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Getting On With It In the Face of ‘Fake News’

20 Feb 2017

Recently, I’ve been asked to sign up to the UK Space Station programme and have been asked to appear in the next James Bond movie as well as being invited to join the UK Cabinet as a Minister Without portfolio.

If I have your attention and if you know me, you will no doubt realise that the news isn’t perhaps all that it seems.

When my parents were growing up in the early part of the last century, propaganda ahead of World War Two seemed to proliferate and I remember hearing about the British traitor William Joyce, more commonly known as Lord Haw-Haw, who appeared on the radio spouting scary stories about where bombs were about to hit the UK.

He created fear, terror and havoc among the population and was eventually hanged for his treachery at the end of the war.

Certainly, when I was growing up in the 70s and 80s, Cold War propaganda seemed to be covered by the media frequently and, as I recall, on John Craven’s Newsround.

Those were the days when there were only two or three TV channels, including news – whereas now of course, we have hundreds of channels and can view every piece of news, commentary and interpretation at the touch of a button on our smart phones. How the world has changed!

And so the propaganda of years ago becomes the fake news of today. I’m not so sure I fully appreciate or understand the concept of news, although most of us with an ounce of intelligence are, in my opinion, able to judge for ourselves how to interpret what we say and what we hear, particularly at the moment.

In my view, the vast majority of us want to live peaceably in a safe, secure society while at the same time contributing to our local communities in order to make a difference and to add value to where we live.

Certainly, from an IoD member’s perspective, in Wales the contribution extends to creating viable business that always make a positive impact on the economy and the wellbeing of the Welsh nation. There is nothing fake about working hard, getting on with the job and building businesses that enhance the livelihoods of those that work within them and so as far as I am concerned, and one of the aspects of my job that gives me the most pleasure, is to spread the word in communities on the value and contribution that business makes in an ordered society. I could name hundreds of examples of businesses in all sectors across Wales which are doing this, day in, day out. They are neither fake nor flaky but rather – as I say frequently – are getting on with getting on. 

Robert Lloyd Griffiths is Director of the Institute of Directors in Wales 

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