‘Fake news’

In my early years as a professional Geologist and a Christian, I was dismayed and puzzled by the defence of the literalist interpretation of Genesis 1 stating that scientists were in a conspiracy of deception. Why scientists might do this was never articulated, as the premise of those involved in scientific research is to discover truth.

Later as a practical theologian I wrote a number of texts on the dialogue between science and faith to demonstrate the complementarity between these two ways of exploring the truth about creation and the burgeoning environmental crisis. Those denying the reality of climate change have also disappointed me with the suggestion that environmental scientists are seeking to mislead the world.

Does this help in our understanding of today’s ‘fake news’ and conspiracy theories? Continue reading

Why the news needs to be good

The Queen rarely makes comment on matters of public debate, but a few weeks ago she gave a message of support to the British newspaper industry, praising traditional media outlets.  She said that “having trusted, reliable sources of information, particularly at a time when there are so many sources competing for our attention, is vital”.  This is very important, for in our democracy we rely on trusted news sources to inform us, challenge us, investigate wrong doing, and hold governments and public services to account. Continue reading