Author Topic: The Power of "The Press"  (Read 7538 times)

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Offline milnews.ca

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The Power of "The Press"
« on: December 05, 2016, 13:20:48 »
Not Canadian media, but interesting bit from an article about the incoming U.S. secretary of defence:
Quote
... In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Mattis commanded the Marines who launched an early amphibious assault into Afghanistan and established a U.S. foothold in the Taliban heartland ...
Onto what beach, pray tell, given Afghanistan's landlocked?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 13:41:27 by milnews.ca »
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
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Offline Chris Pook

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The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 11:26:15 »
With the dawning of the realization that "The Press" has opinions - a revelation to North Americans apparently, a given in Europe - a discussion about the making of news and fakery.

On December 15 2016 the EU had a conference.  "The Press" trumpeted "Theresa-no-mates" headlines and described the cold shoulder that she had received from the other Heads of Government, and Angela Merkel in particular.



Here is another image from the same day.



No headlines in that one, I guess.

Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 12:32:41 »
With the dawning of the realization that "The Press" has opinions - a revelation to North Americans apparently, a given in Europe - a discussion about the making of news and fakery.

On December 15 2016 the EU had a conference.  "The Press" trumpeted "Theresa-no-mates" headlines and described the cold shoulder that she had received from the other Heads of Government, and Angela Merkel in particular.



Here is another image from the same day.



No headlines in that one, I guess.
I agree that the general narrative has been "UK's been sidelined by EU", and media of all persuasions have been known to "follow the herd" (for better or worse), but what evidence, other than the one photo, do you offer that she wasn't, indeed, sidelined - other than the one photo that appeared in the Daily Mail?

Also, are you saying that we should judge an event from only one image, instead of a range of events/indicators?


Yeah, I'm sure that'll add nuance and subtlety to media coverage ...
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline Flavus101

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 13:11:45 »
Milnews, I have come to know your posts as generally quite insightful and offering up a solid viewpoint on an issue.

I think you are grabbing at straws with the "well we can't judge how things went by only one picture" narrative. It is quite obvious that the majority of the media are against the UK leaving the EU and are doing their damn best to make sure that it doesn't happen.

The media needs to start working hard to get back to the basics by reporting the facts instead of constantly speculating on issues. Give the reader the information they require to create their own position on the subject matter instead of creating the position for them.

Offline QV

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 13:14:41 »
"What can be asserted without evidence can also be dismissed without evidence."

Christopher Hitchens
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 13:26:53 by QV »

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 14:07:27 »
Milnews - I am suggesting that no information is "trustworthy".  That everything is a balance of probabilities and the only "reliable" judge is the person whom the information affects.
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2017, 14:25:15 »
I will argue that the UK press was a tad more upfront in their given lenses/viewpoints. If you picked up a brit newspaper, there was no doubting from which angle they were viewing a story.

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2017, 14:31:18 »
I will argue that the UK press was a tad more upfront in their given lenses/viewpoints. If you picked up a brit newspaper, there was no doubting from which angle they were viewing a story.

And in that lies clarity - red filter left lens, blue filter right lens - coloured, stereoscopic picture.  (Guardian and Telegraph = reality)

It is important to understand the point of view.  Hiding that point of view leads one to consider that the "informer" may be more "propagandist" than "reporter" or even "proselytizer".
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2017, 15:11:02 »
You just have to know who reads which paper, that's all:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGscoaUWW2M

