Date posted: 6 May 09
Nick Davies’s Flat Earth News, a scathing account of contemporary media, ‘churnalism’ and the future of news reporting, was announced last night as the winner of the first Bristol Festival of Ideas Book Prize.
The prize – worth £10,000 – is awarded annually to the book which presents new, important and challenging ideas, which is rigorously argued, and which is engaging and accessible. Over 120 books were submitted for the award with a shortlist of six announced in February. The award was made on the opening night of the 2009 Festival at a special event attended by five of the shortlisted authors.
Davies was inspired to write Flat Earth News when he realised that the Weapons of Mass Destruction used to justify the war on Iraq not only did not exist but that most news organisations had failed to acknowledge their role in spreading the misinformation. Davis worked with Cardiff University on research which found additional evidence of the scale of falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the news media.
Flat Earth News, Davies said:
“…describes the numerous subtle ways in which, during the ‘good years’ when news organisations were highly profitable, the logic of commercialism invaded our newsrooms and usurped the logic of journalism. That process has accelerated alarmingly with the arrival of the credit crisis, which has intensified all of the financial pressures which have been responsible for the decline in the quality of our news.”
Andrew Kelly, Director of the Bristol Festival of Ideas and chair of the judging panel, commented on Davies’s win:
“Flat Earth News raises important issues. The book makes you question the information that you get from the media. It is a challenge to complacency and a worthy winner of our first award.”
Click here to read an interview with Nick Davies.
Click here to read reviews of Nick Davies’ book, Flat Earth News.
Read more about the Bristol Festival of Ideas Book Prize here.
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