I just read a ‘breaking news’ report regarding Norovirus in BC oysters. Seems two oyster farms were closed when samples tested by the BC Centre for Disease Control and the Provincial Health Department resulted in confirmed Norovirus contamination. Some oyster farms were closed last season as well. Those were on the Sunshine coast as I recall.
The report was datelined: CBC. I read it. It said nothing more than what I wrote in the first sentence and did not give the area where the closure was enacted. So, I read the second report, this time from the Vancouver Sun. Virtually word for word. Exact same information. So, I read the Times Colonist report. Same. Finally, I read CTV News and News 1130. All the same. Even stock photos were the same.
That was five news sources. Five short virtually the same news-release reports. Not one of the news sources even bothered to phone the BCCDC to find out where the closures were or any additional information or, if they had, they added none of it.
A robot could have done those reports.
As a taxpayer, I pay for the CBC do the news. As a newspaper subscriber (in the past) I paid for the Sun and the Province. I would watch the ads on Global and I listened to the 11:30 radio now and then, too. I read the Times Colonist when in Victoria.
Apparently it is all the same guy reporting. At least on the Oyster desk…..
I understand perfectly well that a news release is a news release and they are not going to mess with it very much. But, what if the release has a huge hole in it? Do they even bother to read it? Is it just some flunky intern getting a blurb of crap over the ‘wire’; and immediately printing it – whatever it is?
Seems like it.
Had anyone read that release, they would wonder, “Hmmm…wonder if it’s the same area as last year? Hmm…wonder which farms? Hmm…I better call ’em and find out more about this….people and businesses need to know….”
“Nah. Who cares? I don’t get paid to think. I just print the news that’s fit to print. Right, wrong, who cares so long as I don’t have to work at my reporter’s job.”
No wonder people think the news is fake. It may not be fake but as Noam Chomsky implied, “It is manufactured.”