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Old 09-14-2018, 09:55 PM   #46
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My older son used to be a journalist. He had high standards and made sure. But "always" is a pretty high standard -- actually, impossible. Everyone makes mistakes. The better the newspaper, the more corrections it publishes...
You have papers that publish corrections as a matter of course (rather than just when they would be otherwise sued) ?

Not that I read the likes of the Guardian (for example) much but one thing I do respect them for is that they openly state that they are biased. One can read their articles knowing that they have left stuff out and what kind of stuff it was that was likely left out; they are at least truthful about that .
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:02 PM   #47
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You have papers that publish corrections as a matter of course (rather than just when they would be otherwise sued) ?
It is almost impossible to successfully sue an American newspaper for something they printed.

See:

https://www.nytimes.com/section/corrections

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Not that I read the likes of the Guardian (for example) . . .
So that would be an example of a newspaper you can't fairly evaluate, right?
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Old 09-14-2018, 10:43 PM   #48
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Are your quotations above accurate?

I realize that you don't intend for "Joe Bloggs" to be an actual person. But, well, I have a personal problem with seeing words between quotation marks that aren't quotations. If you are going to criticize professional mainstream journalism for being inaccurate, how about showing us how it can be done better?

Of course, if Joe Bloggs is a politician, we can't talk about it in this part of Mobileread. But if he's a publishing executive, let's name names here
No they are just written as typical of, not as a specific case involving Joe Bloggs.

But both in my work over the years and outside of it when I have seen the actual words spoken or have access to the video of the interview, I have seen journalists deliberately misquote (either along the lines of my example or in some other way) in order fit the agenda of their story.

I could goon forever with examples I have come across but here's a short one that doesn't take up much room to explain. I was doing a lot of work for a client that had, because of that project, a high level of interest. CEO of my client was telephoned by news team at 2am in the morning and presented with union claim that the project was failing and the faults in it presented a serious risk to the public. The CEO said that it was unlikely there was any such problem and he would address it with his senior executives first thing in the morning and get back. In the morning headline news (on radio) presenting the union's claim as fact and claiming "The company's CEO refused to comment".

First thing in the morning business hours the company (including myself) spoke to the newsroom as a group (something one would not do if any doubts because of the risk of accidental contradictions). We easily convinced them that they had run with an incorrect story, however even though they had run the story for 3 hours they never ever corrected it, they did drop it though.

So another rule is if one sees a dramatic news story and it just disappears from sight it is because either no one was interested or it was wrong.

One could claim that is just one example so proves nothing, but I could go on forever. But for the sake of it let's go on a bit more ; a similar type to the above I have experienced a number of times; newsroom phones company, the telephone receptionist or a PA takes the call and truthfully says that there is no one in able to respond on the matter at the moment but Joe Bloggs will get back to the newsroom as soon as they get back in. It is reported as "A senior executive of the company refused to comment".

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Old 09-14-2018, 10:52 PM   #49
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So that would be an example of a newspaper you can't fairly evaluate, right?
I actually said "Not that I read the likes of the Guardian (for example) much", I did not say that I did not read it at all. So yes, I can evaluate it.

Seeing as you quoted me as saying "Not that I read the likes of the Guardian (for example) . . ." so misquoting me by truncation to suit your agenda, you must be a journalist

EDIT: PS - re suing newspapers; news media here are rarely sued but it does happen (they usually lose). But it requires very deep pockets, a lot of time and, of course, continuing media attention. So most (in fact all that I can recall offhand) are by wealthy or tenacious individuals, the rest of us don't have the money and companies have better things to do with their time as stories die quick if one doesn't keep poking them in the eye (don't explain, don't sue, let it die).

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Old 09-14-2018, 11:03 PM   #50
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In the morning headline news (on radio) . . .
The newspaper I now subscribe to is the Washington Post, although until a few months ago I also subscribed to the New York Times. All I mobileread on Kindle. That's my mainstream media. (It also used to include papers ranging from the LA Times to the Chicago Tribune to even the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but their newsrooms have been so horribly cut that we are down to just a couple papers with substantial national and international bureaus.)

