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Journalism and newspapers

Further evidence of decline in the established print media from Daily Mail group newspapers. Regardless of what you think about the politics of the Daily Mail itself, this is extremely bad news for a lot of highly skilled, diligent journalists, sales people and print production folk.

I joined the trade of print journalism at the end of the 1980s and, even then, it felt as if I’d arrived at the end of a really great party, there was still plenty going on in the kitchen, but it was definitely the fag end of proceedings.

The lights are going out now.

If you’d like a reason why this is happening I can refer you to a small but instructive story about how newspapers forgot they-were-documents-of-public-record. (This implies a certain responsibility to the public to be fair, truthful and accurate in your reporting – or, at least acknowledge who is telling you what and why).

The most recent one concerns one of my old papers – The Sunday Express – which recently published a dreadful piece of nonsense about how the survivors of the 1996 Dunblane school massacre were shaming the memory of the dead from that event by getting drunk and behaving like teenagers do. The ‘information’ from this ‘story’ was culled from personal facebook pages of the teenagers in question.

Happily, Tim Ireland at Bloggerheads has done a wonderful piece of campaigning journalism in return and has, with the help of may others active in the digital world, succeeded in getting the paper to apologise for publishing an awful and unjustifiable piece of tat. All-Media Scotland have a good round up piece here.

UPDATED: March 24th *am. Good analysison The Scottish Sunday Express by Paul Bradshaw at the Online Journalism blog.

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