When I was about 17, my father – a journo – said “Pimp, drug pusher or journalist. You go into any of those jobs and I am disowning you.”
Two decades and some change on, I’m beginning to see his point. Pimps and drug pushers deal in flesh and cheap thrills. So do journalists, but they go and pretend to be heroic guardians of the Truth, thus adding hypocrisy and self-delusion into the mix.
Of course, I’m being provocative here. There are fine journalists, working hard in very very difficult situations. Lots get capped. And then there are hacks on papers who just regurgitate the utter bollocks they are told, without checking facts. I wish I could go public on what inspired this rant, but it would definitely cost me my job, which I – usually –like. (I have censored myself here).
And the coda – went to a meeting about “media” this evening. Usual bored people sat in rows while someone from a “dissident” newspaper condemned the practice of printing press releases as stories. But this is PRECISELY what this “newspaper” did yesterday morning, when they reprinted a poorly written and virtually fact-free screed of dubious grammar.
Yes, in my other life I have done cut and pastes of press releases, but I have always attached a health advisory. That didn’t happen in this case. Maybe if these people practiced what they preach, they’d have, you know, a little credibility.
You’d cry if you didn’t laugh…