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Flat Earth News: An Award-winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media
Flat Earth News: An...

Flat Earth News: An Award-winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media


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Review by John on 15th December, 2009
5 stars "Disturbing indictment of the modern news media"

The central thesis of Flat Earth News is that the quality and truthfulness of modern news is being steadily diminished; not by overt propaganda or governmental interference, but by a steady erosion of budgets in the name of maximising investment returns. This leads inexorably to journalism that depends on once-over-lightly stories, with the minimum background or investigation, recycled press releases from political parties and PR firms, and prepackaged feeds from wire services that are quite upfront about how they are not interested in the truth, they just report what they receive from their sources without verification.

The result is news-lite, junk food journalism, where only 12% of the average newspaper is produced by the newspaper's own reporters, who often work to punishing schedules that allow no time for fact-checking.

Flat Earth News is mainly based on the author's experience working in the UK newspaper business, but provides copious examples of a global trend, focusing particularly coverage of the lead up to the Iraq war, and the Millenium Bug at the turn of the century.



Release date Australia
January 1st, 2009
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
Dimensions (mm)
Product ID


'Finally I was forced to admit that I work in a corrupted profession.' When award-winning journalist Nick Davies decided to break Fleet Street's unwritten rule by investigating his own colleagues, he found that the business of reporting the truth had been slowly subverted by the mass production of ignorance.

Working with a network of off-the-record sources, Davies uncovered the story of the prestigious "Sunday" newspaper which allowed: the CIA and MI6 to plant fiction in its columns; the newsroom which routinely rejects stories about black people; the respected paper that hired a professional fraudster to set up a front company to entrap senior political figures; and the newspapers which support law and order while paying cash bribes to bent detectives.

Davies names and exposes the national stories which turn out to be pseudo events manufactured by the PR industry, and the global news stories which prove to be fiction generated by a new machinery of international propaganda. He shows the impact of this on a world where consumers believe a mass of stories which, in truth, are as false as the idea that the Earth is flat - from the millennium bug to the WMD in Iraq - tainting government policy, perverting popular belief. He presents a new model for understanding news.

With the help of researchers from Cardiff University, who ran a ground-breaking analysis of our daily news, Davies found most reporters, most of the time, are not allowed to dig up stories or check their facts - a profession corrupted at the core. Read all about it. The news will never look the same again.


`this timely rallying call is essential reading - for those who write newspapers as well as those who read them' (Metro)

'This is an important book.' (Herald)

'Meticulous, fair-minded and utterly gripping...' (Daily Telegraph)

`mostly indispensable' (the Times)

'...his main point - that such a reading is less and less possible in our press - is important, vital, urgent. (Financial Times)

'his wide-ranging investigation of the shortcomings of the global and British media ... a careful, brilliant and instinctive reporter' (Independent Scotsman)

Author Biography

Nick Davies writes investigative stories for the Guardian, and has been named Journalist of the Year, Reporter of the Year and Feature Writer of the Year in British press awards. Apart from his work on newspapers, he also makes television documentaries and he has written four books, including White Lies, which uncovered a racist miscarriage of justice in Texas; Murder on Ward Four, which examined the collapse of the NHS through the murder of children by Nurse Beverly Allitt; and Dark Heart, a journey through the wasteland of British poverty. He has three children and lives in Sussex.

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