You certainly could be right about that radio station or network, and might want to name it rather than make broad-brush accusations.

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It is reported as "A senior executive of the company refused to comment".
I googled what is in quotation marks. Google returned:

Quote:
No results found for "A senior executive of the company refused to comment."
Perhaps this was on the radio only. But please provide the source.

If you don't have it, or your quotations are really paraphrases, why should I trust what you are saying more than Bob Woodward?
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Old 09-14-2018, 11:48 PM   #51
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@Steve. I often see articles that one person or another has refused to comment. Whilst the search on "A senior executive of the company refused to comment" indeed produced no results a search on "executive refused to comment" produces quite a few. The point is that there are many examples of this type of journalism, sometimes deliberate and sometimes in error. It happens on all media but I think television and to a lesser extent radio are worse than print, though it is far too common. For critical analysis in Australia we have:

For the left wing perspective, Australia's self proclaimed leading forum for media analysis and content:

ABC Media Watch

If you prefer a right-wing slant we have Gerard Henderson's highly satirical Media Watchdog:

Media Watch Dog

Both are replete with examples of shocking and too often deliberately misleading journalism. I should add that, like Politicians, there are some good ones who try to do the right thing. But Journalists now rank towards the bottom of the scale where public trust is concerned. This article from the UK seems to be fairly typical of such survey results:

Trust Me I'm a Journalist

I find this very sad as a free press is vital to a free society. I have no opinion on Bob Woodward's book as I haven't yet read it. My default approach to the work of Journalist's these days is extreme scepticism.
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:07 AM   #52
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The newspaper I now subscribe to is the Washington Post, although until a few months ago I also subscribed to the New York Times. All I mobileread on Kindle. That's my mainstream media. (It also used to include papers ranging from the LA Times to the Chicago Tribune to even the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, but their newsrooms have been so horribly cut that we are down to just a couple papers with substantial national and international bureaus.)

You certainly could be right about that radio station or network, and might want to name it rather than make broad-brush accusations.

I googled what is in quotation marks. Google returned:

Perhaps this was on the radio only. But please provide the source.

If you don't have it, or your quotations are really paraphrases, why should I trust what you are saying more than Bob Woodward?
I quoted examples only, the practices I describe are widespread in the media. As I said I could go on forever giving them (but I won't). And I can relate much worse such as their pretty much destroying the short term prospectss of 2 company executives (accused of colluding to award a 9 figure contract to their own preferred contractor rather than by fair comparison) simply by the media running with a story that sold rather than taking the trouble of seeking out the facts which would have left them with no story. This was not in my own country but I was working in the organization with complete visibility of the real situation.

My experiences with the media are first hand (i.e. I have detailed knowledge of the actual events through being present) in 2 countries. I visit many news sites in my own country, Australia, the UK (predominantly the BBC), and a number in the USA. I have travelled to work in a number of countries many times, including the USA, those in Europe, Australia and the Pacific and see their media. They all run the same practices.

I am not going to specifically accuse either people or organizations here as you request I do, nor identify the organizations and people misrepresented by the media, I am not that type. But I know that much of what I say is widely suspected as being as it is, even by people with no first hand media experience, because all the surveys of trustworthiness I have seen place journalists with a few others at the very lowest levels - you can chose to be one of the minority if you wish.

In the end it does not matter at all to me if you disregard what I have stated as being broad brush so not useful, or just waffle until I prove otherwise. I am surprised that you think it should matter to me.

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Old 09-15-2018, 01:50 AM   #53
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Could we get back on topic, please, which is the recent publication of Fear?
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Old 09-15-2018, 02:10 AM   #54
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@Steve. I often see articles that one person or another has refused to comment. Whilst the search on "A senior executive of the company refused to comment" indeed produced no results a search on "executive refused to comment" produces quite a few.
I did a search on "company executive commented" and it would seem, if relying on such searches, that not only do company executives rarely refuse to comment they also rarely get asked to comment .
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Old 09-15-2018, 02:11 AM   #55
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Could we get back on topic, please, which is the recent publication of Fear?
I was editing so missed your post, no more from me.
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Old 09-15-2018, 05:56 AM   #56
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My older son used to be a journalist. He had high standards and made sure. But "always" is a pretty high standard -- actually, impossible. Everyone makes mistakes. The better the newspaper, the more corrections it publishes.

