Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Don’t press me, I’m a journalist

Ian Reeves’ Media Guardian splash about the latest troubles at Press Gazette made uncomfortable reading: not just because it marks the demise of a magazine I've read for 35 years, but because the bickering and smarting behind the scenes painted a rather pathetic picture of an industry not at all at ease with itself.

I was particularly galled, but not a bit surprised, by his tales of editors bleating every time they were faced with the sort of direct questioning they demand every day from their own reporters.

We've long been guilty of dishing it out but not being able to take it. I could hold court for hours with tales of writers trying to suppress totally legitimate stories that involve them. From the NUJ branch meeting in the seventies where I was lobbied to “go easy” on a member up in court following a drunken rampage to the stringer involved in a serious car crash who recently rang just about everyone in my office to beg them not to cover his case.

But that's almost excusable set against Reeves' examples of editors who bleated when they didn't win awards.

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