I returned from an awesome weekend in Melbourne on Tuesday afternoon, to find Canberra absolutely, bitterly, butt-freezingly cold. From shopping, awesome food and coffee, Winter Sound System, over a cramped and uncomfortable flight of stomach-churning turbulence, into the throes of what feels like an icy Northern winter from hell.
Aaaaaaawesome. (Sarcasm! How very original!)
I called in to work to tell them I was working from home today, owing to having been exposed to people who were coughing or exhibiting flu-like symptoms on Sunday. Better safe than sorry, right? I feel fine though, so I work merrily away.
Lunchtime rolls around, and one of my friends (who was down in Melbourne with me) SMSes me to let me know he’s feeling awful and heading off to the Doctor for testing.
As I was nodding off last night, thinking about an article I’d read in the paper earlier in the day which irritated me — because it wasn’t good journalism. The exact article and its source aren’t relevant to this discussion — lets just take it for granted that in a world of media outlets like Fox News (“it’s Infotainment!”) there’s a certain question hovering over the idea of journalistic integrity.
The status quo makes it very easy for the media to get away with publishing whatever the hell they want to. Most media outlets are in the hands of a small number of companies; they have vested corporate interests in being loud, controversial and highly debated. There is very limited incentive — other than altruism on behalf of editors and journalists — to report factually and honestly.
It happens. Many articles are written with every intention of telling the truth, as it’s known to the reporter. Journalists aren’t all evil bastards, and not every reporting mistake belies a conspiracy. It just doesn’t happen enough, and provably consistently.