One of the world’s best known ex-PRs, Alistair Campbell, recently critiqued the media for its inability to separate between speculation and information, the important and the trivial, rehashing news, getting it first rather than getting it right plus its language of extremes. In reply, Guardian columnist Peter Wilby aimed a kick at the PR industry saying, among quotes…
“PR at best aspires to a partial truth and, at worse, to outright fabrication.”
“PR far more than journalism shapes the news agenda…At least half the news in papers is generated not by journalist, but by PRs or spin doctors.” And he insists the problem centres around:
“Fewer journos producing more copy plus more PRs offering more ‘instant stories.”
Wilby says the solution might be a ‘narrow newspaper’ – where every statement gets rigorously checked and attributed to name sources…journos only use press releases if they could corroborate contents from other sources…editors would appy some test to distinguish the important from the trivial – sorry, Peter…but aren’t your solutions just the fundamentals of professional journalism??