Blame the politicians for whom lying is now part of the
discourse, the bankers who fiddle the books and still
receive their annual bonus, or even the electorate up or
down somewhere geographical whose message is simple but
You might even blame junior doctors for opposing a contract
the electorate were told will improve the NHS.
Blame everyone other than journalism culpable for
peddling ‘she said, he said’, because they merely said.
You might as well hire a stenographer. Journalism’s
culpability includes being insouciant because
of its own unrealised inadequacies. Then, when it’s
glaringly obvious comes the inevitable reactionary
gazing with copy and packages to fill its schedules
and column inches.
It missed Fannie Mae that went on to precipitate a global
recession. For the #Brexit debate it was too busy pitting
‘blue on blue’ or ‘red on red’ because it likes a good scrap.
Meanwhile, architects of fear played this infamous 1920s
German autobiography, I’ve abbreviated as M.K. to avoid
unwanted attention, to a T.
When delegates attend the next ‘future of journalism’
conference it would pay to heed that for all the newest tech
available it doesn’t make the substance of storytelling any richer.
It shapes the flow, speed and the message but remains ineffectual
at challenging the lies, damn lies.
Where you’re from and your own beliefs don’t matter, the
experts will tell you. It’s been a convenient veil. It does.
The reform of journalism is as pressing as the increasing
gargantuan strides PR continually flexes to get their message
across. Maybe we need a new form of journalism framed not
only by the mission to explain, but to be more empathetic, to
go onto the hustings, to reconnect at civic level, to address
Mandela’s aphorism to journalists,”You are privileged. You
observe from near but judge from afar”. It’s time to be
much, much nearer.