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Tagged: / Posted: 9 December 2008

Hi Nick,

I read your book because it came reccommended in Private Eye, the only source of news that I really trust to be reliable. I found it a complete eye-opener and have since learned to read news stories with a critical eye - a sort of "flat-earth radar". I've also stopped (almost entirely) reading any international news from the BBC - reading instead about the Mumbai bombings/ongoing crisis in Gaza from online newspapers published in Pakistan or the Arab countries. And reading with a critical eye, looking for direct quotes, named sources and multiple sources of information. The result is news that is much more complicated, opinion from various different countries, and often me confusing myself - in other words, the news comes alive. So thanks for teaching me a valuable lesson about how to read the news.

I was particularly interested in Ed Vulliamy's report about the mythical Iraqi WMDs and the information provided by Mel Goodman. Admittedly, I know virtually nothing about how journalism works (I'm a Psychology student - I don't study media) but in that situation, faced with a newspaper that won't publish the vitally important story that you as a journalist have come up with - is there nothing that the reporter can do to 'leak' the story in another form? I'm thinking perhaps anonymous blogging - or a website set up specifically to allow frustrated reporters to get their stories into the public domain when their paper won't publish. Perhaps I'm just naive, and there would be far too many practical/moral/legal issues with doing this - but I for one would be very interested in reading all those Vulliamy-type stories that should have made it to print but didn't...

Anyway, keep up the good work

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