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We can’t trust the capitalist media to hold power to account

This article is over 10 years, 6 months old
The News International scandal has exposed the general corruption of the mainstream media.
Issue 2260

The News International scandal has exposed the general corruption of the mainstream media.

Many will wonder if investigative journalism is possible at all.

Yet some outstanding investigative journalists have written for capitalist newspapers. Paul Foot and John Pilger wrote for the Daily Mirror, for example.

Socialists want more of this. It’s better if millions of working class people read the truth about the exploits of the powerful instead of celebrity tittle-tattle.

But the capitalist press will always be constrained. Owners and editors, drawn from the elite, have a big impact on content.

That’s always been true—from Lord Beaverbrook in the 1930s to Robert Maxwell in the 1980s.

Cost-cutting has led to what some dub “churnalism”—journalists rewriting press releases instead of producing real news.

Foot and Pilger stand out as exceptions, rather than the norm.

A genuine alternative to the bosses’ media will come from outside the mainstream. That’s why socialists put such emphasis on producing our own media.

Socialist Worker stands in a long tradition of revolutionary newspapers. We counter the lies of the bosses and the rich which are so often parroted in the mainstream media.

But we also produce a paper to help organise resistance to their system—and bring about a world where the majority are in charge, not a handful of rich bastards.

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