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Concept.png Journalist  SourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Interest of• European Journalism Centre
• HonestReporting
• Poynter Institute
• Millie Weaver
Subpage(s)Journalist/Premature death

Journalists write stories for newspapers which are part of the commercially-controlled media.

“Journalism's job is not impartial 'balanced' reporting. Journalism's job is to tell the people what is really going on.”
George Seldes [1]

Official narrative

Journalism should be unbiased and independent, avoid "fake news" and be impartial in reporting of the facts, giving due attention to official sources and the opinions of qualified experts.

“There is no such a thing in America as an independent press, unless it is out in country towns. You are all slaves. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to express an honest opinion. If you expressed it, you would know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid $150 for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things. If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, I would be like Othello before twenty-four hours: my occupation would be gone. The man who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street hunting for another job. The business of a New York journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to villify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread, or for what is about the same — his salary. You know this, and I know it; and what foolery to be toasting an "Independent Press"! We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping-jacks. They pull the string and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”
John Swinton [2]

Official Sources

Prominent journalist John Pilger has observed that the media consolidation of the late 20th and early 21st centuries was associated with an abandonment of the practice of "investigative journalism", leading to an over-reliance on "official (establishment) sources". A pervasive climate of fear and subservience discourages professional journalists from questioning official narratives. Tony Gosling notes that even very popular television shows such as The Cook Report and World in Action were discontinued, because they were an embarrassment to the interests of deep pocketed advertisers.[3] It is unclear to what extent this was a deliberately engineered outcome, to what extent a byproduct of other economic trends.

"Fake News"

Full article: Rated 3/5 “Fake News”

Traditionally, the fact that journalists were paid professionals meant that they could be easily controlled by editors, just as editors could be controlled by publishers. In modern times, however, the apparatus of mass communication (i.e. the internet) has become accessible to people without great expenditure, and publishing requires little effort. As a result, the role of journalists has been somewhat eclipsed by bloggers or other amateurs who are more independent. This represents a challenge for the deep state control of corporate media. Beginning in 2016, the deep state introduced the phrase "fake news website" to try to scare people back towards newspapers.

“And I think, in the end, that is the best definition of journalism I have heard; to challenge authority - all authority - especially so when governments and politicians take us to war, when they have decided that they will kill and others will die.”
Robert Fisk [4]

Investigative journalism

Investigative journalism, as opposed to yellow journalism, is journalism based on on official sources but reliant on private investigation, typically into wrongdoing.

“If we had met five years ago, you wouldn't have found a more staunch defender of the newspaper industry than me ... I was winning awards, getting raises, lecturing college classes, appearing on TV shows, and judging journalism contests. So how could I possibly agree with people like Noam Chomsky and Ben Bagdikian, who were claiming the system didn't work, that it was steered by powerful special interests and corporations, and existed to protect the power elite? And then I wrote some stories that made me realize how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. The reason I'd enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn't been, as I'd assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job ... The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn't written anything important enough to suppress.”
Gary Webb [5]


Gary Webb stated in 2003 that he thought investigative journalism was being intentionally "squeezed out of the picture because it tends to ruffle feathers". His Dark Alliance series was the first to illustrate that the World Wide Web could rival the reach of the 20th century mass media such as television, radio and newspapers.

“This story of CIA drug dealing became a sensation because of the website, not because of the story, but because people could get to it. And they could never have gotten to it before because the San Jose Mercury News is a small regional newspaper in Northern California that you couldn't read if you lived in New York or you couldn't read if you lived in L.A.. But this story you could read anywhere in the world.”
Gary Webb (2003)  [6]

Tony Gosling stated in 2018 that he thought that investigative journalism in the UK was dramatically cut in the 1990s after the film about Operation Gladio by Alan Francovich that was broadcast on BBC2.

Lack of investigation

The general reluctance to carry out basic investigation coupled with an ability to quickly rebroadcast information has meant that confirmation bias has become a highly significant factor in shaping public perceptions. At one extreme, this has lead to miscarriages of justice on a personal level, to the extent that "a single “sexist” remark being sufficient for conviction in the court of social media."[7] The same phenomenon allows official narratives about deep events to be widely promulgated, seemingly in defiance of common sense.[8]

In the 21st century in particular, funding for investigation is being cut back to almost nothing, leaving journalists reliant upon material provided by authorities or corporations.


