From the few experiences I have had of having attended events that I subsequently read about in a newspaper; I simply assume that what the journalist has said bears effectively zero relationship to what has happened. As in, I would not recognise the event as having been the same thing had I not known for a fact that it was.
And its slightly worse than that because for my sins my BA is in English and Media Studies, (2:1
) of which the latter element was almost but not quite as useless as may normally be assumed. Basically, for the bulk of the trade of journalism, virtually nothing is ever quite how they feel they have to portray it. This usually manifests in annoying distortions and misrepresentations rather than outright lies but there are far too many examples of the latter too. Examples of the former; a disabled man required by the documentary producer to be shown wearing pyjamas in bed, when in fact, because of the incredible fuss of getting into them, he never ever did *. A real distortion and unfair image of the chap's daily life. Why were they bothering to make the programme at all if they felt they had to do something like that?
Or the local paper report of an event I attended where apparently (words to the effect) 'the barriers kept back the crowds'. Yeah right - there were literally three people there. Or the local paper photo of a lunchtime recital I gave in the 1980s where everybody was crowded right up to the music stand to get them in the shot, and supposedly everybody was encouraged to eat their sandwiches during the performance. Yeah right, in a church, during a concert.
It may well tend to be worse in local reporting, and of course there are many serious writers in the major media channels who do everything they can to get an honest picture over. But even then, the very physical nature of the the medium shapes and inevitably changes, = distorts, the story as it ends up being perceived.
And yes I did it myself, e.g. as reviewer for CG magazine, in the recital I mentioned in another thread where there was literally only one actual ticket buyer (plus me plus the player's spouse) I failed to say that in clear terms, only vaguely alluding to the lack of turnout. Why? - because I didn't want to hurt the chap's feelings, and because I felt his mission (playing modern repertoire sans nails) was clearly doomed to failure, so why bother.
And so the point is, the journalist or editor feels there is a reason to be portraying the thing the way they do, even when they are not driven by ideology or other shallow motives.
* https://www.theguardian.com/theguardian ... s-obituary