Flat Earth News Book Summary By Nick Davies

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Flat Earth News is an eye-opening book which provides insight into the inner workings of the news media.

It reveals how journalists are often under extreme pressure from the media outlets they serve, which are usually run by profit-seeking corporations.

This book further explains why it's so easy for spin doctors to alter press releases, or why news desks just republish stories without examining them rigorously first.

It's a must read for anyone interested in the complex relationship between money and media, and how profit desires can corrupt the integrity of news reporting.

Flat Earth News Book

Book Name: Flat Earth News (An Award-Winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion, and Propaganda in the Global Media)

Author(s): Nick Davies

Rating: 4.4/5

Reading Time: 15 Minutes

Categories: Society & Culture

Author Bio

Nick Davies is no ordinary journalist.

He is an investigative journalist and the author of four books, and he has worked for some of the most prestigious English newspapers, including The Guardian.

He is also well-known for his work on television documentaries and has been named Journalist of the Year, Reporter of the Year, and Feature Writer of the Year in multiple British press awards.

His latest release, Flat Earth News, gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at how journalists deliver news today and why it often goes wrong.

As told through Nick's own experience, this book is sure to provide a captivating read with thought-provoking insights into one of our most important industries - journalism.

Understanding Corporate Media: Why Relevance Is No Longer So Relevant

Corporate Media

Gain a behind-the-scenes understanding of how the media really works by reading Flat Earth News.

It takes an in-depth look into why you may find yourself more exposed to certain stories than others, and will show you why what was once considered ‘relevant’ news is no longer so relevant.

The book examines how modern media is owned by corporate giants who determine what we view and read through the lens of profit alone rather than truth.

Through numerous examples, it reveals how journalists must work within these confines now – if they have jobs at all!

Learn about why certain stories are chosen over others, the dangers of ‘balanced’ articles, and why your weird neighbor’s fear of the media may not be as unfounded as it first seems.

Flat Earth News provides a deeper look into an industry that shapes our perceptions in powerful ways – don’t miss out on your backstage tour of the media!

How Cost-Cutting Has Diminished Investigative Journalism

Due to cutbacks and cost-cutting measures, today’s journalists are forced to rush through stories without enough time to properly investigate facts or verify sources.

This is evident just by comparing the number of stories written per day: whereas in the past, a journalist may have worked on one story for several hours – even days – now they must produce as many as 10 stories in one day!

This clearly shows that there is less time dedicated to actually researching and verifing the details of a particular story.

As such, more of these stories are being simply regurgitated from wire agencies and press releases, with only a small 12% being based on personal research.

Moreover, with large corporations buying out local newspapers and laying off regional reporters, journalists cannot rely on their former colleagues for assistance when researching a story.

All this accumulated together has left newsrooms with few people who can actually investigate a story in person.

Thus it is clear that modern-day journalists do not have the luxury of fact-checking each story like before – they simply don’t have enough time.

The Perils Of Relying On Wire Agencies In Journalism: Why Fact-Checking Is Crucial

While the media trust in wire agencies for accurate reporting, these sources are far from objective or reliable.

The two foremost news organizations, Associated Press (AP) and Reuters, are used by newsrooms around the world without rigorous scrutiny of their reporting.

These wire agencies often face corporate pressure to penny-pitch resulting in limited resources for reporters to investigate stories properly.

AP and Reuters also rely heavily on minimal staff journalists stationed all around the world who primarily use press releases from organizations and governments as their sources.

They can also report on local media, but this too is usually based on the same recycled press releases which creates a cycle of copying each other’s content without further verification of facts.

Wire agency journalists face even more pressures with a typical day starting at 6am or 7am needing to rehash pre-packaged stories from press releases when it is often still too early for confirmation of information.

This lack of thorough investigation can lead to inaccurate and biased reports, making it difficult to depend on these sources for objectivity and accuracy.

How Traditional Media Prioritizes Popularity Over Relevant News

Traditional Media

In today’s media world, outlets are more concerned with gaining readers than they are with delivering information.

They focus on stories that have potential to be popular or generate clicks and sensationalize them in order to gain the attention of their audience.

