Andrew Brown (whose blog feed is now full-text – marvellous!) notes, in the you’ll-have-to-look-it-up entitled post Don’t have sex with Roman Catholics notes how the process Nick Davies has been on about – “churnalism” (which gets its own, much-deserved excoriation at the Churner Prize blog) – whereby the accountants decide how much should be spent on researching stories, rather than the journalists or news executives, progressed on our last mutual paper:
On the Independent we were privileged to watch this process, which took about twenty years in the rest of the press, compressed into the five years from 1991 to 1996. By the end of that time the joke, or slogan, was that one phone call was a news story, two made a feature, and three an in-depth investigation. Technology has slightly altered this equation, so that it is now possible to write one of the paper’s full-length “profiles” without talking to anyone even on the phone; just grabbing what’s on Google and maybe, for depth, wikipedia.
This is ever so, ever so true.
And of course there’s the question of where does it all come from? What nice timing that Scott McLellan, the former press secretary to the White House, who has written a book wherein he shakes his head about it. Tut-tut. That George W Bush. He really should have told the truth.
Or, as Matthew Baldwin sums it up in a tweet:
Scott McClellan’s new book, summarized: “I totally didn’t know I was lying those 630,000 times.”