Bad PR: Why you can’t believe everything you read

Watch Michael Marshall during his talk earlier this month on the 15th of December, 2011 at the “Head of Steam” in Liverpool, England.


Bad News: How PR Came to Rule Modern Journalism

“You can’t believe everything you read in the papers.”

Few people realise this truism extends far beyond the celebrity pages and gossip columns; the near-invisible influence of PR companies is often pivotal in deciding what news gets told, and how it gets reported as ‘real’ news.

By taking a brief look at the history of modern journalism, and using real examples taken from recent headlines, Michael Marshall will show why you really, really can’t believe everything you read in the papers.

Michael Marshall is the co-founder and vice-president of the Merseyside Skeptics Society and appears on the “Skeptics with a K”, “Righteous Indignation” and “Strange Quarks” podcasts. Besides organising national and international campaigns against homeopathy, he writes about the often-unsuspected role of PR in modern media. He was once called by Ben Goldacre ‘a mighty nerd from Liverpool’. He was also once rather amusingly called a very rude word by self-proclaimed psychic Joe Power.

Hosts: The Head of Steam, Liverpool
twitter: @HeadofSteamLiv
twitter: @merseyskeptics

MSS Members:

Mike Hall
Michael Marshall
Colin Harris
Andrew Johnston
Helen Wynne

Video Production – Mark & Heather Pentler

Advertising Standards Authority puts an end to homeopaths Double Standards


The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has ordered online homeopathy advertisers to stop making claims that their treatments work.

In letters sent to advertisers of homeopathic products over the last three months, the ASA said it had not seen reliable or objective evidence to substantiate their claims.

Read more at Research: Advertising authority clampdown on homeopathy