The point of the media is to inform. To bring knowledge (facts…) to the party. However, in a culture of competition the essence of informing becomes secondary to clickbait. The need for attracting people to the site… to pump up advertising revenue is numero uno on the priority list. This is not desirable to journalists…, except that it helps to keep them in work and improve their status, but is the command of the owners and shareholders. They want the balance sheet to look healthy and how it gets there is often much less important.

A case in point has been Covid-19…. A virus. A ‘pandemic’. An opportunity to focus in on one of the key stimulants of nature. Fear. Play on people’s fears and many succumb. They become addicted to it. It is a wonderful way for those who hold power to control large swathes of a population and therefore adds to the profit incentive as a mechanism utilised by key influencers. The debate around Covid and all those other attachments that have entered the consciousness have become divisive and controversial. The virus itself, the methodology to avoid it, keeping numbers down to alleviate pressure on health and care services, the proposed response to protect those who may be vulnerable or infectious… have all caused a polarisation of opinion. The dogma, often based not on fact and context but psychological needs, have magnified an already very toxic state. The state of division within multiple societies has come to the fore and although the genie was already out of the bottle it is now visible to most if not all.

This is why it is important for the media to give accurate information where possible. If they do not eventually they will become irrelevant and redundant. If people have a need to be fearful then it should be their own response to facts… not a manufactured state to increase revenue and control.

A clear example can be found in the Dorset Echo in response to the latest Covid data.

‘MORE than 400 new coronavirus cases have been recorded across Dorset, according to the latest government update.’

‘The Department of Health and Social Care website shows there were 418 positive Covid-19 tests reported in the county in the 24 hours up to 3.45pm on Saturday, December 26.’

Read rest of article here.

The issue as was pointed out by some people in the comments is that this is blatantly wrong.

Portlandbiker 26th December 06:23 pm User ID: 1424444 14

‘Echo figures and ONS Goverment figures completely different,yet again!!!! Report figures properly, the numbers are probably rising due to the fact that people have still turned up for holidays over Christmas, there are cars parked up around harbour area with holiday cottage parking passes displayed in car windscreens’

JSinc 2 hrs ago User ID: 2431649 1

‘Your figures are incorrect. It’s over 400 cases in the last 7 days, not the last 24 hours. Source: Coronavirus government site (can’t post links as they’re disabled)’

Both of these commentators have gone away and checked for themselves and disproved the content. That in itself is a very health state but unfortunately they are in the minority. The majority of readers merely accepted the incorrect information as factual.

As the official data reveals the ‘People testing positive in Dorset’ data is over a seven day period. The inference from the Dorset Echo is that it is a twenty four hour period. By not ensuring the narrative and the official graphical data marry up many will succumb to the inaccuracies. As can be seen below the picture painted by the Echo is wrong.

Whether it was an attempt to attract more readers or less than competent journalism is not the point here. Any editor worth their salt would have made sure information like this is accurate before publishing. No the issue here is that the public are being fed information that may alter their physical and psychological behaviour and that information is WRONG.

Thankfully not everyone fell for it but many did.

Hopefully they will take the article down or update it. Hopefully from now on the public will come first and not a cash register mentality that has already buried the planet in a corrosive substance. All for a very small minority of people who would pass the psychopath test with their first breath.

If it is any comfort to them one of the least trusted print media in Europe is also at it. Regularly.

However, please think of those who given a choice would rather they were not fed offal and then repeat offal as fact. How pointless it makes their opinions and how avoidable it is. Here’s to a pride in journalism 2021.

James Finlayson


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