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Concept.png Journalist  SourcewatchRdf-icon.png
Interest of• HonestReporting
• Poynter Institute

Journalists write stories for newspapers.

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

Reliance on 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.[2] 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.

Investigative journalism

“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 Media 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)  [3]

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


Gary Webb stated in 2003 that he thought investigative journalism was being intentionally "squeezed out of the picture because it tends to ruffle feathers".

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."[4] The same phenomenon allows official narratives about deep events to be widely promulgated, seemingly in defiance of common sense.[5]

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

Steven Raeburn20142015
David PallisterSeptember 2011July 2016
Maria FinoshinaNovember 2005
Ben Nimmo20042011Including EU and NATO correspondent German Press Agency)
Marcello Mega19952001
Marcello Mega19891995
Clarence Mitchell1985January 1986
David Pallister19742009


Related Quotations

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
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
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 Document

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:The Propaganda Multipliermedia analysis2016Swiss Propaganda Research


An official example

Gerald PosnerOfficial narrative
JFK Assassination
MLK Assassination
A supporter of US deep state official narratives


  3. GNN GNN Video
  5. i.e. The unprecedented collapse of WTC7 due to fire was predicted, the black boxes from the planes were never recovered but an undamaged passport was.