good for bristol

Friday, 13 September 2013

Local media vulnerabilities

The Bristol Post has sacked most of its journalists and many of its 'news' articles are cut-and-pasted press releases. In this instance they don't appear to have read the Avon and Somerset Fire Service newsroom articles they've been publishing.

When you write a press release you are actually writing the news article the media will eventually publish. Back in the day news was written by journalists. Now both the local and national print media mostly simply re-publish press releases. For activists - of whatever stripe - this means an uncritical, unthinking press can be hijacked to get out a message.

Avon Car and Commercials of Charlton Road, Kingswood must have upset someone, for a few weeks ago in July an arsonist attacked their business. The Post wrote it up here.

The same business was attacked again on 2 September. Here's the Post article. The journalist failed to link this dramatic fire to the equally dramatic fire just a few weeks before.

The business was attacked again on 10 September. Here's the Post article. Unbelievably, they fail to link the attack to one just days before. Are they even reading the articles they write?

It appears not. The Avon and Somerset Fire Service reports for each fire are here, here and here.

It's obvious - in the unlikely event you bother to read any of the Post or Fire Service articles - the Post is simply cut-and-pasting the Fire Service press releases into their paper and website without reading them.

If a human being was actually reading these articles they'd notice yet another devastating fire at the same establishment with multiple fire appliances attending, arson and neighbours injured and evacuated. Their readers - me, for example - managed to link the stories together without even trying.

Their journalists aren't reading the stuff they publish under their own byline. Remember that, when you send them a press release - you could write anything and the next day read it in the newsagents.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Good spot.

    Like the blog, some interesting stories - your Central Library/BCCS Primary Free School one certainly seemed to touch a few nerves; and the Elim eviction one starkly illustrated housing issues in Bristol - and you clearly have your ear to the ground.

    Fancy submitting stuff to The BRISTOLIAN?