The state of the Fourth Estate

There is a lot of stuff on the blogosphere about the mainstream media (or MSM as the more conspiratorially-minded refer to it) and bias of the BBC. My principal sources of information are the media - I hear things on the grapevine, but that's pretty mediated, I read Hansard and watch BBC Parliament - and so I have no way of determing the quality of a given outlet except by comparing it to other media outlets and, where possible, checking the facts against primary sources.

I would like to do a media snapshot of Britain - what do all the media in Britain say on a randomly selected day? It would be a big job - watching all the 24 hour news channels, all the news bulletins, listening to all the radio bulletins, reading all the newspapers - and couldn't be done by one person. It would, though, be a potentially interesting exercise.

I am aware that this could be a very flawed process. If there is a problem with the media and the check is the media, it wouldn't accomplish anything. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Who watches the watchers, or words to that effect - was Juvenal's way of saying it was pointless setting eunuchs to guard virgins when the former were still corruptible. That is why I want to check against primary sources where possible. It would, in any case, let us see quantitatively which sources cover which stories with what degree of importance.

What do people think?



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