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Concept.png Journalist 
Type job
Interest of • HonestReporting
• Poynter Institute

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 were discontinued, because they were an embarrassment to the interests of deep pocketed advertisers.[1] It is unclear to what extent this was a deliberately engineered outcome, to what extent a byproduct of other economic trends.

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."[2] The same phenomenon allows official narratives about deep events to be widely promulgated, seemingly in defiance of common sense.[3]  

Office Holders on Wikispooks

Steven Raeburn20142015
David PallisterSeptember 2011July 2016
Maria FinoshinaNovember 2005
Marcello Mega19952001
Marcello Mega19891995
David Pallister19742009

Related Quotation

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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


  3. 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.

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