Or rather the facts are not examined in the spirit of ‘neutrality’.
Forgive me, but when I read news and research articles I do expect the media agency to have done at least some basic fact checking, especially if they put themselves forward as a scientific or medical media agency. I am aware that you cannot believe everything you read, but I always assumed that there was at least a sliding scale of responsibility of the agency publishing a story to check the validity of claims and results; from scientific publications all the way down to say the Daily Mail or Sun/Mirror.
So what has wound me up? Well after reading a weak article and making a complaint about it basically been an advert for $cientology’s Narconon program based on unverified results and unpublished research I got the following response;
“If we take down the scientology article we would immediately be taking a non-neutral stance regardin[g] reporting and medical news.
We receive hundreds of emails each day saying how many people have been killed as a result of receiving traditional medicine, going to a traditional medicine hospital, using such and such alternative therapies, belonging to this and that religion, being vegan, being meat-eaters, seeing a psychiatrist, not seeing a psychiatrist, etc. Literally hundreds each day. And we are pointed in each case to dozens of web sites claiming that many people have died as a result of taking different therapy routes.
As a neutral publication we cannot refuse with[out] justification.”
I can’t say I remember reading an article that promoted going to a voodoo shaman over other scientifically based and tested treatment programs. It’s bad enough that $cientology is getting to our kids through the Narconon program by preaching against all forms of drug use (Including NHS prescriptions).
So to be a ‘neutral publication’ now means that everything should be posted and reported irrespective of their claims or evidence (not) shown. Reporters for ‘scientific’ publications are now free to copy and paste company press releases without the need for critical thought or enquiry?
While this is obviously not true for all, I will be more likely in future to complain to editors when they print ‘scientific’ dribble and would encourage others to do the same.