Time for the press to make its apologia pro vita sua (again)…

I don’t normally bother blogging leading articles, but this one on the crisis in British journalism from the Irish Times is worth quoting (and the opening quote alone is worth following the link for):

Against that background, however, of enormous and understandable suspicion of all the media it behoves “quality” journalism again to make its case, its apologia pro vita sua, albeit with some humility.

Yes, we’re in business, and to make a profit – and there may be easier ways to do that these days – but as the hacking scandal proves all too clearly, the function of shining a bright light on power, the state, politics, the police, and, yes, the media themselves, is an indispensible pillar of democracy. The price we pay for a free media to do precisely that is Murdoch and his ilk. But it is worth paying.

Nor is the battle to uphold journalistic values new. It’s worth recalling the campaign by the New York Times back in 1897 against the city’s “yellow” press, notorious for never letting the truth get in the way of a good story. The paper’s new motto then would serve us all well and tax a Murdoch title: “All The News Thats Fit To Print.”

Amen to that…

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