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2017, 15:25:12 »
I think you are grabbing at straws with the "well we can't judge how things went by only one picture" narrative. It is quite obvious that the majority of the media are against the UK leaving the EU and are doing their damn best to make sure that it doesn't happen.
I'm not denying that, but the OP showed one photo going against the narrative stream, and asked why there was no headline about it.
The media needs to start working hard to get back to the basics by reporting the facts instead of constantly speculating on issues. Give the reader the information they require to create their own position on the subject matter instead of creating the position for them.
Also agreed, and, as someone else said ...
I will argue that the UK press was a tad more upfront in their given lenses/viewpoints. If you picked up a brit newspaper, there was no doubting from which angle they were viewing a story.
... it's up to the consumer to consider the source.  Also, more (information) tiles makes the ("truth") mosaic clearer to understand, as the OP later suggested
And in that lies clarity - red filter left lens, blue filter right lens - coloured, stereoscopic picture.  (Guardian and Telegraph = reality)
More of the same ...
Milnews - I am suggesting that no information is "trustworthy".  That everything is a balance of probabilities and the only "reliable" judge is the person whom the information affects.
Also agreed.  The trouble is that a lot of information affects a lot of people, so who's the "reference" judge?  And if we believe everyone, even those who may base their assessment on little information, or only information that's previously fed into their preconceptions, who's "right"?  Versus what's "true"?  That may be too big a question, I know, but that's what came out  ;D
It is important to understand the point of view.  Hiding that point of view leads one to consider that the "informer" may be more "propagandist" than "reporter" or even "proselytizer".
While some people know "where their media's coming from", many may not -- or don't care as long as it agrees with their world view.
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline Colin P

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2017, 15:34:34 »
I will argue that several news media like to portray themselves as a "balanced and neutral observers of the news" When in fact they clearly were not. Media is a business attempting to get people to buy, read, watch and listen to their stuff in hope of either subscriptions or ad revenue. Editors will slant content to fit the space, the pace and that which is most likely to catch and hold the revenue generators.

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2017, 15:38:55 »
...While some people know "where their media's coming from", many may not -- or don't care as long as it agrees with their world view.

IMHO - pretty much their problem.  They are the ones surprised by events.

My bigger problem is with those that feel then need to "create a common narrative".  In my view that is equivalent to "settling science".  An arbiter of "Truth" is created - and I want to know who that is and who they serve. 

Or I can accept that everybody has their own view and leave it at that.  But that doesn't bring out big crowds.
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2017, 15:40:24 »
I will argue that several news media like to portray themselves as a "balanced and neutral observers of the news" When in fact they clearly were not. Media is a business attempting to get people to buy, read, watch and listen to their stuff in hope of either subscriptions or ad revenue. Editors will slant content to fit the space, the pace and that which is most likely to catch and hold the revenue generators.

Colin - one of the Press's greatest revenue generating commodities is influence.
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2017, 16:18:22 »
My bigger problem is with those that feel then need to "create a common narrative".
Having been guilty myself of being a reporter in a previous life, I can tell you that some of that is intentional, some of that is laziness and some of that is that an element is the only "new" thing out there.  Although I only worked in a small/medium market, and had minimal "here's what you should write" pressure (although not zero), I understand the larger outlets may sometimes have bosses watching outlet x, y and z, asking their reporter "why don't we have this angle?".  And I think if/where that might happen, it's driven by this ...
Media is a business attempting to get people to buy, read, watch and listen to their stuff in hope of either subscriptions or ad revenue. Editors will slant content to fit the space, the pace and that which is most likely to catch and hold the revenue generators.
... with more and more revenue generated by clicks and "lookit the shiny thing" - and the attendant requirement to boil a story down to a tiny, yet eye-catching, element that in some cases is completely out of context.

...I can accept that everybody has their own view and leave it at that.  But that doesn't bring out big crowds.
And consensus doesn't sell, either ...
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2017, 17:06:00 »

And consensus doesn't sell, either ...

And are media revenues rising? There seems to be a fair degree of "consensus" among the Premium/Legacy/Mainstream Media in both the US and Canada.  Maybe somebody could try something different.
Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2017, 17:16:27 »
Media is a business. Business follows the money. George Soros and his ilk own and run the MSM. The story you'll get is the one they want you to hear. All you can depend on, mostly, is a report something happened. After that, you're much better off starting to research the story yourself. You'll never get the full truth from the MSM. Only what they want you to think.
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Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2017, 07:48:46 »
And I'll just leave this right here ...
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2017, 08:23:04 »
Chris,

Any information you come upon should be treated with a grain of salt until it's properly verified, this is where the internet, comparative analysis and the balance of probabilities come in to play. 

Over time and with lots of practice, you'll be able to pick out trend lines and build some predictive intelligence.  The military uses an excellent system for grading intelligence both in terms of source reliability and information reliability.

