, 9 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
1. My frustration with most msm reporting of #Watergate comes down to a fundamental disagreement about the role of the journalist.

I first realised the schism in my first journo job, with Brisbane’s Courier Mail, when the chief sub castigated me about a story I’d filed.
2. It was about condom vending machines in schools. The Monisyer, Lyn Powell from memory, said something false, so I quoted him then stated the facts. The chief sub said: “Your job is not to tell the truth, your job is to report what people say.”
3. I don’t agree with that. I don’t see there is any purpose to journalism if the job is not to inform readers or viewers of the facts.

I’m not talking about inserting opinion into news stories, I’m talking about facts which contradict reported claims.
4. I know I’ve pledged to stop complaining about the Press Gallery, but here’s a small example.

I just saw a TV report on Watergate which ran a long grab of Barnaby saying Labor was responsible for the #Watergate story. That is plainly false, yet the reporter did not correct it.
5. So the reporter, hopefully knowingly because she’s abreast of the story, broadcast a lie to viewers.

If I was reporting, I would have omitted the false spin, and informed viewers that since yesterday several Barnaby claims on #Watergate had been shown to be false.
6. I would only have done that after giving him an opportunity to respond.

But this reporter chose not to keep her viewers informed and to instead run false spin. I suppose she would say her job is to run what he said.
7. Am I really in such a small minority among journalists?

Is it stupidly romantic to believe the journalists’ job is to bring the concerns of the people to the powerful and to hold the powerful accountable to the people?

Am I stupid to believe that’s what voters want?
8. I’m gunna say ‘in my day’, for a big election story like #Watergate, the bus media would converge on it and ask serious detailed ?s for as long as it took. It seems that now it’s a tick - did that one - and move on, and a disappointing lack of detailed knowledge of the issue.
9. @theprojecttv fact checks Barnaby! A light of accountability journalism in a #Watergate mush of sad he said-she emptiness in many outlets. Beacons of msm journalistic excellence so far - @MichaelWestBiz @hamishnews @annefdavies @PatsKarvelas @latingle

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