We have also moved to "soundbite" reporting where the headline seems more important than the substance of the report. This has led to the ridiculous sight of the likes of Laura K shouting out "Are you embarrassed Prime Minister" or "Will you apologise Prime Minister". Stupid questions that they know will receive a severe ignoring - but they have got their dig in and that is what is at the front of the viewers mind now.Yep... this goes back to a need for the media to be far clearer about how they present their information. If they want to transform news reporting into some form of quasi legal court, then they need to be MUCH clearer about how witness information is presented, in particular the need to differentiate between a "witness of fact" and and "expert witness". In a court of law, only an expert witness is allowed to give an opinion! A "witness of fact" can only report what they saw.
Expert witnesses are bound to give opinion based only on their professional knowledge and experience, and must present this in a way that does not unduly favour either side. They must be explicit about the basis of their opinion, and should be tested regarding this via a legal c.v. or through questioning to demonstrate to the jury that the basis of their opinion is valid (voir dire).
If the MSM is attempting to manipulate public opinion rather than simply present information, then perhaps they need to be held to a much higher standard of admissibility of evidence that was necessary in the past. I think we have misunderstood the need for a degree of deference between the media and the government and that if the media feels it has a direct role in the direction of national affairs, then it need to be much more accountable than it presently is. Much of modern media behaviour can be traced back to the satirical movements of the 60s where the boundary between political commentary and comedy became blurred. Assuming the guise of the court jester, the media discovered that it could take swipes at "the establishment" to great effect, and more importantly with little actual risk to them. What however is missing is the ability of the king to remove the head of the jester from its body should it get too big for its boots!
The bottom line I think is that we have allowed the boundaries between politics, press, the judiciary and the government to become far too loose, and there needs to be a re-establishment of some clear water between them if the public are to have any trust in what is being presented to us...!