Here at these newspapers, we would like to express our concern at the recent conduct of journalists who work for other organisations. The press is here to serve the public, by reporting facts and news. Unfortunately, as of late, there has been a growing arrogance amongst sections of the commentariat. These so-called “journalists” often barge their way into press rooms, as if they are entitled to be there, rather than being afforded the privilege. They behave in a disruptive manner, taking up an uneccerary amount of time of staffers and making it harder for other journalists to ask their questions. After they have caused a scene, they then produce nothing in writing, proving that they are not there in good faith. Then when they are removed from press room to make space for others, they claim they are being denied key freedoms. This is nonsense.
While it is true that free and open journalism requires politicians to be responsible to the general public, nobody is denying that fact or seeking to infringe on it. Politicians are still open to questions, and press organisations are free to report their answers.
But for the public to be best served by journalism, in the interests of transparency, scrutiny and accountability, the press must also comport themselves appropriately. For a long time, this has not been the case, with slanging-matches in press rooms in the small hours of the morning that yield no articles or coverage becoming an increasingly frequent occurrence. That is among the parties who do at the very least have press rooms, with one or two major parties not even offering them. Correspondents from our papers have witnessed shocking unprofessionalism and hackery first-hand.
We would also note that we were not approached to sign the letter published in The Daily Telegraph. We wonder why. Most likely because it isn’t a serious complaint, but rather an organised smear campaign. When press freedoms are in danger, as they have been in recent months, the press must stick together; but disingenuously claiming the mantle of protecting freedoms will hinder not help righteous causes in the future.
Latest posts by Spectator Team (see all)
- SM117 – Motion on Recognition of the Results of the Welfare Devolution Referendum - January 31, 2021
- Where has the government gone? - January 26, 2021
- Programme for Government debate - January 25, 2021