>Dear Daily Telegraph, journalism should be about facts not fishing expeditions

>In the hysteria surrounding the non Wikileaks “Cablegate” many people seem to have forgotten quite how this story came to pass in the first place. The Daily Telegraph, a fairly respected broadsheet whatever its political persuasion, just got bored pre-Christmas and went on a fishing trip.

Obviously behind closed doors the two parties in the coalition have discussions about how to accommodate their differing views before presenting a united fron in public. That is how coalition politics works. Hardly news. Furthermore, Vince Cable hadn’t actually done anything wrong. He was perfectly entitled to not approve the BSkyB takeover by Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp. His silly brags were of course deeply unprofessional, embarrassing, and call his judgement into question. However, the situation would not have arisen if the Telegraph hadn’t sent two journalists off to his constituency, fishing rods in hand.

Everyone knows Christmas is a slow time for political journalists, but that doesn’t mean you go creating stories because your news desk are twiddling their thumbs. If you do stoop that low, at least have the integrity to publish everything that bites the bait, not just the stuff that suits your political, but not commercial, interests.

Here’s hoping that in 2011 journalism can return to being based on facts, not cheap stories created by low-brow tactics…some hope.


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