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