Flacks or Hacks, or Guardian, Heal Thyself

pr die

Posted on April 14, 2014 by Ruth O’Brien

When The Guardian starts mining one of its competitors — for information, truth, or irony — I start clicking sources.  I let my fingers do the walking, only to discover the truth of their statement that there are over four times as many spin doctors as there are journalists in the United States.  To be precise there are 4.6 employees in PR for every single journalist.

Yet the Wall Street Journal blogged about the same Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) press release on April 1st (seriously, BLS?).  Then wait another two weeks, and today, The Guardian blogs about it. In so doing, they literally proved their point that journalists being are four-cornered by PR.

Other than restating the obvious (and the serious) — that politicians and corporations cannot be trusted to set our information agendas (just go watch the movie Drone, released tomorrow) — The Guardian was too cheeky for me, an earnest American, to have missed the obvious irony of how they underscored their own point by having journalism recycle not just a press release, but an old one.

P.S. This said, congratulations to The Guardian on the Pulitzer Public Service Award announced post, this posting!

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About Ruth O'Brien

Professor Ruth O'Brien, The Graduate Center, The City University of New York (CUNY) & Honorary Unaffiliated Academic Book Series Editor for The Public Square, Princeton University Press & Heretical Thought, Oxford University Press, USA Last book: Out of Many, One: Obama & the Third American Political Tradition (U of Chicago 2013). Nickname: Professorette by Rush Limbaugh (see http://www.gc.cuny.edu/Faculty/Core-Bios/Ruth-O-Brien)

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