Wednesday 29 February 2012

Two different sides of journalism

This week I've been thinking about two very different sides to journalism that have occurred to me.

The latest revelations in the Leveson inquiry which looks into press standards, revealed allegations of the Sun making illegal payments and bribes to corrupt public officials. Sue Akers, a deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said they were:

"frequent and sometimes involved significant sums of money", before saying that the payments were authorised at a very senior level, and that the journalists involved were aware they were breaking the law.

Hearing this, I could only shake my head and think here was another nail in the coffin to the credibility of journalism in this country.

But then I reminded myself about the tragic events from last week, that saw the death of the Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin reporting from Homs in Syria.

This is the other side of journalism, one where reporters put their lives on the line to cover wars, conflict and tell those stories which give the rest of us understanding and insight into what's going on.

No wonder brutal regimes such as the one in Syria now see journalists as legitimate targets in order to prevent the outside world from discovering what's taking place.

It's easy to become cynical about aspects of our tabloid press, but lets not forget it doesn't define all journalism and the vital role it plays and the sacrifices many reporters make.

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