Sunday, 8 October 2017

The Silence of the Media

I quite enjoyed Damian Thompson's article in the Herald about the Catholic Cyberwars, though my regulars will realise I may have a slightly different take on this.

However, I think he misses a significant point: the reason the Catholic blogs have some traction in this country at least, is because neither the Bishops' Conference nor the Catholic Press are doing their job properly. And Thompson, as a director of the Herald*, really should reflect on that.

One of the striking aspects of the CES Scandal has been the near-silence of the media, both Catholic and secular. To be fair, the Catholic Herald has run a couple of pieces, but both very understated. For example, here Nick Hallett mentions the contradictory statements regarding funding, but does not press the point, still less do any investigative (errr...) journalism. Likewise, he writes: "sections of document appeared to have been lifted from materials produced by gay rights groups Stonewall and lgbtyouth Scotland." Had he taken the trouble to fact-check, he would not have written 'appears' - unless he is covering for the CES. There is no appears about it: the proof is evident for all to see.

But neither he nor any other Catholic journalist has pursued the questions in the way one would expect a journalist to. One would have thought this story was a gift to a journalist, with issues around funding, collusion with Stonewall etc, and the obfuscation and complete lack of openness and transparency of both the CES and CBCEW. So why are they asleep at their desks? 

In that enormous silence, 
Tiny and unafraid
Comes up along a winding road
The noise of the crusade...

(of Ben Trovato, Mark Lambert, et al).

(*amended later on 8.10.17 to report DT's role at the Herald accurately - had wrongly said 'editor'. Mea culpa and thanks to Bro Eccles for pointing out my carelessness)

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