Two senior newspaper figures have defended the press against claims that reporters actively distort the news because of a lack of resource and a reliance on press releases.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Guardian journalist Nick Davies repeated claims made in his book Flat Earth News, published this week. He said: “Media outlets generally have moved in ownership terms into the hands of huge corporations and their primary motive life is profit.
“The logic of journalism has been overwhelmed by the logic of commercialism…journalists generally no longer have the resources to do their job properly.”
John Mullin, the new editor of the Independent on Sunday, said: “It’s interesting thesis…No one would deny there is a modicum of truth in what he says. Life is harder in journalism than probably it was 20 years ago. But to say journalism as a whole is a passive processor of news is completely wrong.”
Stuart Kuttner, managing editor of the News of World, rubbished the claims as “sour and gloomy” and said Davies must have been speaking from a newsroom “on another planet”.
He said: “If you read Nick’s book you get a view of British journalism as a corrupt profession but I think it is the finest in the world. It is admired throughout the world and rightly so. My News of the World reporters wouldn’t recognise that description at all.”
Davies’ book was serialised in last week’s Press Gazette and will be again this week.