Thursday, 20 December 2012

"A Powerful Reputation For Accuracy"

So says Lord Leveson, regarding journalists:
During a speech at the University of Melbourne, he insisted there was an important difference between mainstream journalists with "a powerful reputation for accuracy" and bloggers and tweeters who were "no more than electronic versions of pub gossip".
Yet in the last 24 hours has been extensive coverage across the media - using cut 'n paste' - highlighting a video purporting to show a Golden Eagle trying to snatch a young child. The Daily Mail went as follows:

Kidnapper from the skies. The terrifying moment a golden eagle 'swooped down and snatched up a toddler' as he played in the park.
That same link now has headlines that have changed depicting a different story thus pretending it was right all along - because the footage is a fake. So much for accuracy, as this blog in the Guardian points out:
Shame on you, Guardian, for sharing fraudulent video with an unsuspecting public, thereby promoting misunderstanding of birds and fear of nature.
It goes onto detail the reasons why it's clearly a fraud - it obviously isn't a Golden Eagle and the baby looks suspiciously like a doll - before concluding the piece as follows:
All this evidence, taken together, means that this video is a golden teaching moment. It also means that the Guardian blew it by posting this video without including any analysis from a video expert as to whether it's real or ... artificially manufactured. Further, the Guardian blew it by not including comments from either an ornithologist or a birder as to whether this video portrayal is even plausible.
This is irresponsible journalism. By posting this video, the Guardian is actively promoting and reinforcing the public's misinformation and fear of birds of prey, and further alienating the public from nature. Publicly sharing this fraudulent video without any expert commentary serves to undermine the education and conservation efforts of many excellent organisations such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the British Trust for Ornithology.
Ouch. Good to see Leveson was such a master of his brief.


  1. If it is true that the report is fraudulent, it would suggest that it is in keeping with the guardian's reporting on things Israeli (judging from what I read at CIFwatch). At least the socalled journalists at the guardian are consistent.

  2. Leveson was using the same sort of stark contrast that Osborne was using, comparing hard working people who leave early for work in the morning living next to those not working on benefits with their curtains closed. It does perplex me as to why such contrasts are made; even if we accept that he is comparing one extreme with another, does it then make the groups of people being alluded to, work toward a better society? From what I see if only divides and polarises society. So it does no real good.

  3. @JiC It's been confirmed as a fake, and not just Guardian indulged in 'copy n' paste' - it's right across the board. Sad really.

    @how life is changing, thanks for your comment, I wasn't aware of your blog so I'll now add it to my blog roll