Thursday 17 December 2009

How journalism works – alcohol studies

Photo nabbed from Constantly Furious

A media studies graduate sitting on the newsdesk gets email from either a Government Department or a fake charity with an alcohol-related scare story. The journalist then repeats this as fact without checking any of the figures quoted in the press release. Needs a quote so calls fake charity Alcohol Concern or other Government spokesperson to provide one. Story goes to sub-editor who chooses a picture from in stock, normally showing beer drinking/pint glass of beer etc. Press release is printed verbatim and reported as 'fact' by the news agency/broadcaster concerned.

Again this has happened today where the Government Chief Health Officer Liam "Do people hate me 'cos I'm ginger" Donaldson spouted his shite that was picked up and reported in full by the Government funded BBC and used a quote from Government-funded fake charity Alcohol Concern and one from Professor Ian Gilmore who Chairs the Government-funded fake charity the Alcohol Health Alliance. Can readers see a trend here?

The scare story today is headlined “Parents giving children alcohol 'fuels binge drinking'”
What the story fails to address is why is it in mainland Europe, where children are on the whole a lot better well-behaved in pubs and restaurants and where alcohol is available to these children at an earlier age, is there no under-age binge-drinking problem there?

The shite from Donaldson also goes on to say the “The idea of a watered-down wine for a child as a middle-class obsession.......across England 500,000 children between the ages of 11- to 15 years will have been drunk in the last four week”.
No attempt by the BBC is made to justify these figures, not even asking Donaldson where his evidence comes from. We have the Nanny State becoming the Bully State and the BBC is merely the mouthpiece of State, not questioning the validity of arguments or figures thrown at them by the Government.
Also a 'middle-class' problem? Surely the binge-drinking chavoffspring are the problem, hanging out around the City Centre and bus stops at night swigging super strength cider or cans of Special Brew?
Expect an advertising campaign in the New Year, paid for by the taxpayer of course and run to death on the BBC.
One piece of good news is that Sir Liam Donaldson is set to retire next year.

Rent-a-quote fake charities for hacks to lazy to investigate a story:
Alcohol Concern
Alcohol Health Alliance - an umbrella organisation for Fake Charities such as Alcohol Concern, Institute of Alcohol Studies, Alliance House Foundation (founded in 1853 as the UK Alliance for the Suppression of the Traffic in all Intoxicating Liquors) etc
Alcohol Focus Scotland
Parentline Plus

H/Ts to Dungeekin and Constantly Furious.
Woolpack Dave and Fido also have their own take on this story.
As does the ever excellent Daily Mash

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