There’s been a lot of soul searching over the past three weeks in the wake of the News of the World phone hacking scandal within journalism’s ranks. After all, this is an industry that’s very good at talking about itself. Has the scandal tarnished (further) the reputation of journalists? Where is the (increasingly blurry) line when it comes to landing a scoop? What do events in the UK have to do with us? How do we hold our own industry to account?
It’s old news to say that great, fearless, time consuming, thankless investigative journalism is up against it. We’ve established how difficult it is for thoughtful journalists to operate in an environment of shrinking deadlines, cost cutting, rapidly mutating technology and changing media consumer habits. But that’s not to say there aren’t plenty of examples out there of journalism that truly shines. After all, if The Guardian hadn’t kept at it, we wouldn’t be witnessing the NOtW fallout today. While Big Media grapples with the right path forward on the ever shifting media map, in many ways these are exciting times for innovative, creative, completely new ways of presenting stories.
In that spirit, today we’re launching Crikey’s quality journalism project. Each week the project will pick the brains of some of Australia’s most respected journalists, editors and producers to find out what great journalism means to them and where they go to get it. We’ll also be asking readers to divulge their daily media diet and the sources that inspire them.
Today we talk with Tingle. Laura Tingle that is, the ever popular political editor at The Australian Financial Review. So how does Tingle think readers measure quality journalists?
“Hell, they might not even like you. But they will think you will tell them something they don’t know, and that you think they need to know, not because you are manufacturing a controversy on behalf of your publisher, or because you want to be a player in the game, or to play ‘look at moi’ but because it is your job.”
Nice to know that for some journos, it’s not all about the byline.