Journalists doing PR?

I find this astonishing.

All of this week The Spinoff – a popular, online news and entertainment site, is dedicating its book reviews to former Green MP Holly Walkers book on being a working mum.

By all accounts, she had a miserable time, but I’m not interested in the debate over working mums here.

What got my eye was one little line from her excerpt.

A press gallery journalist, herself a working mother with young children, had seen my tweet and thoughtfully passed on that, to parents with children in daycare who would like nothing more than to be out walking with them on a sunny Friday afternoon, an MP posting a tweet like this was not a good look.

…A journalist thoughtfully passed on PR advice, to an MP?

And not just any journalist. A press gallery journalist. A journalist whose first duty is to the public, and not to a member of Parliament.

Maybe, just maybe, the journalist is giving PR advice to politicians on all sides of the political spectrum. But if she is, then she can’t pretend she’s there for us.

Because she is helping politicians sell themselves to us.

That’s a problem. No matter who the journalist is and no matter which political party they are selling.

I hear the cynic saying “yeah, but we all know journalists and politicians are in bed with each other”.

It doesn’t really matter, the point is that they shouldn’t be. The point is that we the public should not be ok with that. The point is that we ought to speak up and demand better, fairer journalism.

Otherwise, we have only ourselves to blame when the public become so disillusioned with politics and the media that they stop trusting them and start looking elsewhere for reliable information or representatives- which is what happened in the United States, Britain and Europe recently. 

Do we want such divisive politics here? 

Do we want an electorate so desperate?

 

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