In a week where a UK jury are deliberating on the actions of some members of the press, I share this is a very timely reminder of how far standards have fallen, in my lifetime. Thanks to Dysonology for the original post.
In 1966-7 my Dad got a job as a young reporter for the Daily Mail’s Manchester office, just as it was made Newspaper of the Year. All staff received the memo below from editor Mike Randall.
When Dad sent it to me, he added: “Mike Randall left the paper soon afterwards. It became a tabloid and in ethical terms its downhill slide began. However, I think Randall’s statement still stands as the model of propriety to which all journalists working for all media should aspire.”
I couldn’t agree more – and it’s certainly how I’d hope people expect writers to behave. I’d add though that in the 15 years I’ve been writing, I haven’t noticed nearly as much awareness of the dangers of libel, sensationalism and indiscretion in young journos as was drilled into [my generation of] pre-internet trainees. I don’t think Twitter and the pressure of instant comment helps…
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