Parodies of journalism require talent, time and money. Just ask “Raoul Djukanovic” and “Philip Challinor”, two financial journalists who caught London commuters off guard last week by handing out a free, spoof edition of the Financial Times (FT). According to the Guardian, Raoul and Philip
put thousands of pounds of their own money into the publication. … It took the pair “about a month” to write about 150,000 words at the same time as working full time and they say the publication, called Not The Financial Times, was partly designed to show other journalists that they seldom write objectively.
The fantasy edition headlines and articles a joy to read (BBC ‘swear quota’ gets journalists cursing, G5 unveil new oligarchitecture, World survives Equal Rights Day) and remind me of the fake news genre that The Onion has down pat. The bulk of the content however, criticizes the practice, role and responsibility of news media. A lengthy analysis of news making practices, written by the Why do they hate us correspondent, articulates churnalism commonalities and offers this biting critique of the news industry and its truth claims:
Freedom from corporate culture doesn’t abolish groupthink, nor guarantee insight, entertainment or basic accuracy. So if churnalism’s the norm wherever you turn, is reframing a solution, or part of the problem?