Jonathan Dimbleby: ‘Not enough people double-check what they want to believe’
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Jonathan Dimbleby: ‘Not enough people double-check what they want to believe’

In this third of six video clips from an interview that Jonathan Dimbleby gave to UnHerd, we focus on the rise of ‘fake news’. Confessing that he now trusts fewer news sources and accusing many newspapers and columnists of being uninterested in telling the truth to their readers, the current presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions? programme argues that broadcasters have a special responsibility to communicate honestly (and not just because of the special legal rules they face in the UK). He asserted that the BBC, ITV and Sky largely did that successfully for British audiences.

Conscious of human beings’ limited time to consume news – rather than read, exercise, rest or as Allan Mallinson recommends, study more history – this three minute clip concludes with his worry that there’s a tendency in all of us to choose to believe what we want to believe. While that tendency may have always existed it’s more of a danger when so many narrow-versus-broad-cast platforms (and that must include the Trump White House and his Twitter stream) are so ready to serve up what audiences want to consume. As David Frum warned – so pertinently – so much news is now little more than a subsidiary of the entertainment industry.

David Frum’s 2012 interview about the ‘Conservative Entertainment Complex’ is well worth your time btw…


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