Graham Hunt on Journalists

Graham Hunt on Journalists

Here we go again, call after call after call from newspapers, TV and radio in the UK. The mainstream media digging out stories that don’t exist about Spain so they can present the country in the worst light possible. And even when the facts don’t stand up to scrutiny still publishing them anyway.

What’s the problem?

E-Mails coming in asking myself and lots of people I know to provide them with car crash stories of expats desperate to return to their beloved homeland (The country they mostly couldn’t wait to get out of) with their tail between their legs but not being able to because nobody will buy their house and they couldn’t even give it away if they wanted to.

“Could you please put us in touch with people who are desperate to return to the UK but are stopped because they are in negative equity/they would not have enough to buy a home in the UK/they cannot find a job despite speaking Spanish/their business has been decimated…”

And so it goes on. For any journalists out there doing this, it’s not big’ it’s not clever and it has never ever been even close to being original. (And i say this with full respect for those few who are actually trying to do their job and report facts rather than prejudices)

The time is right for a backlash and the medium for that backlash is Twitter.

When Twitter was down yesterday the only thing the news organisations were talking about was the fact that twitter was down. Why is that? Well the truth is that Twitter is now the news for many news organisations. They make the stories up from the tweets. A trending topic on Twitter can make the news much more than any number of press releases. So next week we are going to have an assault of positive Spain stories. They will all use the same hashtag. The hashtag will be hijacked by spammers, dissenters and idiots (There are plenty of all of those groups on Twitter) and it will get more and more popular. The hashtag will be sent to journalists who cover Spain to see if they will become involved too. The hashtag will start appearing on Monday. If you want to get involved because you are sick and tired of the negativity keep an eye out on Monday to see a spate of tweets with positive news about Spain. What’s the hashtag? We hope you will find out on Monday ;-)

I can peddle stories too you know.

We could all tell the story of a country where in places there will be four inches of rain in a day today when it is supposed to be midsummer, where all of the main banks have just been downgraded… again… where the government is cutting back on everything and allowing tax evasion on a grand scale by its companies (Vodafone for example), where people are desperate to leave but can’t because they cannot sell their houses, where inflation is rising constantly because of the extra costs being imposed by crooked politicians who have been fiddling their expenses in a country where crime is rising inexorably due to the crisis. However that story is not necessarily Spain and not necessarily the UK either. It is everywhere. Why pick on Spain?

Enough with the negativity. After all, the situation will not be resolved by being negative and standing like a small bunny in the headlights of an upcoming juggernaut. It will not be stopped by the absolutely useless political class in Spain and other countries. It will only be stopped by taking action and getting the country moving again.

And guess what?

That doesn’t mean by helping lazy journalists to peddle false impressions about the country without being challenged. Let’s accentuate the positive and give a different narrative. You never know, something good might happen.

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