Thursday, February 19, 2009

Gotta be true, I read it in the paper the other day

Responded to a post on elearnspace

It would be nice to believe that we could be better informed if I has some guidance from the experts in the news media. The people who are trained to be skeptical about the facts, present an objective view and have a system of editorial oversight to ensure that we "just get the facts, ma'am."

However it is more and more apparent that the corporatist news media has made a science out of deceiving their viewer.

This recent article brings the argument together quite well. Although there is no shortage of evidence to suggest that academics and the editors of peer-reviewed journals might be just as likely to manipulate "findings" to support an agenda.

Stocking, S. H., & Holstein, L. (2009). Manufacturing doubt: Journalists' roles and the construction of ignorance in a scientific controversy. Public Understanding of Science, 18(1), 23-42. doi: 10.1177/0963662507079373.

Quote from the article"

Most research in mass communication has instead found journalism to be profoundly conservative in support of existing power structures and the status quo (Shah, 1994; Hallin, 1986; Gitlin, 1980; Gans, 1980).

In the article (p.23) there is also a nice concept map of Smithson's Taxonomy of Ignorance.
Michael Smithson,1989,Ignorance and uncertainty:Emerging paradigms., New York: Springer-Verlag.

Cf. earlier blog post on Agnotology and a companion mindmap.

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