posted on Aug, 23 2005 @ 08:02 AM
Ok, it all depends on where journalists are based and which paper they write for. Speaking as a journalist, all I can say that so far I have been
quite lucky in my employers. I currently write for a magazine which deals with Reinsurance, which is complex enough to explain and I write a lot about
natural disasters. I also look at politics, but purely from the point of view of upcoming legislation in various countries. I have never had to change
the angle on a story to reflect the views of my company. I have never been asked to.
That said, there are a number of publications that I view - along with my friends and fellow workers - with utter contempt. Two good examples would be
the Daily Mail (increasingly vile) and the Telegraph (still the Torygraph and increasingly bewildered), neither of which I would trust to tell the
time. The columnists on the Mail tend to rant a lot and the paper's political reporting is a joke. The Telegraph is still read by lots of retired
Colonels who are found dead in their chairs in various clubs. Both would support David Davis as leader of the Tory Party.
I hope that he does
get in, that would make then unelectable.
Ok, gleeful rant over.
However, the Guardian, the Independent and the FT are much better and are not subject to the same disgusting pressure from owners (I won't mention
the Times, as I loathe the Dirty Digger and the Express is now a complete joke) and are able to provide unbiased news. Robert Fisk of the Independent
has been producing some outstanding reports over the past few years from Iraq and the Middle East, and although his work can be depressing (Iraq is a
giant mess, basically) it is also enlightening.
As for the speculation after the Menezes, please remember that reporters rely on initial reports from eyewitnesses, as well as the police. The initial
reports mostly came from the police, which is why the initial reporting had the "he had it coming to him" slant, followed by the "if he was
innocent why did he run?" slant. Both were wrong, but they were corrected - hence the pressure on the police now, part of which is from the media.
Getting reporting right is a difficult process. You have to put things in the right context, not an easy thing to do if you have incomplete
information. Blaming the media for overreacting is all very glib. What were your first thoughts when you heard about the 7/7 bombings? Could you write
an article about it? Ratings don't bloody come into it, it's deadlines we care about.