A writer for the UK’s Guardian mourns the public’s migration from the conventional mass media to the internet. Nick Cohen says: “Why, then, mourn the passing of the hack? The best reason for wanting my colleagues to survive is that serious reporters and broadcasters offer a guarantee that what they say is true. If they stray, their editors impose journalistic standards and insist on objectivity. They may not have the best or fullest story or the most vivid account, but readers should be able to assume their work is reliable, while a blogger’s commitment to objectivity can never be assumed.
"The BBC offers the most comprehensive guarantee. Politicians and lobbyists want to influence it more than any other news organisation because, despite occasional lapses, its reporters have earned the right to be believed.
"The corporation should be becoming the most important news institution not merely in Britain but the world.”
If the mass media worked as well as Mister Cohen says we would bemoan its waning audience as he does. The trouble is, too often and in too many circumstances, mass media is a font of politically correct ideology rather than objective truth. With reference to the BBC in particular, one of our regular contributors notes, “I have appeared on BBC radio several times. As usual, I provide extensive follow-up links for reporters about tobacco. As usual, zero response and the party line continues unabated.”