When I checked in at the University of Stirling in 2002, I was a mature student who went there because I wanted a career in the trade union movement working in the media department. At that time it was a joint politics and media degree. Before the end of it, I had made a profound shift and wanted to focus on the media part.
I had discovered a deep love for film. I added that and dropped politics. At no point did I consider journalism although I was already a prolific writer; indeed, 18 months later I began the website – Union Uncovered – that almost got me expelled and made me semi-notorious. The events of those years eventually formed the basis for a novel.
I’m often asked why I didn’t move into journalism and the reasons were many and time has done nothing to make me think I was wrong about any of them. I had already read many of the standard texts for studying media and communications, including Manufacturing Consent, the brilliant and illuminating book by Noam Chomsky which had a major impact on my thinking and writing and certainly on my career choices.
I’ve written many times on this site about my view that the media in this country has become lazy and is too used to hand outs and being spoon fed. Their ability to be critical is directly tied to their need for continuing access and they are terrified of rocking the boat lest that access be denied to them, forcing them to do actual journalism.
Last night I wrote a piece on the supposed deal to take Jamie Murphy to Sevco; that deal remains incomplete at the time of writing this.
Only the bloggers have offered critical analysis of the situation at Sevco and expressed doubts as to whether the deal will be done. Only the blogs have explored the fractured dynamic inside Ibrox. Only the blogs are asking where the money is coming from.
There is not one blog anywhere – except perhaps Ibrox Noise – that would have insulted its readers intelligence (and they get off because their readers have none) the way The Daily Record did shortly after I posted my piece when they put up their own saying Murphy would be on the plane with the Sevco team this morning as they left for Florida.]
None, Ibrox Noise included, would have then doubled the already ridiculous Murphy fee as both our national tabloids did this morning.
£2 million? Does anyone in the editorial departments of those newspapers even care how flat out ridiculous that sounds, and how ridiculous it makes them sound in turn? Do they even have any standards left? They are a disgrace.
And of course The Record compounded this nonsense by sniping at Brighton. Their editor was on Twitter openly spinning a brazen lie, that the English club had “moved the goalposts” at the last minute. Utter nonsense, as many of us were quick to tell him.
And I know they got that bullshit from Sevco PR people.
Here’s my question; when do they say “enough of this”? Is there a point when their so-called journalists get handed a piece of outright falsehood like this and say “listen I’m not writing that.” Is there a point where their editors say “we’re not publishing it”?
Those kinds of stories should shame them. They are being fed a constant stream of this stuff and they lap it up and then spew it onto their back pages and their websites. And over and over and over again we expose them as lies and the papers liars for pushing it.
If they had an ounce of professionalism they’d feel as insulted by it as their dwindling band of readers do. The media has never been more distrusted. Days like today are why.