In journalists we trust?

Who should you trust more – politicians or journalists? Both have been getting a bad press lately, but at last night’s Stone Club debate on the matter, it was journalists who came out worst. The Guardian’s Michael White and others made the point that ‘politicians have journalists to keep them honest – journalists have no-one to keep them honest’. Several examples were brought forward of the media greatly exaggerating a story for the sake of a good headline. LibDem peer Lord Newby pointed to a recent London Evening Standard ‘£90,000 to get a degree’ headline – whatever the outcome of Lord Browne’s review on raising tuition fees, he felt, this figure was far from anything that would be recommended. Nick Davies of ‘Flat Earth News’ fame pointed to the media frenzy over the dangers of the ‘miaow miaow’ drug, which he said was massively over-hyped by the Sun, leading to a government reaction to a problem that didn’t really exist. Michael White said that in a reversal of the relationship of a few years ago, many MP’s now treat the journalists as the important one, with the MP as the supplicant – “and I don’t like it!” Oh dear…

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