This week at Manchester PR agency PR Agency One we saw seven days jam packed with fakery and failure in broadcast media.
Most TV viewers were astounded when ITV portrayed footage from computer game ArmA 2 as actual IRA footage.
The Belfast Telegraph has the original clip.
Then there was the allegedly fake stock market trader called Alessio Rastani. Here is a clip of him on the BBC.
More information can be found online at the Daily Telegraph.
Falling standards are nothing new
The book Flat Earth News looks into the level at which the news media checks its facts and sources, along with investigating the reasons behind why journalists are finding it harder than ever to verify the credibility of their stories.
Unfortunately the book makes grim reading and examples of fact checking failures are likely to happen with increasing frequency.
I am not naming any names, but I can think of many PR practitioners rubbing their hands with glee, thinking of how they can take advantage of the drop in journalist standards. I might have benefited from slack fact checking on occasion too.
If editorial standards continue to fall, however, then audiences will trust what they see and hear in the media even less. This in turn erodes the very credibility of the third party endorsement which we as public relations professionals earn for our clients via our press coverage.
It is this third person endorsement that is one of the fundamental reasons why public relations is such a high value service. It is what sets us apart from our colleagues over in advertising.
Let’s hope standards remain high.
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