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on 20 September 2017
Well written and research, really interesting read on the state of the press in the UK and worldwide.
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on 18 June 2017
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on 9 August 2017
The book is very good, shows an amazing story of an famous journalist. It is very helpful to get.
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on 14 September 2011
This is an excellent book about how the newspapers and PR companies are able to manipulate our thinking, almost with our co-operation. It tells us why what we read isn't always the full story, and why newspapers may not always want to give us the full story.

To be truthful, I still read a daily newspaper, but now I'm much more sceptical about what I'm reading, and more inclined to go and try to find out more by using other sources to back up what is being said. The author backs up his arguments well, by showing us the difference between what happened and what the media said happened. And as for PR companies - you'll want to take them all out and shoot them for what they're doing!

This is an easy read which requires no specialist knowledge to understand. And once you've read it you'll never see newspapers, TV and radio in the same light again.
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on 19 August 2009
A fascinating book that has confirmed a lot of my existing suspicions about the press, but has also highlighted some other alarming trends. What is particularly worrying, I think, is that most of the information upon which we base our political decisions comes from the press in one way or another, and if that information is distorted, we need to understand that. This book goes a long way to understanding the distortions and why they happen, so I would recommend this book to everyone, especially those looking for a career in journalism.
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on 25 September 2014
Amusing and informative
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on 18 February 2015
Excellent tool of use for my studies. x :)
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on 18 November 2016
SHOCKING look at where we're at and where we're going.
The in-depth look inside one place in particular is even more horrifying than anticipated.
The future does not look good!
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on 3 July 2017
Davies covers a number of compelling topics that fall into the dubious category of flat earth news. From the Y2K bug to Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction. He also touches the tip of the phone hacking scandal iceberg, that he would later go onto develop further and fully on his outstanding, “Hack Attack” a few years later. He also gives a terrifying insight into the CIA’s reach and power within the world of media, describing its latent presence in almost every capital city in the world.

He brings a fresh clarity to the farcical war on drugs, saying, “Heroin is not a poison. Contrary to popular belief, pure heroin, properly handled is a benign drug…It is rather difficult to kill yourself with heroin: the gap between therapeutic and a fatal dose is far wider than it is, for example, with paracetemol. It is addictive-and that is a very good reason no to use it-but its most notable side effect on the physical, mental and moral condition of its users is constipation. The truth is that all of the illness and misery and death which are associated with heroin are, in fact, the effect not of the drug itself but of the black market on which it is sold as a result of this war against drugs.” He goes onto say, “The truth about the prohibition of heroin is that it creates the very problems which it pretends to solve: causing the sickness and death which it claims to be preventing; provoking the crime and disorder which it wants to stop.”

He explains the many flaws and shortcomings of the Press Association, which is the main source of news that come down the wires to outlets. He shows how deprived their resources are, and ultimately how sacred their information is treated and subsequently how little it is challenged or checked, which results in a lot of lies and nonsense being printed and reprinted elsewhere in the world. Concluding that, “Every day fiction slides effortlessly around Britain, passing unhindered through media channels which are supposed to be reserved for fact. And then with equal ease, it slips across the border and flows around the world, while fiction from other parts of the world glides quietly into Britain.”

He also focuses on the Associated Press and Reuters which provide most of the news for the rest of the English speaking world. So called “churnalism” and how various news agencies and outlets end up cannibalising each other’s work, creating a messy end product. He also delves deep into the murky world of PR, spin, lobbying, psychologists, marketers, think tanks and just outright liars whose presence in the news is growing more powerful and stronger all the time.

He ridicules the sycophantic and deeply distorted headlines and coverage that followed the deaths of the likes of the Queen Mother and John Paul II. Highlighting the blatant PR manipulation of the Pope’s alleged last words, when he had been unable to speak for days, going onto reveal how his incredibly conservative, intolerant and ignorant campaign for a global ban on contraception which clearly had an impact on the spread of HIV and AIDS was largely ignored as well as his many other policies.

Davies dedicates chapters to various papers and some of their shocking behaviour, though by far the most alarming of these is the “Daily Mail” He goes onto say, “The Mail is deriving at least some of its commercial and political success precisely from the fact that it can play fast and loose with the facts and frequently have no fear of the consequences: the PCC bails them out; the victim can’t afford to sue; or, if the victim does sue, the paper can live with the cost. It’s like watching a footballer who, finding himself the last man between his opponent and his gaping goal, will deliberately foul the opponent in order to protect that goal, calculating that it is worth it even if he is punished by the referee. Brilliant and corrupt, the Daily Mail is the professional foul of contemporary Fleet Street.”

He summaries by saying, “People sometimes say that government listen to the Daily Mail because it is ‘the voice of Middle England’, but that’s just another easy cliché. It’s the aggression that makes the Mail powerful. I know of nothing anywhere in the rest of the world’s media which matches the unmitigated spite of an attack from the Daily Mail. And since it is part of an industry in Britain whose sole attempt at regulation is an organisation which rejects more than 90% of complaints without even considering their content, that aggression is free to cripple reputations, free to kill ideas, regardless of justice, regardless of truth.”

This is another hugely important and compelling read from Davies and is essential reading for anyone who has an interest in the news or media. He shows that there are no sacred cows and freely criticises his own, now former, bosses and sister paper. He shows that all news and media is flawed to an extent and he paints a grim picture of where it may be going in the future, no matter how uncertain and worrying that may be this is essential reading.
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on 15 September 2016
An interesting and well written book which gives insight into modern journalism.
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