "flat-earth radar". I've also stopped (almost entirely) reading any international news from the BBC - reading instead about the Mumbai bombings/ongoing crisis in Gaza from online newspapers published in Pakistan or the Arab countries. And reading with a critical eye, looking for direct quotes, named sources and multiple sources of information. The result is news that is much more complicated, opinion from various different countries, and often me confusing myself - in other words, the news comes alive. So thanks for teaching me a valuable lesson about how to read the news.

Tagged: / Posted: 19 November 2008

Flat Earth News should be made COMPULSORY reading for anyone studying Media or Journalism; but above all for the BBC Reporters. On their Strip on BBC World Service today they had the News that a UN report found evidence of Nuclear activity in the site bombed by Israel in Syria. That was less than 24 hours after Mr Al Baradei issued a report that the Nuclear activity found there does not prove anything and could be from the bombs used. I am not a Syrian. But being an Arab I will find it very difficult to believe any reported News by the BBC World Service.

Tagged: / Posted: 14 November 2008

To which book could the editor of the Daily Mail, Paul Dacre, possibly have been referring in the following paragraph from his recent speech to the Society of Editors? The paragraph comes from a passage in which he explains that the low standing of the media in the eyes of politicians, regulators, judges and the public is, in truth, caused by the endless carping of 'leftish and liberal' critics:

Tagged: / Posted: 6 November 2008

I have just finished reading 'Flat Earth News' and, depressing as it is, feel oddly enlightened.

I am a social scientist who has tried for years to get journalists (at all levels in many countries) interested in some of the stuff that my colleagues and I are doing. This includes work on some key issues such as ageing, climate change, transport or health policy. To no avail. 'Too complex', 'too heady', 'no meat' is what we have been told.

I now see why.


Tagged: / Posted: 22 October 2008

Excellent if extremely depressing! I follow medialens which in its way attempts to expose bias, plain omissions, and economy with the truth and inconsistency in reporting by given journalists. Will view this web site with interest,

Tagged: / Posted: 3 August 2008

At last, a journalist with their head above the parapet. I've long suspected that the newspapers in the UK (where I live) and some newspapers in particular, are actually quite subversive and indeed dangerous in their misinformation, half truths and sometimes outright lies. This book explains how this is more complicated than merely pushing an agenda (although that does happen) but also derives from financial pressures and sheer sloppy work!

Tagged: / Posted: 27 June 2008

What a devastating critique of the uk news media! I wondered for a long time why the only news I trusted seemed to come from Private Eye magazine, and now I know.

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