Regardless of the degree of press freedom, Alex Kane believes the press we do have is all too often happy to propagandise rather than simply tell us the truth. The result is that people are increasingly reading what they want to hear, and journalists are beginning to be trusted less than jobbing politicians.
By Alex Kane
Sixty-six years ago, on October 30th, 1938, at about 8.30 in the evening, a couple of million Americans filled their cars with food and headed for the hills. Many others made their way to local churches for impromptu services, and still more sandbagged their homes and unlocked the weapons cupboard.
And the cause of this widespread panic? They believed that their country had been invaded by Martians! At a time when three quarters of the population listened to radio as their main form of entertainment and information, they tuned in to hear what they believed was a “live” news broadcast. Snug in their front rooms on that cold autumn evening, with whole families gathered around their “household friend,” they listened in mounting terror as an obviously terrified reporter told them; “Good heavens, something