Media Watch

April 7, 2009

The team over at Bloggerheads have had a great idea, which I’ll be looking into:

Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve all seen the recent/sudden downturn in the quality and reliability of mainstream news and comment, coinciding with alarming outbreaks of carelessness and sheer malice in some places.

We’ve got at least one rogue publisher (Richard Desmond) thumbing his nose at the PCC, and while every news outlet is begging us for chunks of our private lives that they can publish for profit (with or without our permission), no bugger will answer our emails or address our concerns when something that is clearly false has been published, and no effort has been made to remove, correct or (Dog forbid) alert readers to the error. Meanwhile, pretty much the same applies to the (blissfully) few ‘leading bloggers’ who claim to be challenging the establishment.

The only news outlet that’s in any way compelled to answer is the BBC, who find themselves crippled since Andrew Gilligan shot off his fat gob, and under constant attack by the same parties described in the previous paragraph (i.e. those who demand accountability of others, yet think themselves above it).

Clearly the time has come for us to form organised squads and start hitting people with sticks.

If you’re of a mind to do something positive and powerful about outright lies in the media, I invite you to join the Media Watch Rock-a-Hula, now in progress.

Much like Sun Lies and Mail Watch, the job (described in detail here) is to target outright lies, document them where possible (on your own site if you wish), and pursue a correction with vigour when circumstances call/allow for it.

While I expect this to be a modest-sized crowd with maybe a few dozen experienced/dedicated bloggers, writers and researchers on board at first, there are roles that pretty much anyone can play.

Yes, even you.

You could easily be that one person in a thousand with the right expertise, contacts, access or influence required to get a specific job done quickly, and if not, someone has to carry the pitchforks and kerosene.

Anything you do will be on a strictly voluntary basis and you can do it with or without a website. You’ll probably even learn a few things as we go along, and as natural talent groups form within the crowd (as they usually do), we can casually give birth to little beasties like the long-overdue Express Watch and more.

Should be well worth tracking and, if you have the time and inspiration, taking part in. Twitter it here.

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