The “rules” of the mainstream media, explained by leading journalist Jonathan Cook:
Editors hardly ever need to bare their teeth against an established journalist because few make it to senior positions unless they have already learnt how to toe the line…
In fact, more than 95 per cent of the reports filed by Britain’s distinguished correspondents in Jerusalem originate in stories they have seen published either by the world’s two main news agencies, Reuters and Associated Press, or in the local Israeli media. Exclusives are almost unheard of. The correspondent’s main job is to rewrite the agency copy by adding his own “angle”; usually a minor matter of emphasis in the first paragraphs or an addition of a few quotes from an official contact.
This reliance on the wires is in itself a very effective way of filtering out news that challenges dominant interests. The agencies, dependent for survival on funding from the large media groups, are extremely deferential to the main Western power elites and their allies.