n. Journalism that churns out articles based on wire stories and press releases, rather than original reporting.
Last year, I highlighted for MediaGuardian how Northumbria police hold back serious crimes from the media. Meanwhile, the force's £1.5m-a-year corporate communications department pumps out more press releases on falling crime rates, clampdowns, raids, initiatives and other stories designed to produce positive PR. The result, I believe, is that most crime reporting in the north-east is now little more than churnalism.
Atkins is rightly concerned about the disastrous effects on our journalistic culture of editorial cutbacks, the rising influence of public relations and online 'churnalism', with its constant demand for unchecked celebrity gossip.
If you were to survive the Ralph Chavez school of journalism (or "churnalism" as he sometimes liked to call it) you learned to churn the stuff out, fix it up in the second draft and then get on with the next thing.
The news media are sliding merrily downmarket, trying to retain shrinking advertising revenue and spur sales with spicier, riskier, gamier "news" that wouldn't have made it two or three years ago….Churnalism" would be a better name for it.