The headlines today are a culmination of the story that has been running for several years, but perhaps things are now drawing to a head? This story is of course something relatively localised to one group of people out of many. However all Journalists will be feeling they are caught in its glare.
There have been many studies which show that being a journalist is not the most highly regarded profession. However they occupy a space that others are familiar with. Used car salesman, MPs, Life Assurance Salesmen. All are tarred with a similar brush. For my part I sold Life Assurance for a well known (and often poorly regarded) company during the last decade of the 20th Century. My feelings on a Monday morning when my Industry or worse still my company had been mauled by the Mail on Sunday or one of the other papers are still a bit tender. The truth is many of our business or service sectors have been treated similarly. The Police, the Clergy, Local Government, Parliament, Social Workers and now the Press itself. No doubt there is an appetite in society for a good hanging every so often. I recall when the President is shot in the West Wing, that Jed Bartlett is informed that the real target was Charlie – his bag man. What we have just witnessed is a public lynching he suggests with anger. Well the lynched party this morning is the fourth estate and bearing in mind the number of lynchings they have carried out on others, perhaps it was something that was bound to come at some point. Let us hope that when the wounds start to heal, that this generation of journalists and their successors remember the pain and consider more carefully how they deal with the reputation of others who they have all to easily destroyed in the past.