The Rural Reader. July book review.

A matter of fact – Talking truth in a post-truth world – Jess Berenston-Shaw (2018).

At a time when information creation and access have become so democratised it has become increasingly difficult to determine the validity and credibility of information sources – and indeed the truth of information itself.

Jess investigates how organisations and individuals generate information to influence public opinion – something that I think is likely to be of particular interest to the Food and Fibre sector. She presents many examples of how information is misused intentionally as well as unintentionally, and the pitting of evidence against beliefs and values.

Other important issues she addresses include conspiracy theories, false balance and bias. Kelloggers who have read this short book tell me that they have found it most helpful in their work lives and in helping them evaluate and better understand the complexities of the environment within which New Zealand trades. 

The current discussions on genetic modification are a case in point. Jess is a New Zealand author, an experienced journalist and academic. This BWB book is readily accessible and reasonably priced at about $15.

Patrick Aldwell
July, 2023

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