The Right to challenge

Alex Salmond ruffled some sensitive journalistic feathers the other day in his UnCut fringe show when he suggested that he knew only 6 good decent Scottish Journalists worth their salt.

“The press are largely despised, not just because of what they write, but also because of what they don’t write and the ignorance,the prejudice that that displays”
“Apart from about 6 decent political journalists in Scotland- the rest are waste of space.”

It fairly got the journalistic fraternity nattering on twitter wondering who he meant and who he included or excluded in that opinion.
It was fairly interesting to note some of their interaction on twitter, namely the ones who are less friendly to Alex Salmond and the SNP shall we say.

I had the following exchange with the Heralds Paul Hutcheon


My goodness that is a surprise. Do we still have journalists?


Stunning insight


Amazingly perceptive of you

Brendan McGinty editor of the Sunday Mail was obviously irked when he said ” Few of us take up as much space as he does”


Oscar Wilde wrote: “In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism.

The Fourth Estate (or fourth power) is a segment of society that wields an indirect but significant influence on society even though it is not a formally recognized part of the political system. The most commonly recognized part of the fourth estate is the news media or press.

Where once this great Fourth estate had journalistic values which were meant to hold the other great estates to account by asking the hard questions which they didn’t want to give.
Sadly as the Levison enquiry proved the Fourth estate is now no more than the Self Interest of the Press Barons and their shareholders which in the UK account for more than 90% of the press in the hands of the unscrupulous few, and are in cahoots with those that they should be holding to account. Journalism real journalism is a fast disappearing art.

Sadly, in many respects, the Fourth Estate has become the fifth column of democracy, colluding with the powers that be in a culture of deception that subverts the thing most necessary to freedom, and that is the truth.

Our Fourth Estate apart from having an awfy guid conceit of themselves are extremely prickly indeed when they are themselves brought into question, and perhaps there is no wonder in that? After all they have their historically much vaunted position in society to uphold as the Truth Sayers to the Masses.
Indeed they are so used to spouting forth their opinions which in the past were rarely questioned that they have taken it extremely hard since the advent of Social Media where they find their views often taken to task by mere plebs in the public.
Much of what is produced in the media by these journalists can appear to be little more than propaganda from whichever perspective their newspaper owners come from.
After all these people have mortgages to pay and food to get just like everyone else and if they don’t write what their editors want them to write they will soon find themselves out of a job. And so it is that they become political commentators rather than journalists.

We only need look at the laziness of some journalistic reports to see how far they have come from actual journalism.They all hang out on twitter following each other, they all get the same political press releases and pass them on without any real examination of the facts, or questions to the veracity of the claims.
Take the recent Conservative Councillors scandal. The BBC and the press should have been hunting down Ruth Davidson when she tried to hide, and when she did deign to address them they should have been checking the veracity of her claims that these unsuspended councillors had indeed been undergoing diversity training, and also if they had been in touch with Nil by Mouth as claimed. But NO…. it took others to find the truth of the matter.
When Labour claims and accusations are made, they are not questioned, When Tory claims and accusations are made, they are not questioned. If either can be found fault with in Scotland, they are not questioned. But when it comes to the SNP, the Scots Government or Independence, everything is questioned and attacked.
There is no impartiality in the journalism we receive, and those who transmit our political news are not journalists but party supporting hacks with biased perspectives.

That is why our print media is failing, and it is why the BBC are held in deep suspicion.

So the umbrage at Alex Salmonds statement is not at all surprising, and those taking the most umbrage at it are the main perpetrators of propaganda.

When I commented to Paul Hutcheon I was being somewhat tongue in cheek. We still do have a few good political journalists in Scotland, but unfortunately we could count them almost on one hand. And I don’t necessarily mean that these are journalists I agree with, these are journalists who will examine the truth and ask the hard questions without favour and report and analyse honestly.
The rest as Alex Salmond said are a waste of space.

About auldacquaintance

I am not a member of any political party. I am however a strong supporter of Scots Independence. Any views which I express in this Blog are purely my own. This Blog intends to be a place where I will be putting my views on Scots Independence. It will primarily concern itself with the upcoming Referendum In Scotland. However It will also be somewhat diverse in the range of day to day issues which are evident to me in modern day Scotland. Not all of it will be political, and indeed may take me off into avenues I am not even aware of yet. Please come and join in on this journey, and any comments are welcome provided they are not abusive! All the best from a new acquaintance! Rod
This entry was posted in #Scotref, Council Elections, independence, politics, scotland, YES, YES2 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The Right to challenge

  1. kurikat says:

    I was surprised that he really thinks there are as many as SIX. Can’t for the life of me name the other 5.

  2. Hello Rod hope your feeling better,after the recent mishap.Excellent piece as always and I will of course share and hope at least one recognises themselves,but they are party affiliated and so think they are above being honest and I’ve not noticed integrity being shared with any of them.It got so bad that even letters that I sent stopped getting printed,and that was after getting letter of the day and even letter of the week I was beginning to rely on the cheques from them.So they could not print any independence leaning letters.I was answering the questions that unionists were asking and I have just given up writing them.

  3. Reblogged this on charlesobrien08 and commented:
    Another cracking blog from Rod well done.

  4. As I have observed in the past, come Independence there are only so many places available on the Findo Gask Advertiser’s Roamin’ in The Gloamin’ Reporting Team.
    The Pittenweem Thunderer may be hiring, though, but, mind.
    I’d imagine that there will be a Night Of The Long Pens when the UK crashes and burns and Scotland emerges as an Independent Nation within the EU.
    Given the falling readership, the UK and US owners must be subsiding the losses of the Dead Tree Press Up Here; this would be seen as their contribution to the British Nationalist Crush Scotland At All Costs Project.
    I too struggle to make 6.

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