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Brian Cathcart, 'Professor' of Journalism at Kingston University and generally beloved of the chattering classes has produced an interesting piece which is, essentially, about the nature of journalism and the rôle of journalists. He has some harsh words for the tabloids and Dacre, but I think he polishes his own helmet a bit too much...

Worth a careful read

Index on Censorship
Brian Cathcart wrote "Were You Still Up for Portillo?", an entertaining account of The 1997 General Election.

I lent my copy to a Labour MP (elected that night) and the bastard has never given it me back.
Abernathy wrote:Brian Cathcart wrote "Were You Still Up for Portillo?", an entertaining account of The 1997 General Election.

I lent my copy to a Labour MP (elected that night) and the bastard has never given it me back.
Sadly no longer in print.
Brian Cathcart's mistake is to assume there are only 2 types of person in the "Newspaper Business",journalists and privacy invaders.

I see the reality is a continuous spectrum between hardcore news reporting (You don't get a lot about the Saturdays in the financial times)
and Celebrity titillation.
I don't agree that there's necessarily a correlation between the "weight" of a news piece and its trustworthiness.

Add to that something we discussed recently, that most serious journalists see themselves as necessary interpreters of facts for their consumers.

The whole thing makes for a nasty mix of agenda, domination and dishonesty where it requires a bloody saint to remain on the side of the good guys.
For anyone naive enough to think that the News of the World was, in any sense, the clean and lovely flower garden that their journos would have you believe in the last few days: ... z1RcFeO4WS
So when you hear David Wooding bleating plaintively on TV and radio about how the NotW had cleaned up its act and that current colleagues are carrying the can for a previous morally bankrupt regime, take not one jot of notice.

Reprehensible behaviour such as hacking into abducted teenager Milly Dowling’s mobile phone, the families of 7/7 terrorist murder victims, and, it is now alleged, also those of dead soldiers is driven and supported by organisational culture.
Malcolm Armsteen wrote:There are some journalists I'm prepared to give a very qualified benefit of the doubt to, and Jon Snow is one of them. Partly because of this blogpost - though it is about 20 years too late.
Inclined to agree regarding Snow.
Broadcast is where it's at now, and it contains some of the sharpest tools (as well as a few conspicuously dull ones).

Minus poingt for mentiong the -gate word though (and not standing in front of a bin with arms crossed)...
An interesting post on Labour List on the future regulation of the
In the Blue corner, we have The Daily Mail, The Sun, The News of the World, The Times, Sky News, The Telegraph & The Express. In the Red corner, we have The Mirror and The Guardian. It is telling that those on the right often complain about bias in the Independent and the BBC too - presumably so startled by a balanced view that even that seems too far from the right wing placebo they are used to? ... media-bias
This is an excellent critique of the Sun, and the failure of journalism as a whole to call Murdoch to account.
The job of a free press is to hold the rich and powerful to account, which includes other parts of the press. There was no-one more rich and powerful in this country than Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers, and the code of silence that cloaked the dark arts of Fleet Street is what enabled them to get away with it for so long.

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." The acts that were carried out by the News Of The World can only be described as evil. And they triumphed for many years because good men and women at The Telegraph, The Independent, The Daily Mail, The Mirror, The Times, The BBC and many others did nothing.
When considering the role of the press, I always find myself coming back to a quote from Inherit the Wind:

"It is the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable."
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