Ksenija Pavlovic Mcateer writes about how one of the biggest powers of the Mainstream Media (MSM) is not reporting the news, it is deciding what is the news. On this occasion, they appear to have decided that Arron Banks being found not guilty of any wrongdoing is not newsworthy.
Sitting across the pond, in a rainy Washington D.C. on a Wednesday afternoon, I’ve obtained the court documents revealing the details of the settlement between the Electoral Commission and the Brexit backer, Arron Banks.
The Tomlin Order, as they call it in the British law, stipulates that the Electoral Commission accepts the findings of the National Crime Agency that there is no evidence of any breaches of the law committed by Arron Banks related to the 2016 EU referendum.
Such big news and legal findings following the large scale of international coverage deserve, by every standard definition of newsworthiness, a breaking news chyron and headline.
The Pavlovic Today, a publication I have founded with a mission to safeguard the postulates of the Fourth Estate, data-driven journalism and the public right to be informed, run with the story of the acquittal. The big legacy media, on the other hand, joined the conspiracy of silence.
One of the biggest powers of the Mainstream Media (MSM) is not reporting the news, it is deciding what is the news. On this occasion, they appear to have decided that Arron Banks being found not guilty of any wrongdoing is not newsworthy.
They all rushed to denounce Arron Banks when he was accused by Remain supporters aggravated by the Referendum results, dozens and dozens of articles attacking him for months and months. Reading about it, on the edges of the British news coverage, I thought too, that Arron Banks was “guilty before proven innocent”. It should be the other way around, but in the climate of political polarization both here in the United States and the UK, a presumption of someone’s innocence is violated in the public forum.
Something's not quite right with journalism that prosecutes and convicts people in public forums but then ignores the story when the National Crime Agency (NCA) and the High Court found them innocent of any wrongdoings.
There is no journalistic excuse not to publish facts after a serialized coverage to convict someone by opinion. Arron Banks has been exonerated from any wrongdoing. Why is the British media who piled on him for months now silent about it?
Perhaps the verdict does not fit the editorial narrative, as well as the accusations, did?
A simple google search, even if you are not a British news aficionado, shows dozens and dozens of articles, video segments attacking Arron Banks and his business.
Newspapers, online and broadcast news channels they all piled on the high roller of Brexit, especially Channel 4. Now that he is acquitted, they are not mentioning it. That cannot happen and if it does, it indicates a deeper problem, a cancerous metastasis eating away at the MSM.
“To know the causes of things” which is the motto of my alma mater LSE, applies also to factual, reliable, and explanatory journalism. Conspiracy of silence against informing the public that Arron Banks won in the High Court is part of the larger phenomenon. It is all about the political polarization of the press that publishes stories that fit political narratives and Arron Banks acquittal does not fit that narrative.
Polarization of the media that only writes what fits a political agenda does a great disservice to the very purpose of journalism. By doing so, journalism is becoming the tool, a vehicle of political and special interests, and machinery that shapes public opinion and voting preferences.
You cannot have a news media that only reports the stories that fit its own political narratives and agendas. Journalism has to serve its purpose. Comment is free, but facts are sacred, let’s go back to that. Arron Banks has been found to have done nothing wrong.
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