Monday, January 30, 2023

Our brand of journalism is more accurate, and this is why …

One of my associates suggested recently that I am not doing enough to help people understand how BIG Media Ltd.’s style of journalism is different from that of other news organizations, and why it is more accurate.

So, here I go. I will break it into segments, each of which is critical to our unique style of covering the big issues at BIG Media.

Editorial team

My team of journalists consists of a bunch of brilliant scientists WITH HIGH INTEGRITY. There is a reason I put those three words in caps; there are many thousands of people who have the educational background required to call themselves scientists, but – when it comes to ethical behaviour when it matters most – have the integrity of a straw house in a tornado.

On the flip side, I work with accomplished, ethical scientists who have risen to the top of their fields – and who just happen to be excellent writers. Laurie Weston (entrepreneur/scientist), Lee Hunt (scientist/novelist), Brad Hayes (entrepreneur/scientist/educator), David Vickers (epidemiologist), Kevin Burron (structural engineer turned top litigator), Brian Russell (entrepreneur/scientist), Oliver Kuhn (entrepreneur/scientist), and Paul Buller (mechanical engineer), to name a few, are not working with me to make money, nor to win journalism awards; they are doing it to educate and empower people.

Like me, they signed up because they saw the damage being caused by a largely ill-informed populace that comes with a mainstream media dominated by sensationalism and greed – and with politicians and other officials who care much more about power and influence than the common good.

Some of our contributors have earned doctorates in their chosen fields, but none will expect you to include “Dr.” when you refer to them. Their actions speak louder than titles. They are leaders with high-powered brains and good hearts.

Production editor Ernest Granson and infographic wiz Muriel Protzer also operate with high integrity. Always.

Intellectual humility and accountability

In the 23 months since I launched BIG Media with renowned geoscientist Laurie Weston and a small group of likeminded associates, I have had countless people contest my posts regarding articles that put such things as COVID, global emissions, and climate change into context.

Each time I am challenged, even when the comments are vitriolic, I thank them for joining the conversation and ask that they point to a specific statement or number that is wrong. I promise that if they find an error, I will thank them, update the article, and publish a post announcing our mistake. I ask them to bring data and logic to the table. The discussion always seems to stop there.

So far, with hundreds of articles published and hundreds of content challengers, there has been a grand total of zero instances in which our critics were able to point out an error in our reporting.

Now, that does not mean that I think we are perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Fortunately, it is usually our own writers who catch the gaffes at BIG Media (e.g., Correction – COVID actually ranks #10 in causes of death among women age 60-69). And we have policies in place that keep errors to an absolute minimum.

We welcome scrutiny and wish that all news organizations could be held accountable for the veracity of their reporting.

Accuracy

Some of you may have seen me make the bold claim that BIG-Media.ca is the most accurate source of news regarding the big issues … on the entire planet. Now, that would seem absurd to most, considering that we are less than two years old. But hear me out.

Every article related to the COVID-19 pandemic is reviewed for accuracy by a four-person committee that includes three data scientists, one of whom is an epidemiologist. Is there another media company on Earth that has such a policy? I doubt it.

That said, most articles published by our mainstream rivals do not have the data analysis and interpretation required to even scratch the surface of the issue. I guess no one needs a team of scientists to confirm that an article is a simplistic, sensationalized piece of garbage. Was that harsh? No apologies here – it is downright despicable what most news organizations are doing these days.

We also cite and provide links to virtually every shred of data, so readers can do their own fact checking and/or explore further.

Editorial integrity

Our tight editorial guidelines minimize spin. While our competitors commonly quote “expert sources” to validate any theory any reporter comes up with, we stick to data and logic. Our news articles are not thinly veiled pieces of propaganda, as is the standard practice – they are objective reports on important issues.

Our writers apply the scientific method to journalism, consistently attempting to prove their work wrong as the research and story evolve.

In order to ensure lasting editorial objectivity, BIG Media Ltd. does not accept advertising, sponsorship, or government funding. We serve only our readers.

Co-operation

Many of our story ideas come from our reader/members. We listen to every word of feedback from readers, and we often take action on their suggestions. We are in this together.

Intent

My team and I are focused on making a positive impact through education. We are not here to shock or scare you into reading – we simply want to empower our readers, so they are more likely to move toward solutions, as opposed to engage in senseless fighting over issues they know little or nothing about. The enlightened do not insult their neighbours who disagree with them; they invite them to participate in meaningful, respectful discussion. Knowledge is power – the kind of power that fosters harmony, not conflict.

We at BIG Media Ltd. believe that we have come up with a media model that works. To those who have signed up as members, THANK YOU for being part of the positive change! All others are welcome to join our growing community of critical thinkers any time.

Rob Driscoll
Rob Driscoll is co-founder and president of BIG Media Ltd. He is a writer and entrepreneur who is deeply committed to elevating the level of coverage of our society's most pressing matters as well as the level of respect in public discourse.

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