...This reality was proved to me only recently when I met a Whitehall editor of one of the nationals who I shall not name for fear of being sued due to possibly inaccurate recall. He told me that he was a fan and started to ask me what the next big scoop was and what I had. On reflection, I think he was probably probing to see if I knew about Paul's big email smear scoop, however, it was when I told him I knew bugger all that the conversation became interesting.
He asked me how I did it. H ow I managed to get original stories that his paper and other papers and broadcasters then picked up on ran with - a mainstream media hit as it were. When I told him that I read through the information published by Parliament daily each morning; scanned the departmental websites for freedom of information request responses; sent sporadic FoI's into departments asking questions that might illicit interesting answers and wrote my own little programmes that could pattern match other available information online, he was taken aback.
Here was I, some little nobody, actually doing some real work, in my own time for gratis. I was not having cosy little lunches with politicians, I was not connected into the political world with hundreds of sources here and there. I was just using my nose to smell out the shit, and then writing about it. He gave me his card, I threw it away when I left to catch my train.
Don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying they're all bad. There are some that are. There are some that have been tipped off by me about a post which has then turned into something big and I've got bugger all credit for. There are others though, and they know who they are, who have not done that and have been happy to help me out when I've had something where the pieces fit but standing it up won't quite work, they are the good ones and as I say, they know who they are.
The point I guess I'm driving at it, is that Guido is right. The vast majority of political correspondents and reporters are failing us because they don't really report anymore, they just repeat. Whether its a smear here or there, or just a press release that has been taken at face value without a critical eye added. Deadlines, copy, and filling column inches take precedent over seeking out the truth. It's truly a shite state of affairs to be in.
Remember that phrase: "They don't really report anymore, they just repeat".
The full post is HERE.
PS And yes, I know I haven't had an original thought in my head today. Busy on other matters I am afraid.