Political news reporting is in crisis. It is time to boost the signal – and cut out the noise

Of course Vox Political is already merrily pointing out fake information wherever I see it.

Yesterday (Tuesday) alone, This Site discussed Paul Nuttall’s fake claim to have lost a friend in the Hillsborough tragedy; the confusion over the Labour Party’s investigation of its Wallasey constituency organisation; Tory MP Tim Loughton’s misleading tweets about Ken Loach’s BAFTA speech; the Telegraph‘s fake story attacking Commons Speaker John Bercow; whether the United Nations ignored important information about the UK government’s mistreatment of people with long-term sicknesses and disabilities; the claims of now-former US national security advisor Michael Flynn; and the Guardian‘s misleading headline that the invitation to Donald Trump to make a state visit to the UK will remain open in spite of the wishes of nearly two million UK citizens.

Those are the stories I can remember off the top of my head, anyway.

In fact, it is getting very hard to find factual news amid the flurry of fakery, spin, propaganda and outright lies.

Perhaps we should all just set ourselves a challenge: Pick a TV or radio news show, watch or listen to an episode, and see how many stories actually stand up to analysis.

My guess is, the answer would be pitifully few.

This is a depressing time to be a political journalist. Not because there’s a lack of stories – there isn’t. If anything, politics has recently become interesting again after a long period of lacklustre concentration on economics that only succeeded in putting our finer minds off the subject and contributed to the financial collapse we suffered in 2008.

No – it’s depressing because the signal-to-noise ratio is so appallingly bad. It is past time we cut out the noise and promoted the signal.

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden just intervened in the fake news debate. And he proposed a solution that most politicians won’t like one bit.

Snowden says that the responsibility to “help each other” lies with citizens and users of media platforms. He asserts:

“We talk and we share. And we point out what is fake. We point out what is true. The answer to bad speech is not censorship. The answer to bad speech is more speech… We have to exercise and spread the idea that critical thinking matters.”

But the informed “critical thinking” Snowden is advocating may not sit well with some politicians. Because people who think critically are unlikely to fall for the spin, propaganda, and lies that politicians often put out themselves.

So although this is very good advice for citizens, it’s unlikely that many politicians will be cheering it on anytime soon.

Source: Edward Snowden just solved the world’s fake news crisis, and politicians won’t like it one bit [VIDEO] | The Canary

Join the Vox Political Facebook page.

If you have appreciated this article, don’t forget to share it using the buttons at the bottom of this page. Politics is about everybody – so let’s try to get everybody involved!

Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here:

Donate Button with Credit Cards

Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
fighting for the facts.

The Livingstone Presumption is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:

HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:


3 thoughts on “Political news reporting is in crisis. It is time to boost the signal – and cut out the noise

  1. Christine Bergin

    I have a feeling this is the way the tories govern. With innuendo and deception, saying one thing whilst implying another. Never tell the truth certainly not the whole truth. Deny responsibility for any and everything. Almost a template for trumpism isnt it.I wont go on ,they disgust me!

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      It is clear that Mr Nuttall was spreading fake news. The backlash against him is a result of the facts having been discovered.

Comments are closed.