Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Hats off to Investigative Journalism

This morning's Independent thanks to the the Bureau of Investigative Journalism has exposed the shady world of lobbying catching executives at Bell Pottinger boasting of their access to the heart of the Government and how they the "dark arts" to bury bad coverage and influence public opinion.

A big plus for the Independent bucking the trend that many in journalism seem to think is our saviour of data journalism instead showing that good old fashioned subversion can produce an illuminating story.

You can read all about how the Bureau went about its investigation HERE but here is a snippet

The Bureau set up a fictional organisation,the ‘Azimov Group’. We described the organisation as a team of British and eastern European investors, with close links to the Uzbekistan government concerned with exporting cotton textiles. To support our cover story, we set up a website, which listed a London address, mobile number and email address.

And HERE is a video showing exactly how they set up the sting.

The story will no doubt run.Uzbekistan was called the ‘Worst of the Worst‘ list of repressive regimes in 2011 by the US think-tank Freedom House.

A number of years earlier, the regime had gained a reputation after allegedly boiling a religious prisoner to death, and is frequently accused of torturing people to obtain confessions.

Bell Pottinger is one of the largest multinational PR firms in London, closely connected to the Conservative party and it appears took the bait almost instantly.

Expect more damaging recuperation's

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