12/07/2014 18:25 BST | Updated 10/09/2014 06:59 BST

The Language of a Journalist: Top Five Lines

I fell backwards into journalism. I planned on embarking on another path, well off track, as I had two choices: (1) to study psychology or (2) to study psychiatry. As you can guess I chose neither as I couldn't make my mind up.

I did, however, opt for a career in journalism as it is equally as baffling as the two aforementioned.

First of all the language is pretty much the same in psychology as it is in mainstream broadcasting information to the masses.

All you have to do is use language to trigger suggestion, induce false belief and make them come back for more. Kind of like a repeat prescription for gullible-ism.

I've chosen my TOP FIVE language tricks on what qualifies for mainstream journalism language ...



Enforcing the point fuelled by the agenda by hiding behind a person or persons who cannot be named, doesn't want to be named, and brilliantly available as a ghost false witness; perfect!

Where once it was either a spokesman or a spokeswoman, the now politically correct 'spokesperson' reduces even more source-able blame because we don't even know if it was a man or a woman being quoted.

The popular 'spokesperson' is a great ghost source to cite because not only are they double difficult to trace - they don't actually exist and never have.

A source close to:

Also known as the invisible aide.

The source close to is a bit like the spokesperson, only weaker. They are the ones who always seem to have the second-hand information and they are conveniently shoved forward to make a comment on behalf of who they are supposed to be close to.

The source close to can be anyone from a family member, a neighbour, a nosey secretary, or the man on the moon...and still know nothing!


In most stories that have a questionable credibility the best thing a journalist can do is to pull the expert card right out of the top hat. The expert is mostly prefixed with 'according to' and the evergreen 'panel of'. The perfect cocktail for deflection and misinformation.


Everybody these days are curious little f***ers. Everybody feels they are entitled to transparency. Politicians promise to offer transparency and bodies caught up in scandals have their heels snapped by little w***ers who demand transparency.

If you want transparency I can recommend a well-maintained goldfish bowl or a freshly-washed window pane.

Name and Shame:

Most people who the public want named and shamed don't really suffer that much. Firstly, if the public want a person named and shamed they must have done something really bad.

To do something really bad would mean (according to a close aide source expert in psychology) they have no scruples about changing their name and don't even waste your time considering their conscience and question how they sleep at night because according to experts who have transparent views these people sleep very newborn babies snuggled between their mother's mammary glands.

Read more of Stephen Hamilton's work in the Dafty News >>>