It is fascinating to watch people getting bent out of shape by the Conservatives excluding certain journalist from their press conference. I find it hard to care.
I watched a journalist pursuing Dominic Cummings down the road the other day and he was having none of the journalist’s attempts to grab hold of him and interview him. I’m afraid I would be the same. In the unlikely event that I am ever involved in anything “newsworthy” I wouldn’t let journalists near me.
It’s a long time since any journalist wanted to speak to me but the last few times I swore never again. Each time they were more interested in getting across their predetermined story than they were in listening to me or telling anything remotely like the truth.
Newspapers and broadcast newsrooms are bureaucracies. They are hierarchies. Journalists will toe the editorial line in order to keep their boss happy and keep their jobs. Many of them are just churning out copy to satisfy a desire for existing memes and prejudices. Many of them are not that bright.
The relationship between the press and politicians has become a cosy dance. The embarrassing Whitehall Farce that is The Today Programme has been unlistenable for years. For a while I subscribed to the Guardian, given that my views are generally left-leaning, but I gave up because the writing was just too biased to add any real understanding.
Journalists I know will bang on about the truth and overplay their role in uncovering it. Truth is slippery. Truth is malleable. Truth is overrated. Even science only purports to state currently working hypotheses. In fact the strength of science is that they don’t take any of their truths too seriously.
Perhaps journalists would do well to learn from them.