Bad News: How PR Came to Rule Modern Journalism

Liverpool Humanist Group presents:-

Bad News: How PR Came to Rule Modern Journalism

a talk by Michael Marshall

Date:     Thursday 13th June 2013
Time
:    7.45pm
Venue
The Crown Hotel (upstairs room), 43 Lime Street, Liverpool L1 1JQ
Cost:      
Suggested contribution of £3 (£1 students and unwaged)

Michael Gove - Secretary of State for Education

Michael Gove – Secretary of State for Education

Liverpool Humanist Group are pleased to announce the next in our 2013 season of monthly lectures and discussions with an invited speaker.

Thursday, 13th June 2013 at 7:45pm in The Crown Hotel, 43 Lime Street, Liverpool.

As usual, we will meet in the upstairs room.

“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 Public Relations (PR) companies is often pivotal in deciding what news gets told, and how it gets reported.

Education secretary Michael Gove was roundly – and justifiably – ridiculed recently after it emerged that his criticisms of schoolchildren’s English history knowledge was based on PR research carried out by Premier Inn and UKTV Gold.

However, the mainstream media is itself all too often and all too willingly the conduit for similar PR puff-pieces.

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” and “Be Reasonable” podcasts. Besides organising the national and international 10:23 Campaign against homeopathy, he writes about the often-unsuspected role of PR in modern media. Michael has written for The Times, The Guardian and The New Statesman, and has lectured as part of the Sheffield Hallam University Journalism degree. When he guested recently on BBC Radio 4’s “More or Less” programme, he was introduced by Tim Harford as the country’s “top slayer of light-weight surveys”.

Ben Goldacre once called him “a mighty nerd from Liverpool”, and the self-proclaimed psychic Joe Power once called him something very rude and unprintable.

Michael Marshall of the Merseyside Skeptics Society

Michael Marshall of the Merseyside Skeptics Society

It will be good to see new and old friends at what promises to be a very interesting, stimulating and thought provoking evening.

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