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The Crisis In British Journalism

by | 14th, June 2008

WRITES Jonathan Foreman: 

British newspaper writing is famously more vigorous and readable than its American equivalent. But this comes at a price: there’s a good chance that anything you read in a British newspaper isn’t true.

When I worked as a leader writer for an American ­paper I was embarrassed when I was told that it was official policy not to trust any item in any British paper except the FT. American journalists work within a stringent code of ethics. If a journalist for a major paper or TV network is found to have run a false story — perhaps because it was “too good to check” — then his or her career is generally over. In Britain, getting caught telling or repeating a lie is much less serious than cheating on expenses. This is especially true in the world of foreign reporting.

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