This means that important issues such as civil rights, health care reform, and exploitation of workers are often overlooked while salacious tabloids stories, cat videos, and sensationalized accounts of celebrity scandals fill the news headlines.

Additionally, emotion-stoking content is used in an effort to pull at viewers’ heartstrings rather than reporting on facts.

The death of Princess Diana was used as a way for TV stations to delve into the public’s mourning and show teary-eyed faces accompanied by dramatic music instead of making sure accurate information was being shared.

Even when public opinion changes, the media will quickly pivot without stickng to truth or relevance, which has been seen in cases such as England’s involvement in Iraq where certain newspapers became immediately pro-intervention rather than staying objective.

It is clear that although attracting readers may initially bring success it can compromise deliverance of accurate news.

The Western Media’S Preference For Risk-Free, Easy-To-Cover Stories Limits Free Expression

News agencies are careful about what to cover and how to cover it.

They often give preference to stories that take minimal effort and resources, rather than those with the most relevance.

This is why news outlets tend to provide more coverage of events happening in the Western world, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, rather than catastrophes outside the West such as Hurricane Stan hitting Guatemala in the same year.

On top of this, they avoid risky stories or ones that may spark negative reactions, like lawsuits.

This is also why they always present both sides of a story—often with quotes from official statements made on behalf of corporate interests or government bodies.

In other words, news agencies play it safe by giving preference to low-cost stories and staying impartial.

That way, any possibility for damaging their profits due to public opinion backlash is avoided.

Beware Of Fake News: How Public Relations Agencies Craft Misinformation And Influence The Media

Public-relations specialists know exactly how to get the media’s attention and generate content that the media will eat up.

Through PR agencies, companies are able to manufacture evidence such as surveys or polls to support their claims, as well as hire “experts” to support their research.

In order to stay one step ahead of their competition, they even go so far as to stage events, such as when President George W.

Bush announced the end of combat operations in Iraq while dressed in combat gear and aboard an aircraft carrier.

It’s no wonder these tactics can be so effective; editors are often quick to replicate content given by public-relations firms without double-checking facts.

This is despite the fact that sometimes these sources may not be entirely independent – for instance, nutritionist Susan Jebb warned against a low-carb diet despite receiving funds from a flour milling industry PR agency.

Overall, it’s clear that public-relations specialists are aware of how easy it is for their stories and interviews to spread across news outlets – usually making headlines on otherwise slow Monday mornings!

Indeed, according to the University of Cardiff, 54% of UK news articles have included content from PR material.

The Cia’s History Of Propaganda And Control Over The Global Media

Global Media

As we have seen, intelligence agencies can and do have control over the worldwide media.

Back in World War II and during the Cold War that followed, 400 agents were sent out to almost every single nation in the world to work as editors or journalists.

They were fed stories to write about in order to shape public opinion.

A clear example of this is when the CIA created false stories about Cuban soldiers raping Angolan girls during the civil war there in order to gain public support against Cuba.

This kind of influence still exists today; recently it was revealed that the CIA had been buying media outlets with multiple phony corporations worldwide, with even major magazines such as Time allegedly involved.

People within the agency are also heavily influencing what goes into their day-to-day decisions.

It has become increasingly clear that governments can have a strong sway on what gets reported to us through news organizations.

Whether deliberately or not, these organizations often end up producing information which serves their own interests, at least to an extent.

Therefore, it pays for us as consumers of news to remain ever vigilant when consuming information from these sources.

Wrap Up

In Flat Earth News by Nick Davies, he looks at how the media industry is manipulating what we see in the news and why it’s so dangerous.

He uncovers how media organizations are looking to sell as many stories as they can while producing them cheaply – an issue that affects the quality of reporting significantly.

At the same time, he also points out how people can manipulate this system by providing stories that are juicy and accessible, making it easier for corporations to pick up these narratives without doing their own research.

The book ultimately provides readers with a helpful actionable advice – to check their favorite newspapers and look at other wire agencies such as Reuters or Associated Press to identify if a story has been investigated independently by those outlets.

This way, readers can make sure they’re actually being informed with good reporting rather than subjecting themselves to unreliable sources.

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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