"Inside Spin" as Media Self-Defense

Cover of Inside Spin: The dark underbelly of the PR industryIn a review of SourceWatch editor Bob Burton's new book, "Inside Spin: The Dark Underbelly of the PR Industry," New Zealand investigative journalist Nicky Hager writes that "its hair-raising stories help us see what is reasonable and what is harmful and unethical." Hager, who in 1999 co-authored "Secrets and Lies" with Burton, notes that "although media and the public feel negative towards PR, many of the tricks of the trade work anyway. PR companies get away with manufacturing news, closing down unwanted news, helping clients slide out of responsibility for wrong-doing, causing trouble for or silencing their clients' political and commercial opponents, and generally manipulating events in their clients' favour." The best antidote to PR spins, he writes, "is understanding and recognising them when they occur."