Source Reliability:

A: Reliable - No doubt about the source's authenticity, trustworthiness, or competency. History of complete reliability.
B: Usually reliable - Minor doubts. History of mostly valid information.
C: Fairly reliable - Doubts. Provided valid information in the past.
D: Not usually reliable - Significant doubts. Provided valid information in the past.
E: Unreliable - Lacks authenticity, trustworthiness, and competency. History of invalid information.
F: Cannot be judged - Insufficient information to evaluate reliability. May or may not be reliable.

Information Reliability:

1: Confirmed - Logical, consistent with other relevant information, confirmed by independent sources.
2: Probably true   - Logical, consistent with other relevant information, not confirmed.
3: Possibly true - Reasonably logical, agrees with some relevant information, not confirmed.
4: Doubtfully true - Not logical but possible, no other information on the subject, not confirmed.
5: Improbable - Not logical, contradicted by other relevant information.
6: Cannot be judged - The validity of the information can not be determined.

You can use this system to score information.  For instance, if some homeless person on the street who you didn't know came up and told you that they used to be a millionaire, do you believe them?  It would score an F6, now if you were to do additional research and you found out the person used to work for a certain company that score would improve to an F5.  As you continue to engage with this person and gather more information, the scores continue to improve or diminish (if they're a big liar) and you can slowly build an accurate intelligence picture of someone or something.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2017, 09:06:25 »
So basically, don't believe anything an E-5 tells you  [:D.







(E-5: a Sergeant or  Petty Officer)

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2017, 09:17:30 »
... The military uses an excellent system for grading intelligence both in terms of source reliability and information reliability ...
While the x-y system you've laid out is a very good one, the problem -- especially with information with political implications -- becomes:  how you get all sides to agree to a source assessment?  There are people who would consider this site or this one reliable, and others who would consider this one and this one reliable when both are far from fully reliable.
“Most great military blunders stem from the good intentions of some high-ranking buffoon ...” – George MacDonald Fraser, "The Sheik and the Dustbin"

The words I share here are my own, not those of anyone else or anybody I may be affiliated with.

Tony Prudori
MILNEWS.ca - Twitter

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2017, 09:36:19 »
While the x-y system you've laid out is a very good one, the problem -- especially with information with political implications -- becomes:  how you get all sides to agree to a source assessment?  There are people who would consider this site or this one reliable, and others who would consider this one and this one reliable when both are far from fully reliable.

The way you do it is that all sources and information start with the lowest grade.  If I am a person who has never read infowars.com before and I read an article there, I've got no way to gauge whether the source is truthful or if the information being delivered is actually true or not; therefore, it automatically receives a score of F6.  In order to improve that score, the information would need to be cross referenced with other sources to confirm its accuracy and credibility. 

Predictive Intelligence isn't about whether someone or something is being truthful at this particular moment in time, it's about identifiable trends that can be observed over a long period of time IOT improve logical planning and decision-making.

Misinformation is a crucial piece of strategic level warfare and it's something the CAF has only recently started re-wrapping its head around because of Afghanistan and what's going on elsewhere in the world.  A lost art for our military post WWII.

Offline Remius

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2017, 10:50:22 »
One  of the things I attempt to do is get as many news sources as possible from all spectrums and from that try to decide what is what in my own head.

I frequent CBC, CTV, CNN, Fox news, Rabble, Army.ca, the Atlantic, Globe and mail, the Toronto Star and listen to CFRA religiously on my way to and from work. 

It isn`t about listening to what I agree with or know what I agree with but rather trying to get as many view points as possible to avoid one source telling me something and conveniently leaving out certain points or facts to make their case. 

If you can identify bias in all sources it will help you determine what might actually be fact.   Facebook is full of that stuff and I pride myself at times to correct my friends about what they are posting or believing.
Optio

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2017, 10:58:51 »
See you



And raise you  [:D




Two men standing in the street discussing 69 may or may not interest me.  It doesn't affect me.

They may affect me if they block my path, or impede traffic to my office.  If violence breaks out.  Those things may cause me to rethink and have to get involved.   If I do get involved, and have to take sides then I will look at whether I can live with 6 or 9.  If both are equally likely then I will probably end up choosing on what best suits my needs.  The truth may be something other than what I think it is but I can live with my reality.  If my reality conflicts with that of others then that merely continues an existing discussion.

