John Harris

Journalist & Author

Britain’s common ground is lost. But there are glimmers of hope we can find it | John Harris

Media-fuelled Brexit divisions have created a culture of mutual loathing. Grassroots initiatives can help bring us together

“I’ve given up watching the news,” said the man in the other room. “It’s all lies.”

We were both in a hi-fi shop in Bath – me immersed in an arcane conversation about amplifiers, while he asked for help with his internet-enabled flatscreen television. He was sixtysomething, with the look of someone being endlessly annoyed by the world, or what he saw of it. These days, he said, all his information about current affairs came from online videos. What, I wondered, was he watching? Claims of faked bombings in Syria? False warnings about the dangers of vaccines? Or labyrinthine theories about the global cabal intent on stopping Brexit?

Related: TV streaming bonanza looms for UK – but can you afford it?

Related: Could language be the key to detecting fake news? | David Shariatmadari

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