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Posted by Sarah Brown on 27 May '15

Why let the facts get in the way of a good story

Media stories and the facts are not always the same.

Last week in two different areas I was frustrated by the media and the commonly held view.

The first I confess I wrote about in my blog last time. The apparent suicide of a 92 year old woman brought on by the harassment of charities. However the inquest did not mention this at all, instead mentioning the “beautiful note” she left explaining the reasons for her death as depression and issues of being elderly. Despite this the Mail which had lead on the front page with the charities kill story merely mentioned this on p27 and still lead the article with charities sending lots of letters.

The other issue was the immigration debate. Even people living in areas with few immigrants such as Hartlepool worry about immigrants and a major reason is because the foreigners deny the British jobs. Or do they?

The statistics do not bear this out, as native unemployment has been falling as immigration has increased.

Indeed studies suggest that migrants tend to fill gaps in the workforce and boost our national productivity. The Independent Office for Budget Responsibility has projected that if net immigration is held to 100,000 per year then our long term growth rate will fall from 2.4% to 2% and our debt to GDP ratio will rise to above 100% when with more immigration it is 80% i.e. the economy will slow and we will owe more.

In this over communicated world we are so reliant on others for information and the truth and we have so little time and means to check the facts. Unfortunately the bad news or the news that will grab headlines tends to win in the noise of all the media. We all need to beware of believing what we read and to try to find ‘official’ sources be they the coroner or the Office of Budget Responsibility to establish some facts.

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Tags: charity