Thursday, 3 March 2011

check when someone tells you something is true that you really want to believe is true

I don't know much about the blog Liberal Conspiracy, but it's just published a story encapsulated thus:
BBC journalists have been instructed by senior editorial staff to use ‘savings’ instead of ‘cuts’ in their news coverage, Liberal Conspiracy has learnt, in order to offer a “rosy” picture of government announcements.
Clearly, this is a story that Liberal Conspiracy wants to believe, and so do I, and so will half the Twittersphere, and so on.

I don't not believe it. The difficulty is that it is the result of unnamed 'sources' within the BBC. Yes, of course, one has to protect sources, but there are too many cases of peopel hading behind that phrase as an excuse not to confirm a story properly before printing it. British journalism (and blogs are even more to blame) has an incredibly lax attitude to fact checking if someone is saying what it wants to hear. This is really only a story if it is BBC policy or affects major news programmes - after all, the BBC has billions of employees with different political views. The bit that seems rum to me is that someone would be 'instructed' to offer a '"rosy"' picture of government announcements. Does that sound like something that really happened?

Let's be clear, I can believe someone told someone to use savings rather than cuts. I can believe this was politically inspired. I can also believe someone thought it was politically inspired when it wasn't. There are presumably some cuts which are more accurately described as savings, just as there are some which are more accurately described as cuts.

Oh, wait a second. I'm ranting.

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