تمام مطالب دسته بندی: British Journalism Review
Public and be damned

Public and be damned

What is the purpose of journalism? For those who work in print, “selling papers” should do as an answer. Attempts to impose more elevated responsibilities on Grub Street’s hacks only muddy the waters. We know where we are with our rampant British newspaperpersons. Their job is to seize our attention, and in the process we expect them to write pretty much what they can get away with. Faked interviews, bogus diaries, paedophile witch-hunts? Not to worry: we take our papers each morning with a pinch of salt, and smile at American agonising over newspaper ethics. Yet this insouciance reflects in part our confidence that newspapers are not our sole source of news. Surveys show that we nowadays regard broadcasting as […]

Is your source ever really safe?

Is your source ever really safe?

Doctor David Kelly told the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee that one lesson he had learned was never to talk to journalists. Despite the valiant attempts by Andrew Gilligan, the BBC and Susan Watts, the confidentiality he had hoped for as an anonymous, non-attributable source had crumbled. Susan Watts had tried to conceal the identity of her source from the curiosity and demands of her employer; it is also likely that the Government, through intelligence voice-pattern analysis of published quotations and other forms of surveillance, would have had a good idea that Kelly had been the person voicing criticism to Gilligan and other journalists. The political violence of the battle between the Government and the BBC forced Kelly […]

Saving the BBC’s credibility

Saving the BBC’s credibility

Among journalists who work for rival news media, the BBC has never had a great number of friends. One reason may be the attitude of some of its reporters and producers in the field, those who have earned the Corporation a reputation for arrogance by assuming they have a right to precedence and exclusivity, a right which officials and other sources of information have often been eager to concede. (Those with memories that stretch back to before the domination of the electronic media will recall that similar privileges used to be accorded to the men – as they then always were – from The Times, most noticeably by representatives of foreign governments whose knowledge of English was less than excellent.) […]

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