I know that there are many instances where I have acted on faulty intelligence.  Sometimes I have got lucky.  Sometimes I have had to decide if the goal justified pushing on despite a less than optimum outcome.  Sometimes I have just thrown in the towel.  These things happen.  But often you don't have the luxury of time to discern the truth.  You are forced by circumstances to jump and trust that you will survive the jump and at least have an opportunity for another jump.

Information is useful and should be considered, but not all of it is equal.  The certainty of a bayonet up the butt if I stay vice the possibility of a nuclear disaster if I go is probably going to impact the decision I make and the action I take.

But I want to come back to something that milnews said earlier about having started his career as a small town reporter.

You can correct me if I'm wrong but back in those ancient days of your wasn't the Canadian Press (and Associated Press and Reuters) pretty much a two way street?  An interweb for local publishers if you like?

My sense is that it used to be that anyone with an opinion, or just a desire to write, or to make money, or to promote a cause could buy a press, some paper and ink and start publishing.  Presses were in every community, mill town or mine town.  Large communities, amalgams of villages, supported many presses.  The wire system connected all those presses.  It not only allowed folks in Thunder Bay to hear what was happening in their town but also what was happening in Ottawa, London and Washington.  But, in my opinion, as importantly, it allowed Thunder Bay to hear what Robertson Davies was reporting on in the Peterborough Examiner, or what was being said in the Lethbridge Herald.   I don't get that sense of connectivity any more.  I get the sense that my news is not managed by a local editor who I may meet in the street, at a store, in a bar or in church - or even his office - but in an office in Toronto, or Montreal or New York.  That old editor, he interacted with the community, and depending on how many bloody noses he was willing to risk, then he stayed in tune with, if not in line with, the community in which he lived.  The news was relevant and the opinions temperate.   I don't get that sense anymore. 

The news and opinions are created by faceless, heck, even bodyless, entities far, far from my reality.

Kind of like our politicians. 

I find it difficult to trust anyone I can't look in the eye while shaking hands.  It is also easier to dismiss them as irrelevant.


Over, Under, Around or Through.
Anticipating the triumph of Thomas Reid.

"One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”  - James Lovelock

Conservative, n. A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal, who wishes to replace them with others. [Ambrose Bierce, 1911]

Offline milnews.ca

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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2017, 11:28:44 »
... You can correct me if I'm wrong but back in those ancient days of your wasn't the Canadian Press (and Associated Press and Reuters) pretty much a two way street?  An interweb for local publishers if you like? ...
When the earth was still cooling (been outta the biz since 2002), we could contribute stories to the broadcast arm of CP, which then would get shared either across Ontario or across Canada -- don't know if AP & Reuters had/has the same arrangement.  So it was a way for the periphery to find out what's out there in Ottawa and the rest of that big world without having to staff their own foreign bureaus, and the centre to get access to important stories they may not know about from smaller places it didn't have reporters posted to.

A big caveat, though, was that when I was still reporting, CP was a not-for-profit co-op of member papers/stations.  As of late 2010, it became "a new for-profit entity, Canadian Press Enterprises Inc." owned by La Presse, The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail.  I have no idea about what the back-and-forth involved there now is about.

Still, even under the old system, all sorts of choices at all sorts of levels coloured what got out there.

As for which stories got selected to go out from "the hub" to member stations/papers, it was always Toronto-based decision makers that made the call.  I understand that population- and political-power-wise, Ottawa and the provincial capitals are foci of attention, but I found it sometimes led to a Toronto-centric algorithm for picking stories from the periphery.  More recently, I listen to CBC Radio on the weekends, and it seems an awful lot of the stories in the "Ontario" newscast are Toronto stories.

As for which stories get selected by member stations & papers, that's back to individual editors/decision makers at each media outlet.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 11:34:12 by milnews.ca »
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Re: The Power of "The Press"
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2017, 12:47:39 »
I try to follow broadly from as many angles as I can, including non-western sources. Take for instance this site https://www.almasdarnews.com/about/

I don't believe everything they report, I know they are regime friendly, but I also note they often post a story long before it reaches western presses and have more contacts with on the ground reporting than most western sources.