Journalism living in a parallel universe?

Excellent piece from John Lloyd in this weekend’s FT Magazine (thanks Pete), who has taken the time to read and re-read Rowan William’s thoughts on the media that Pete blogged here on Slugger a few weeks back.

Lloyd precises the Archbishops speech thus:

– The news meda shouldn’t get a free ride on their claim that they are guardians of democracy; the point has tbe proved, rather than be asserted.

– Assuming all that is hidden is suspect, and all public figures are suspects, is a “potentially demogogic” position.

– The news media’s construction of the “public interest” is a commercial device, one that ignores the fact that people learn different things, at differing speeds, in different groups and spaces”.

– The best the news media can do is to offer provision al, probably distorted, partial versions of the world, and should do so as transparently as possible,so that it can equip its own critics.

Williams wants a journalism encased in a less definate and constricting frame than at present; a journalism that does not live exclusively in a parallel universe of constant “public moral outrage” – but instead, as he put it, “must leave room for reply, and even provide material for reply”. That is, it comes less in the shape of a frame, more in that of a frank friend.

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