Bad News: How PR came to rule modern journalism

Sheffield Skeptics in the Pub, Farm Road Sports & Social Club, Farm Road, Sheffield S2 2TP (ten minutes walk from Cantor building).

Monday, November 26 at 7:30PM

“You can’t believe everything you read in the papers.” Everyone knows this, but few people realise this truism extends far beyond the celebrity pages and gossip columns, and spills into ‘real’ news. Here, the near-invisible influence of PR companies is often pivotal in deciding what news gets told, and how it gets reported. By taking a brief look at the history of modern journalism, and using real examples taken from recent headlines, Michael Marshall will show why you really, really can’t believe everything you read in the papers.

Michael Marshall is the co-founder and vice-president of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and appears on the “Skeptics with a K” podcast, as well as previous stints on the “Righteous Indignation” and “Strange Quarks” podcasts. Besides organising the national and international 10:23 Campaign against homeopathy, he writes about the often-unsuspected role of PR in modern media. He was once called by Ben Goldacre ‘a mighty nerd from Liverpool’. He was also once rather amusingly called a very rude word by self-proclaimed psychic Joe Power.

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