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Heather Brooke: ‘PR is infecting public institutions and destroying our democracy’

March 29th, 2010Posted by in Editors' pick, Journalism, Newspapers

In the latest extract of Heather Brooke’s book, ‘The Silent State’, published in the Mail on Sunday yesterday, the investigative journalist looks at the effect of PR in public institutions.

On council-run newspapers:

My prediction is this: the more officials take over the news the more our money will be wasted. Scrutiny by the public keeps the powerful honest.

And on trying to reach officials:

PR people have manoeuvred themselves to the top of the political pole. Even senior managers have to get clearance from the Press office to speak to the public.

Full post at this link…

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  • Richard Simcox

    If all reporters were as thorough and honest as Heather, organisations probably wouldn’t mind talking to them directly.

    Sadly, there are always those who will mangle through malice or laziness. Not the majority, but a significant enough minority, in my view.

    I don’t think it’s a massive coincidence that organisations have turned to PR at the same time as the media bosses have turned away from funding quality journalism.

  • Hard to disagree that the trend is unhealthy.

    However, in matters journalistic, they can only share what they want to be shared or try to conceal what they don’t.

    Council run papers are under a spotlight being the medium of the messenger already.

    As to the rest, that is what good reporting is all about.

    And, with luck, the factual, the substantiated, the honest and most objective will win through by attracting an audience hungry for this.

    Which counts out most of the MSM at a stroke, I know.

    We don’t want your opinions!

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