the guardian Sat 20 December 2008
"Somewhere out there," claims Nick Davies in this fiery analysis of modern journalism, "the truth is dying." The Guardian writer asserts that, instead of hacking away at conspiracies and cover-ups, journalists are responsible for perpetuating the myths and poor practices that make the truth an increasingly murky proposition. Attacking recycled news stories, the mindset that prioritises cost and speed above contact-building and fact-checking, and the dispiriting spectacle of every paper having a cool kids' story of the day, even if it's utterly worthless, Davies is scathing about the mechanics of the modern news machine. Deploying examples ranging from the trivial to the terrifying, from the millennium bug to weapons of mass destruction, Davies is an unabashed whistle-blower, even if insiders might quibble about some of his observations. At the start, he says that it is an unwritten rule of Fleet Street that "dog doesn't eat dog": here, however, he tucks in with gusto, an act of cannibalism that is as hungry for facts as it is gamily delicious.