Paul Holmes 10 Jul 2011 // 4:08PM GMT
Gallup has released its most recent survey of confidence in major American institutions, and the findings will come as no surprise to anyone who has been following these surveys for a while. The military and small businesses are the most trusted institutions, while just 19 percent of Americans say they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in big business and television news (27 percent) and newspapers (28 percent) fare only slightly better. Given the ever widening gap between the compensation of corporate CEOs and the rest of the world, it’s no surprise that “corporations are lobbying against a regulation that would require them to publish executive-worker wage ratios.” But unlike the author of this Salon article, I’m not convinced that CEOs need to fear shareholder activism or—given the composition of the current Congress—corporate tax reform. In his most recent Bad Science column, The Guardian’s Ben Goldacre asks “How far should we trust health reporting?” The answer, apparently, is not very far: “It seems that the majority of health claims made, in a large representative sample of UK national newspapers, are supported only by the weakest possible forms of evidence.” Add to the more serious sins of the News of the World and Rebekah Brooks, the accusation that “relationships with PR firms such as Matthew Freud’s Freud Communications were so close that if they called the news desk with a story, you had to run it. If you told them it wasn’t a story but just a piece of PR fluff, they would phone Rebekah’s office, the reporter would be told off and the story would go in as Freud wanted it.” Look, I was as bored by Rep. Anthony Weiner’s private parts as you were. Most of the coverage was lurid and dull in equal parts. But I do think it is necessary to comment on the sheer vapidity of this headline, and all the other stories that try to make this about the “perils of social media.” Really? The medium is the message? If Weiner had just used the US Postal Service to flash his junk to random women, we wouldn’t have a problem with it? The FT takes a look at the need for more standardized rules for CSR reporting.
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