Can the integrity of the media be trusted? Is it a given?
A November 2022 survey reported that, in the UK, only 37% of people trust the media. Only the people of Japan and South Korea trust their media less.
At the Race 4 Truth, our experience is that the media have little interest in reporting truth. And, if that is the case, why should people trust what they do report?
Over recent years we have attempted to reach out to hundreds of journalists, reporters, editors, and news outlets with regard the story of Cancer Research UK’s theft of the Race for Life and their rewriting of its history and removing of the event’s actual creator, Jim Cowan, from that history.
We also know that Jim has also tried to raise interest among the media but has had no interest whatsoever, bar three interviews with Sonia Poulton (*links below).
Why is this? Isn’t the story newsworthy? It is story of a major charity stealing an event from its creator and then deleting him from its history. It is a story of fraud, of hypocrisy, of executives looking the other way, of dishonesty, of misinformation, and more.
And yet, the UK’s media do not believe the tale to be even worthy of investigating, let alone reporting. The UK’s media do not want to ask the question of what dishonesty on this level means for other claims, other tales, told by Cancer Research UK?
Why not? We don’t know. We do wonder whether the not insignificant advertising revenue brought into the various media outlets trump the desire to report the truth? But, how are we supposed to trust the integrity of a media willing to turn such a blind eye?
Consider the Daily Mail. Aware of the history and not interested in reporting it, nor even investigating it. Instead, they have chosen to sponsor the Race for Life. In full knowledge of the event’s history and Cancer Research UK’s rewriting of history, they have chosen that as the side they wish to align their brand with. What other stories are they ignoring? What other injustices go unreported?
Then, there is the Southern Daily Echo. In January 2005 they incorrectly stated that Louise Holland was the founder of the Race for Life. Of course, they may have reported this in innocence, inadvertently taking Holland or Cancer Research UK at their word.
However, when Jim Cowan (the Race for Life’s real founder) was made aware of the report in March this year, he contacted the Daily Echo’s editor, Ben Fishwick, seeking the article either be amended or removed. Unfortunately for Jim, for the Daily Echo’s version of reporting, the truth mattered not and the unamended article remains online for all to read (as of 11th May 2023).
It is worth also noting that the Daily Echo clearly do not want to ask whether, if the false claim was Louise Thomas’s (Holland’s married name), it had any impact on her securing a number of senior roles at a range of other charities in the intervening years? (as listed on LinkedIn here and here). Nor asking how she could have been the Race for Life’s founder when she didn’t even join Cancer Research UK until four months after the event was launched and over a year after it had first been proposed by Jim Cowan (as per her own LinkedIn profile)? Even the most rudimentary investigation would expose the 2005 story for the fiction it was, and is.
If we cannot trust the likes of the Daily Mail and the Daily Echo to display integrity, to care about honesty on this matter, what else that they report can be trusted, can be believed?
And, what of the rest of the nation’s media simply turning a blind eye to an historic injustice? Ignoring a tale that involves a major charity displaying or supporting dishonesty, hypocrisy, fraud, and more? Can we trust them, any of them?
The picture it paints is not one of a sector to be trusted to report facts, interested in investigating historical wrongdoing, or which cares about supporting truth over fiction.
In the Race 4 Truth, Cancer Research UK and the UK’s media are lagging behind.
*Links to Sonia Poulton’s interviews with Jim Cowan: