How most “news” stories are born:
1) Organisation writes “controversial” press release and sends it to journalists 2) Journalist cuts and pastes, does a bit of editing, maybe adds the word “claim” 3) Mainstream media story is published.
In a previous job I occassionally edited and released press releases for my employer. I was suprised to see them lightly re-written and printed by newspapers as reports, with nothing to indicate that it was actually a press release. I’d expected them to contact us for more information, or contact other people involved, or just do some actual work. I’ve since learned that this is quite normal, in fact, much of the mainstream news media simply reformats events sent them by “interested parties” - people with an agenda - and publishes. If we’re lucky the report originates with a news agency: one story sent to many papers and edited a bit. The true investigative reporter is a rare and wonderful creature.
It’s therefore rather amusing that the BBC have published an article attacking Google and blogs (in which they claim that old media is more reliable and trustworthy) by simply basing it on a website run by people trying to discredit Google for their own gain. Tom Coates has a good article and discussion on this.