The story of bullsh*t: what’s being spread, who’s spreading it, why it works - and

what we can do to tackle it. A panel debate with author and journalist, James Ball;

Herald journalist Marianne Taylor; and Shetland Times editor, Adam Civico.


2016 marked the birth of the post-truth era. Sophistry and spin have coloured

politics since the dawn of time, but two shock events - the Brexit vote and Donald

Trump’s elevation to US President - heralded a departure into murkier territory.

From Trump denying video evidence of his own words, to the infamous Leave

claims of £350 million for the NHS, politics has rarely seen so many stretching the

truth with such impunity. This is bigger than fake news and bigger than social

media. It’s about the slow rise of a political, media and online

infrastructure that has devalued truth.


James Ball is an award-winning journalist. Now a special correspondent at BuzzFeed

UK, previously at The Guardian, James played a key role in the Pulitzer Prize-

winning coverage of the NSA leaks by Edward Snowden. At WikiLeaks he was

closely involved in Cablegate – the publication of 250,000 classified US embassy

cables in 2010 – as well as working on two documentaries based on the Iraq War

Logs. He is a lecturer on City University’s Interactive and Investigative journalism



Marianne Taylor has worked in a variety of areas for media organisations including

the Guardian, the BBC and the German newspaper Die Welt. She now primarily

write features, columns and leaders for the Herald, Sunday Herald and Evening



Adam Civico has been editor of the Shetland Times since 2012. Before moving to

Shetland he was assistant editor of the Barnsley Chronicle, where his career in

Journalism began.