Have you seen this churnalism.com set up by the Media Standards Trust? It is fantastic and I urge you all to take a look and try it.
Too many journalists are copying and pasting press releases, rather than rewrite the release and adding to it. I was taught to do that and have always done it and teach my students to do the same. However, in reality it is not happening in the newsrooms around the country. I understand why, fewer staff, time, money – but this is not journalism. Being a journalist is about finding original stories, meeting people and talking to them.
The site was created after being inspired by Nick Davies’ book Flat Earth News – a great read. In his book he talks about churnalism and “how PR material appears in 54% of news.”
I had a go on this new site pasting in a press release about broadband speeds. The result was amazing – five nationals had copied and pasted the text into their publication. Only two had not been so bad. So go and have a look and try it yourselves.