Having finished Fear, I'm now most of the way through All the President's Men. The latter convinces me that the earlier Woodward/Bernstein team always made sure. Now, once in a great while, they made a mistake. The mistake they write about the most (at least in the first 60 percent of the book) was one where they had four sources.

...
As I mentioned earlier, once the identity of the leaker, Mark Felt, was made public in 2005, people started calling into question the accuracy of All The King's Men. Many said that Deep Throat in the book was actually a combination of informants, merged together for dramatic effect. It's not unexpected that Bob Woodward would be the hero in his own story, but sometimes artistic license wins out over accuracy.

[just as a note, Felt, the Associate Director of the FBI during that time period, turned informant because he was upset that he was bypassed for the Director's job in favor of L Patrick Gray and wanted to get back at Nixon and Gray.]
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Old 09-15-2018, 06:12 AM   #57
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As I mentioned earlier, once the identity of the leaker, Mark Felt, was made public in 2005, people started calling into question the accuracy of All The King's Men.
You may want to correct the above. I know the President has many similarities to a King, but it does remain a different title. In the context of Nixon of course Humpty Dumpty does come to mind.

I think you have a point in both this and your previous post. I have next to zero interest in political memoirs and can only recall reading a single one in the past 5 years or so. I'm starting to seriously considering reading this for the simple purpose of seeing how Woodward has presented it.
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Old 09-15-2018, 07:11 AM   #58
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As I mentioned earlier, once the identity of the leaker, Mark Felt, was made public in 2005, people started calling into question the accuracy of All The King's Men.
As darryl pointed out, All the King's Men is not an accurate title here. Now, I make a lot of mistakes in my own posts. When you have Woodward's team behind you (read acknowledgements in Fear), you make a lot fewer.

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Many said that Deep Throat in the book was actually a combination of informants . . .
So when Woodward and Bernstein said they had, say, four sources for a story, they really had five?

In any event, the sources aren't named in Fear.
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Old 09-15-2018, 12:28 PM   #59
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You may want to correct the above. I know the President has many similarities to a King, but it does remain a different title. In the context of Nixon of course Humpty Dumpty does come to mind.

I think you have a point in both this and your previous post. I have next to zero interest in political memoirs and can only recall reading a single one in the past 5 years or so. I'm starting to seriously considering reading this for the simple purpose of seeing how Woodward has presented it.
Yea, you are right. It's All the President's Men, which was a take off of All the King's Men, a fairly well known 1946 novel loosely based on Huey Long of Louisiana that was later made into a movie. I'm pretty sure that Nixon was never accused of the type of corruption that Huey Long was, but it does tell you where Woodward was coming from.
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Old 09-15-2018, 12:41 PM   #60
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As darryl pointed out, All the King's Men is not an accurate title here. Now, I make a lot of mistakes in my own posts. When you have Woodward's team behind you (read acknowledgements in Fear), you make a lot fewer.

So when Woodward and Bernstein said they had, say, four sources for a story, they really had five?

In any event, the sources aren't named in Fear.
The critics say that the one source, Deep Throat, is a combination of multiple sources of whom Feld was one, who are combined for dramatic effect in the book.

I'm aware that Woodward doesn't name sources in Fear. It's an issue since you have no idea how seriously to take the charges. As I've said, many of the people who were at the events mentioned in the book have denied the accuracy of the accounts.

I've always enjoyed history, and even minored in it in college (majored in computer science). One thing one learns is that if you don't know the source, you have no idea how seriously to take the account. As an example, the accounts of what happened at Gettysburg are wildly different depending on who the source is and when the source was telling their story. Longstreet wrote three different versions. Many versions seem to have been made up whole cloth well after the war for political reasons. We see the same thing with what is going on in Washington these days. A lot of stuff being made up whole cloth just to feed a political narrative.
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