Journalists must learn not judge everyone by their low moral standards

In January I wrote “My New Year wish is for everyone to think nicer“.

I was bemoaning the fact that so many journalists and bloggers have such a nasty, pessimistic view of life. One of the issues that was making me angry at the time is how the media was dumb enough to believe all of the vindictive ‘cash for honours’ allegations. I’m very pleased to say, if not very surprised, to say that I was right and the nasty pessimists were wrong. Despite an intensive police investigation no charges are to be brought against anyone.

What still makes me angry is that these journalists and bloggers are just the same and haven’t learnt anything. Why do they imply that everyone has the same low moral standards that they do? Is it because they they will only do good because there is something in it for them? Or do they think they are absolutely superior to everyone else? Why don’t they get that just because their mind is in the sewer, most people are good and better than that.

And what’s annoying is that the elements of the media that make these idiotic allegations aren’t representative of journalists as a whole. The vast majority of journalists working on regional, trade, consumer and specialist media are good, ethical people whose integrity is besmirched by the tiny minority who engage in nasty writing. It shouldn’t be called reporting as so many political stories are simply speculation and spin by journalists.

The vast majority of people in politics (of whatever party) are doing it as public servants who want to do something for society, for their country and to improve the world.

Which brings me to Angus MacNeil MP, who made the original complaint that triggered the police investigation. The police were only doing their job and shouldn’t be blamed, although there are probably serious questions that should be asked about the leaks and the ridiculous ‘dawn raid’ arrests. However, Angus MacNeil does deserve blame. He is an elected Member of Parliament and should have had a better understanding of the motivations of fellow politicians, of whatever party. His vindictive, party politically motivated complaint has brought politics into disrepute and if the SNP has any morality whatsoever then MacNeil must be disciplined and not allowed to stand for election for the SNP again.

UPDATE: Benjamin Wegg-Prosser has an interesting opinion, via Luke Akehurst.


About Stuart Bruce

International communications consultant and PR trainer specialising in online public affairs, digital corporate communications, online PR and social media; frequent national media commentator and conference speaker.
  • mandy

    how innocent are you? just cos there were no charges brought against anyone, do you really think they are all innocent of them? no. there just wasn't enough evidence for the CPS to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds prosecuting someone who would hire the world's best QC to defend themselves and get off anyway.
    I agree MacNeil should shoulder some blame – it might well have been jealousy that motivated him to bring up the issue, but come on, he said what a hell of a lot of people were thinking.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/stuartbrucepr/ Stuart Bruce – Wolfstar

    I could also ask how gullible are you. Just because people make wild accusations and the media print them doesn't make them true.

    Just because lots of lots of people who donate/loan/support political parties get honours doesn't mean that is the cause. It is extremely naive and simplistic to think that there is such a crude link.

    That is what the media do wrong, they assume the worst of everyone when in fact most people are good. And in the UK we still have innocent until proven guilty.

  • http://keeptonyblairforpm.wordpress.com/2007/02/08/cover-up-government-police-press/ BlairSupporter

    Just found your blog. This entry is SO refreshing! I really cannot stand the cynical nasty, supercilious, all-knowing press and much of the blogging world – or most of them anyway – for their absolute trashing of people and their reputations – in particular Tony Blair.

    I have even found myself reverting to this at times, but mainly over Gordon Brown, who I am sure is a good man, but one who thought wrongly he could step into Blair's shoes. At a stroke, he might find that he alone is responsible for the defeat of Labour at the next general election, and the setback of their party's modernisation. Which is almost criminal, given that the Tory party has all but accepted all of Blair's reforms.

    Anyway, that is beside the point.

    I'd just like to thank you for your pleasant and very worthy article. Most people in politics are good, I agree, and frankly, much of the time they don't deserve the voters (and definitely NOT the press) that they get.