A BBC journalist has blasted the UK press after experiencing at first-hand the appalling way the media treats the public.

In a moving blogpost, BBC Bristol presenter John Darvall blames the fact he is in the public eye and is engaged to an MP for the awful way his family were treated by the press after a recent tragic loss in his family.

In strong language, Mr Darvall savages his own profession, saying he is “ashamed to be a journalist” and how he saw at first hand how professional journalists were unable to “get their facts right” and could not be “trusted with clear information”:

“Newspapers have contacted me and provided appallingly written articles”

He also points out the “journalistic failure” added significantly to the pain the family were going through and warns the public should now “trust nothing you read or watch” in the media:

“I write this as a journalist who loved his work but can now clearly see why so many have lost faith in his profession and traditional media. They, we and I have brought this on ourselves”

Mr Darvall asks if it is any wonder the public are turning to social media for news and information, and concludes:

“We really can’t trust the traditional outlets to do it right or properly”

Read the moving blogpost in full here:

I am ashamed to call myself a journalist

  1. As an ex hack, I see no reason why the term stepdad should not be used. It certainly appears to be factual. Cannot speak to other inaccuracies but this is an odd blog indeed. The media are doing far worse things….

  2. I thought the whole point of citing references was so that people didn’t NEED to “trust” your article – they can see the information you are working from for themselves and judge it based on that.

    I hope people aren’t trusting everything they read just because it’s referenced.

  3. Suzanne Bosworth says:

    Social media is the way to go. It’s no good journalists sniping at bloggers and trashing their work – there are bloggers out there who do the most amazing research, write reliable, accurate material and aren’t compromised by any editorial bias.

    Just because something’s in a newspaper doesn’t make it true, and too many people swallow anything they’re told without doing their own fact-checking. – after all, look at the stories in the corporate media that turn out to be complete hogwash. Some papers require that every fact they print is verified by two different sources; it’s a shame that most others don’t aim for the same high standards, and they wonder why print is dying out and newspaper sales are falling.

    In Scotland the Daily Record is really getting it in the neck – sales falling and they can barely give some copies away, all because their relationship with the truth has been known to be distant. Even the Telegraph has got itself in a pickle, with their story about Nicola Sturgeon and the French Ambassador based on a lie and a falsehood given to them third or fourth hand and no checking. LOL

    I can imagine John Darvall’s shock at finding out the truth about his profession. That’s a hard lesson to have learned at such a difficult time.

  4. I don’t, the covering of any political happening is never covered by any in the UK because of this government. If anything happens abroad like protests it’s soon covered but not here. The news is very much watered down or none existent. Thanks to the BBC and others people think everything is rosy well it’s not.

  5. It has also been turned into an article about the merits, or lack of, of political reporting when it clearly isn’t. Agreed, it is about media accuracy, but it should be an article related to politics, not a families loss of a child. Wrong subject matter.

  6. Alistair MacKinnon says:

    Did anyone read the original article? It is a general statement (and I’d trust his judgement on this, not just his current experience) NOT to trust the media, but most tellingly LOVE your kids and loved ones:

    “Two bits of advice for you reading this, if I may:
    Trust nothing you read or watch. Check it, at least twice, as it’s more than likely wrong from just a single source.
    Love your children and loved ones. Properly love them. Tell them every day, make sure they know that you love them regardless of what might be happening. Nothing is more important than that.”

  7. It’s curious that there was not a word of criticism of the BBC from Darvall until he became the story… and of course becoming engaged to a notoriously attention-seeking Tory MP and being shoved off his political slot are not in the least bit relevant!

    Whoever wrote this blogpost missed the real meat of the matter.

  8. I feel for this guy. Unfortunately it is not news that today’s MSM is not to be trusted. We saw it starkly in the lead up to sept 18 last year, and see it day in day out since.

  9. That’s right Alistair and the next step of love your children and loved ones properly love them is to properly love yourself and in so doing everyone else

  10. Again as above with the same experiences in Scotland (& BBC Scotland too) and not to mention the Torygraph’s disgraceful ‘reporting’ with the Carmichael ‘Frenchgate’ affair.

  11. Hi all

    Would you agree the statement that: The only group, the British public trust less than a politicians, is journalists?

    Kind Regards walker

  12. Except so far as I can see from the article, they did get it right. In his own words, he made a tribute to his daughter and pretended her mother was the author of it. However moving this might have been meant to be, it wasn’t true. Secondly, “Simon” was her step-father, whatever name the family might have had for the relationship. That is what he was.

    Simon also seems to have gone on at John Darval after he heard what he’d agreed – in other words, he knew it wasn’t any of John Darval’s fault he’d been called what he was, the girl’s step-father, but he thought he’d have a go anyway. Presumably he couldn’t find the number for the person who actually did it.

    So I’m puzzled. BBC journalist is ashamed to be a journalist because other journalists tell the truth and if they don’t we’re not actually told what it is they got wrong. Maybe it’s me.

  13. What do you expect? The mainstream media is bought and paid for by wealthy individuals and corporations who have an agenda. I would sooner trust the tea leaves in the bottom of my cup than a newspaper.

  14. We are all subjected to the lies and bile thrown at us from the newspaper industry ,including the Guardian. We all are aware the press is owned by Barons who have very narrow interests in disseminating the truth and what is paramount for them is not the selling of papers based on honest truth, but they are the propaganda machine for the Conservative Party In a way we all accept it but disregard it at the same time. However the media of news via the television we consider to be unbiased and free from political intervention. This is very far from reality. Take for example the very organ that should be the leader of any free debate and upholder of our democracy, the BBC, uses language for one party political leader but for others no adjectives are applied. hence we have Jeremy Corbyn continually referred to as ,”the left wing leader of the opposition” and during the same article the , extreme right wing leader of the government is simply referenced as the Prime minister . I rest my case.

  15. At last, a journalist who admits the truth we have known for years… but only when it affected him personally.

  16. So the TV I have in the corner of my room is not a truth machine afterall, I’ll start doing my own world events research!!

  17. There are many reasons why journalists do not tell the truth. One is to make a better story, a second is because they are simply repeating what they have been told, and a third is because telling the truth would involve intervention by Libel Lawyers, who are given the task of preventing the truth from being told. The case of the missing girl in Portugal fits all three of these criteria. And you note I do not use her name, since that would mean instant “moderation” = censorship.

  18. Remember the days when journalists, politicians and bankers where worthy and respected professions. No, neither can I. We should have a national news boycott until it’s sorted.

  19. PeterMac, don’t forget plain old incompetence. Budget restrictions in the media mean there is little scope for relevant training.

  20. The BBC is not fit for purpose, they are complicit in terrorism, fake news with one agenda to brain wash the public, they go around the Country harassing the most vulnerable of people. they are no friend to children as they covered up Jimmy Savile. BBC news 24 regurgitates the agenda for 24 four hours repeating it over and over again, we cant verify these pictures and the story is coming from an unknown journalist and the word allegedly, this is propaganda. they reported building seven falling 20 minutes before it fell. the terrorism act stops me from funding such a vile corporation, any one paying for the BBC is committing treason or compounding treason.

  21. Just to confirm that this article is true I have lived in Bristol and my family are still there although I am now residing in Scotland I read the evening post via the internet I listen to the Bristol radio This is a great loss to john and his family.

  22. The abuse my family have suffered in an attempt to obtain justice for my daughter is disgusting. . On any other issue our case would have front page but sadly because it is an illegal action we remain hidden. It is very true that the Media are very happy to avoid treading on the wrong people’s toes at the expense of helping victims who have never been allowed a proper opportunity to voice their concerns.

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