Office Holders on Wikispooks

Greta Van SusterenMay 2022
Tareq HaddadOctober 2019December 2019Resigned after magazine suppressed his story on OPCW.
Jamelle Bouie2019
Rivkah BrownJuly 2018
Mohamed ElmaaziMay 2018November 2019
Tareq HaddadApril 2017August 2017
Sofie Löwenmark2017
Millie Weaver2016
Kadri Gürsel20162018
James BallSeptember 2015Member of the Integrity Initiative
Clare FogesJune 2015
Justin Fox2015
Rick NoackJuly 2014
Steven Raeburn20142015
Jason Leopold20142017
Leonid Bershidsky2014
Souad MekhennetJuly 20132014
James Gordon Meek201327 April 2022Resigned abruptly after FBI raid on his home. Charged with transportation of child pornography.
Martin Kragh2013Also Integrity Initiative
Selva Demiralp20132019Attended Bilderberg/2019
David PallisterSeptember 2011July 2016
Gianni Riotta2011
Fareed Zakaria2010
Brian StelterMay 2007November 2013
Riam Dalati2007
Dominic Lawson20062013Exposed as a MI6 media asset
Jeff Zeleny20062013
Maryanne Demasi20062016Fired after pressure from Big Pharma
Maria FinoshinaNovember 2005
Hugo Rifkind2005
Souad MekhennetFebruary 2004July 2013
Lee CainJanuary 2004July 2013
Ben Nimmo20042011Including EU and NATO correspondent German Press Agency)
Marc Ellenbogen20042010
Jake Tapper20032008
Jodi Kantor2003
Souad Mekhennet20032013
Marcello MegaJuly 2001
Peggy Noonan2000Attended Bilderberg/2012, Bilderberg/2016, Bilderberg/2017, Bilderberg/2018
Sergio Romano19992016Attended Bilderberg/1992
Hala Gorani19982022
Hasan Cemal19982013Attended the 2004 Bilderberg conference.
Maurizio Molinari19972015
Luke Harding1996
Alain Duhamel1992
Lysiane Gagnon19902014Bilderberg/1991
Christoph von Marschall19881991
Steven Erlanger19871992
Barbara Amiel19861999Married to media tycoon Conrad Black. Attended Bilderberg/1993.
Clarence Mitchell1985January 1986
... further results


Related Quotations

Beatrix Armgard“The lie rules”Beatrix Armgard
Jimmy Carter“Nowadays, because of the unwarranted invasion of Iraq by Bush and Blair, which was a completely unjust adventure based on misleading statements, and the lack of any effort to resolve the Palestinian issue, [there is] massive Islamic condemnation of the United States. (...) (American media organisations), have been cowed, because they didn't want to be unpatriotic. There has been a lack of inquisitive journalism. In fact, it's hard to think of a major medium in the United States that has been objective and fair and balanced, and critical when criticism was deserved”Jimmy Carter2004
James Corbett“When there is a question mark in the headline, the answer is always no.”James Corbett22 October 2021
Corporate media/Deep state control“The reason I'd enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn’t been, as I’d assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job... The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn’t written anything important enough to suppress.”Gary Webb
Rodrigo Duterte“Just because you’re a journalist you are not exempted from assassination, if you’re a son of a bitch. Freedom of expression cannot help you if you have done something wrong...The constitution can no longer help you if you disrespect a person.”Rodrigo Duterte
Fort Russ“We reject the false model of ‘objective journalism’, [...] ‘Objective journalism’ was a false construct developed by corporate media to justify large monopolies. Can there be a view from nowhere? From everywhere all at once? Of course not. Journalism and news has always been the marriage of facts and narrative – facts do not speak for themselves, as what facts are presented always tells a different story. There are an infinite number of facts in the world we live in, the narratives we present must be narratives that are at the same time sober, truthful, and empowering.”Joaquin Flores
Chris Hedges“The crisis that we face is not so much an economic crisis but a moral crisis. The utter cynicism on the part of very well paid media who have become in essence hedonists of power (which is what courtiers are) that the truth no longer matters, that that sacred contract that a great reporter makes between the viewer or the reader to tell them the truth is no longer relevant.”Chris Hedges
Walter Lippmann“There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil - remain detached from the great”Walter Lippmann
Mabel van Oranje“Most mainstream media are being driven by print runs and ratings and not by unprejudiced critical analysis, truth-finding or simply delivering quality. Image is superseding content. Mass-media in the open society play an essential role for our orientation on the world and are of substantial importance for our view on the truth. (...) What is democracy if the vox populi will not listen to the truth but only wants to listen to sensationalism?”Mabel van Oranje
John Swinton“There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar weekly salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth; to lie outright; to pervert; to vilify; to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.”John Swinton1880


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:The Happiest of Daysblog post25 June 2024Craig MurrayCraig Murray: "I should be plain I have always advised Julian and Stella to take a plea deal if offered and get out of jail. I have no doubt this was a life or death choice."
Document:The Propaganda Multipliermedia analysis2016Swiss Policy Research


Official examples

Cassandra FairbanksWikileaksAmerican journalist; reported on Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.
Daria Kaleniuk2022 Russian invasion of UkraineDaria Kaleniuk emotionally confronted Boris Johnson on 2 March 2022 when he was visiting Poland and advocated for a no-fly zone over Ukraine.
Simon OstrovskyPussy Riot
Gerald PosnerOfficial narrative
JFK Assassination
MLK Assassination
A supporter of US deep state official narratives
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