Monday, 15 October 2012

Doug Sipp's Stemedica Post Meets the Pew Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism's Definition of Pure Propaganda

The Pew center has been trying to clean up journalism by establishing a set of standards that seem to elude our friend Doug Sipp. One of these guidelines is interesting:

Journalists rely on a professional discipline for verifying information. When the concept of objectivity originally evolved, it did not imply that journalists are free of bias. It called, rather, for a consistent method of testing information--a transparent approach to evidence--precisely so that personal and cultural biases would not undermine the accuracy of their work. The method is objective, not the journalist. Seeking out multiple witnesses, disclosing as much as possible about sources, or asking various sides for comment, all signal such standards. This discipline of verification is what separates journalism from other modes of communication, such as propaganda, fiction or entertainment
In the Stemedica post, Doug commits as many journalistic sins as a heathen in the holy land. For example, he cites that he has interviewed...wait for it...exactly zero sources about his conspiracy theories. What Doug Sipp does do is to pull all of the biased info he can find that will support his conspiracy. One such example is his focus on a Bermuda Sun article. Here Sipp completely forgets to mention that a retraction was issued by the Bermuda papers [from a Stemedica Press Release]: 

“We feel relieved and vindicated”, said Maynard A. Howe, PhD, Vice Chairman and CEO of Stemedica.  “We were shocked that professional media outlets would use erroneous facts and unnamed sources to attack us simply because they have major differences with our Licensed Treatment Center partner, and the country’s Premier, Doctor Ewart Brown. We were in the process of taking legal action against both papers and are now withdrawing this legal action based upon their apology.” 
Stemedica retained international law firm Reed Smith Richards Butler.  Their team, (senior partner Michael Skrein, working with Emma Lenthall and Eleanor Chapman), hired top libel silk Andrew Caldecott QC.   
In their apologies – both prominently displayed in the November 9th  editions of The Mid-Ocean News and The Royal Gazette - each newspaper said in part, “…Unfortunately, the first of those articles described the new facility as a ‘sham’ and referred to it as a ‘money laundering expedition’…we now accept that these statements were erroneous.  We apologize unreservedly to Stemedica for any offense that we may have caused them.”

Why would Doug Sipp leave this important fact out of a piece on Stemedica?
In fact Sipp has libeled Stemedica so many times, that I have been provided a letter sent to Sipp by the company's president where he attempts to set the record straight:


What's the definition of propaganda using the Pew Center's guidelines? Two words, one ending in pp.