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Posted by Christina W on November 30 2007, 11:30 » Uploaded 30/11/07 12:33  

Aside from message board contributions, the level of original article submissions to the Media Hell/Sceptic Community section has been disappointing (despite the high level of enthusiasm expressed for this facility in email feedback).

We think the reason is probably the lack of time experienced by most people. It's one thing to re-post a newspaper article, etc, or to offer an opinion on it - taking just minutes (most blogosphere and forum content appears to consist of this recirculation and opinion). It's another thing to sit down and write an original piece, and to do the research yourself. The latter takes time and effort.

(All the more good reason for Media Hell's focus on the long-hours work culture - and the way it restricts and dampens the potentially liberating effect of the Internet by minimising the free time that people have to research and write.)

Latest articles

Here are two recent contributions which have obviously benefited from their authors taking the time to do their own research and their own thinking:

A cure for the cancer in journalism by Daniel Simpson
Misrepresenting Iraq Body Count by Robert Shone

If you'd like to contribute an original piece on related topics (or on any other area covered by Media Hell), please see our Community page.

Best wishes,

Christina Webb
Media Sceptic Group

COMMENTS Post comment


Comment 01 – Brian D November 30 2007, 13:49

It's serious. How can anyone with a 48+hr-a-week job find time to do anything beyond shopping, eating, cleaning, resting and sleeping? We have the tools for social change - "truly" a communications utopia - but no time to really use them. (The unemployed and the financially independent are "our only hope" in this respect. Unless we find a way to do without sleep).

If full-time journalists are too time-pressed to take the time needed to dig up the necessary facts rather than rely on conveniently packaged PR (see Daniel Simpson's article, which cites a claim that "today’s average hack churns out three times as much copy as a peer 20 years ago, much of it dreamed up by a better-staffed public relations industry"), what love is there for those who must rely on unpaid leisure time to do such research (when most of their waking hours are taken up by their jobs).

What we tend to get instead is, as Christina says, recirculated, regurgitated. Independent thought takes time. Mechanically recycling opinions doesn't.

Comment 02 – Christina W November 30 2007, 14:46

I've put the articles on the Media Sceptic "mirror" site. When I get round to it, I'll put them on the Media Hell site, with the same URL endings.

Comment 03 – Stephen November 30 2007, 14:53

I'd welcome original articles on this site too. What a shame, then, that Robert Shone is recycling junk that has already been debunked.*

Hopefully, quality control will prevail and future mediasceptic articles will be of a far higher standard.

* E.g. see link below for comment 18 by dav; posted on October 11 2007 at 13:02[...]

Comment 04 – Christina W November 30 2007, 15:13

Thank you, Stephen. I've looked at the alleged "debunking" that you mention (since we prefer not to publish factually inaccurate material). To my reading, the "debunking" is actually no more than a list of unsupported assertions (eg "IBC did 'challenge' Lancet 1").

I'm aware that this topic has sparked much heated debate on this board. If you or the original poster would like to put some meat on the bones of the claimed "debunking" (ie supply fact and evidence rather than assertion), we'd be happy to publish it. Please see our contribution guidelines.


Christina Webb
Media Sceptic Group

Comment 05 – Peter December 1 2007, 09:56

Yes, the so-called "debunking" is laughable, methinks. Medialens groupies such as Stephen here (who, if you remember, was cautioned by the Board Admin for identity theft of another poster) apparently can't distinguish between bald assertion and supported argument.

I'm still waiting for Medialens to do the honourable thing wrt Professor Marc Herold's complaint about their misuse of his quote. Talk about "bad faith".


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