Flat Earth News

About the book

Flat Earth News

An award-winning reporter exposes falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the global media

"Finally I was forced to admit that I work in a corrupted profession." When award-winning journalist Nick Davies decided to break Fleet Street's unwritten rule by investigating his own colleagues, he found that the business of truth had been slowly subverted by the mass production of ignorance.

Working with a network of off-the-record sources, Davies uncovered the story of the prestigious Sunday newspaper which allowed the CIA and MI6 to plant fiction in its columns; the daily newsroom where senior reporters casually refer to 'nig nogs' and where executives routinely reject stories about black people; the respected quality paper which was so desperate for scoops that it hired a conman to set up a front company to entrap senior political figures. He found papers supporting law and order while paying cash bribes to bent detectives and hiring private investigators to steal information.

Davies names names and exposes the national news stories which turn out to be pseudo events manufactured by the PR industry and the global news stories which prove to be fiction generated by a new machinery of international propaganda.

He shows the impact of this on a world where media consumers believe a mass of stories which, in truth, are as false as the idea that the Earth is flat - from the millennium bug to the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, tainting government policy, perverting popular belief.

He presents a new model for understanding news. With the help of researchers from Cardiff University, who ran a ground-breaking analysis of the contents and sources for our daily news, Davies found most reporters most of the time are not allowed to dig up stories or check their facts - a profession corrupted at the core.

Read All About It. The news will never look the same again.

Nick Davies must be a brave

Added: 17 March 2010

Nick Davies must be a brave man... He has launched a devastating attack on not only the state of modern journalism, but also on the basic integrity of many of those involved in the profession. And this from a major paper journalist who must now have made a lot of enemies within his industry.
As long as journalism is a profit-making enterprise, and as long as corporations have a legally-binding fiduciary duty to maximise shareholder value, but no similarly binding duty to tell the truth, this problem isn't going away. It's not just a problem with journalism, it's a problem with our fundamental ideas regrading the core purpose of economic activity. Making money is more important than doing a good job, and the only really important metric is profitability. If it's more profitable to tell lies than the truth, that's exactly what will happen.
This is also the root of the melamine-contaminated milk scandal, and too many others to mention. Profit trumps all other considerations. I’d heard the goss in some interview found by mp3 search about ND not actually doing any research for this book. But then, why would he need to? Surely the facts are right there in front of us. I have yet to read the book but it would appear to confirm my fear (and that of a great number of other people) that the manipulation of the press by unscrupulous journalists has been around for a long time.

Indeed he is a brave

Added: 4 March 2011

Indeed he is a brave man,thanks for posting.
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The Millennium Bug

Added: 29 June 2009

Doubtless the media does peddle stories that "are as false as the idea that the Earth is flat". But the millennium bug wasn't one of them. It was a real problem: if a computer program assumed (as many absurdly did – especially in banks) that the first two digits of the year are “19″, that program won't work when the first two digits are “20″. Think of an interest calculation for example. That’s why the Bank of England and the Bank of International Settlements in Basle took it so seriously. Just as well.

The media's failure was to trivialise the whole thing by quoting "experts" who made daft "predictions" - e.g. that planes would fall from the sky. No expert said that.

Robin Guenier

The Millennium Bug

Added: 7 April 2010

Although this was a real technical issue for a few old computer systems that had not been updated, The media did tell everyone that anything with a microchip in it could be affected, and we had the ridiculous situation where companies were spending huge amount of time and resource checking everything from the photocopier to the toaster and putting "Millennium compliant" stickers on something that has no clock built into it, no chip, its just a toaster!!. As an electronics engineer for 20 years I could not believe the way people just went along with the media hype, there was real panic from people who should have known better, but they just went with the masses and the funny thing is, even when you know something is nonsense, you doubt yourself because you think this many people can't be wrong . The emperor's new clothes .

>>> Archive of Nick Davies work >>> Flat Earth News is now out in paperback Flat Earth News >>> Reporting Masterclass