Churnalism: BBC's Marsh responds to Nick Davies' book

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More commentary on Nick Davies’ contentions contained in his book Flat Earth News.

Writing on the BBC Editors’ blog, the BBC college of journalism editor Kevin Marsh rejects the idea that ‘churnalism’ and the pressure to fill pages is to blame for journalists breaking the law, making factual errors or showing institutional bias.

Marsh says that ‘churnalism’ was not to blame for former News of the World reporter Clive Goodman resorting to illegal phone bugging or the failure by journalists to check facts in cases like the recent child trafficking in Slough or why some political journalists ended up accepting the Campbell PR line in Tony Blair era Downing Street.

Marsh says: “These are all questions of personal, moral and ethical choices. If a journalist chooses to abandon the principles that all journalists claim to hold (commitment to the truth, independence, acting in the interest of the public) then he or she can blame no-one but him/herself.”

But Marsh says that all serious journalists in the UK should take Davies’ claims seriously, adding: “The truth is, too many British newspaper journalists have for too long confused verification with impact, independence with arrogance and the interests of the public with the basest interests of some sectors of the public.”

More reaction here.

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