Lets start with a positive. If your children want to become journalists they don’t need to pay twenty thousand pounds for a degree, not because the government has scrapped fees but because there seems to be no need for it.
This headline, thanks to Google was sent to my phone yesterday, it’s from The Evening Standard by the Political Editor Joe Murphy. (link to story here)
‘Labour print thousands of election leaflets with wrong date on them’
Underneath this headline was a big picture of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
“Oh my God, how stupid are Labour how can they run the country? They can’t. Jeremy Corbyn who I assume by the picture, printed each leaflet by hand is unelectable.” – I was supposed to think.
The 207 word article had been shared 3000 times. I won’t go through the whole article as it feels weird using to many more words than the ‘journalist’ did, but it starts off.
“Thousands of Labour election leaflets were allegedly pulped after being printed with the wrong date.”
“A Labour spokesman denied that any such mistake had been made by the national campaign team.”
So actually, this didn’t happen?
The article concludes.
“Labour MP Wes Streeting has said he cannot “pretend” Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has what it takes to run the country. Asked if Mr Corbyn would make a good Prime Minister, the Ilford North MP said: “I’ve said before that I don’t think he would. I’m not going to pretend to have had a damascene conversion.”
That concluding paragraph is 56 words, excuse my rough maths but that’s about a quarter of the article despite having nothing to do with the story, unless he is the ‘source’. (If like me you need to look up ‘damascene’ don’t it’s an anti climax)
This article by The Evening Standard would now not even pass the Facebook fake news crackdown. Do we really live in a time where Facebook has higher moral standards then The Evening Standard?
What if the story is true? I actually believe that it could be because if you think about it, this story came out April 25th and the local elections were on May 4th. So rather than ‘the wrong date’ being on the leaflets I think there is a chance that locally they would have been prepared with leaflets for local elections (denial was from national campaign). Alternative headlines could have been.
‘A well prepared Labour are forced to waste money due to Tory election plans’
‘Lib Dems know nothing, they know nothing, they know nothing.
about Labour leaflets’
Now of course there is no reason to suspect that The Evening Standard would have anything other than a fair view on all political parties. I don’t know who their editor is but no doubt that she is over educated in journalism if anything and this was a mere slip up.
This all aside, media have a massive influence over things like elections and when you have papers like this writing lies (or known half truths) its basically false advertising or negative product placement. As soon as the election started across the media you could see a theme of ‘Jeremy Corbyn can’t run the country’ which makes no sense.
A, he won’t run the country, he will lead the party that do (this is not House of cards)
B, you could say that of anyone that has not run a country (which is more people than you might think)
Fake news has become a jokey term (A term that Donald Trump has marked the world with, let’s hope it’s the only mark he leaves on the earth) which is a problem. It should be called Slanted news, vindictive news, news that serves the writer not the reader. At the very least it should not just pass unchallenged.
Joe Murphy, The Evening Standard and whom ever the editor might be should be ashamed.
This article is about 600 words long. It has no political agenda as I couldn’t really careless who you vote for (if you need help read this. Everything you need to know about the Election) I have a Creative Writing degree which does not qualify me in any way to be a journalist (or does it?).