A thread on #CarrieGate and journalism.

We are often told by Tory ministers and Tory papers that journalism is vital to a healthy democracy. This is often deployed as an pretext by the former to do favours for the latter. It's true none the less . . . 1/10
. . . and one of the reasons our democracy is in such a mess is that we don't have nearly enough decent journalism. As #CarrieGate shows.

Journalists serve democracy by informing citizens of the state of the world. They can't tell you everything, but . . . 2/10
... they should give you all the important stuff so you can make your mind up as an informed citizen. Not reporting #CarrieGate (like not reporting the economic consequences of Brexit) is not just bad journalism. It is an offence against journalism and against society. 3/10
It is a cover-up of the kind journalists are supposed to detest and it is a betrayal of the public.

Every single serious journalism organisation should today be working its socks off to reveal (a) whether the story in @thetimes was accurate and (b) why it was pulled. 4/10
The published allegation was extremely serious, and on the face of it rather better researched than the original account in the Ashcroft book. From the Sun to the Telegraph and from the BBC to the Express, there can be no excuse for ignoring it. 5/10
To repeat: if you claim to be providing a service that is essential to a healthy democracy you can't avoid investigating an allegation of this kind.

Equally the Times's spiking of the story is of vital public interest. Was it requested by Number 10 or ordered by Murdoch? 6/10
If it was either it was scandalous.

Tragically, we in Britain are accustomed to very low standards of journalistic ethics. Few people expect journalists to fulfil their democratic role. Cynicism is normalised. 7/10
We need much higher expectations, both among the public and among journalists. It is absolutely NOT normal or acceptable in journalism for editors and reporters to turn their backs on important public interest stories. 8/10
Readers and viewers should be demanding coverage, not accepting corrupt silence. Journalists in newsrooms should be demanding that the big stories are reported and not ignored. They should be ashamed when they fail democracy. 9/10
No one has put this better than Murdoch himself, many years ago. "A newspaper can create great controversies," he said. "It can throw light on injustices, just as it can do the opposite – it can hide things and be a great power for evil." 10/10

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh

Keep Current with Brian Cathcart

Brian Cathcart Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!


Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @BrianCathcart

Jun 13
For those who celebrating @carolecadwalla's wonderful #libel victory who now want an overhaul of libel law to prevent journalists being bullied in this way, I have good news. A potentially very useful, if not quite complete, solution is ready and waiting. 1/12
Leveson proposed, and in 2013 Parliament endorsed in law, an arrangement to protect news publishers from 'chilling' by wealthy litigants. Why is it not in force? Because the newspaper corporations didn't like it and the Conservative government shelved it at their behest. 2/12
To be clear, the Leveson arrangement, which involved pushing litigants into low-cost arbitration rather than expensive court proceedings, would not have protected @carolecadwalla in her case. But it would shield any journalist writing for a participating newspaper/website. 3/12
Read 12 tweets
May 12
Some further observations on the government's corrupt Covid 'bung' to its press cronies, as discussed in yesterday's remarkable tweet by Dominic Cummings @Dominic2306 🧵 ('him' = Boris Johnson) @BylineTimes 1/10 Image
First I should repeat that we don't just have the word of a disaffected former adviser for this. Though never reported in the mainstream (for obvious reasons) this was in plain sight. I last wrote about it here: (2/10) bylinetimes.com/2022/03/08/gov…
As Cummings said, the officials 'dressed this up' as 'Covid relief'. In fact it was dressed up as a public service advertising campaign, which remains the cover story to this day. Downing St yesterday: (3/10) Image
Read 10 tweets
Mar 30
When national newspapers and their journalists complain about being bullied by unscrupulous lawyers acting for shady rich people (and they are complaining about it a lot just now), there is something very important they are not telling you. A thread. 1/15
Make no mistake: this kind of bullying, which is known in journalism as 'chilling', sometimes happens and is not good. Rich litigants – individuals and companies – are sometimes able to hamstring worthwhile journalism by imposing huge legal costs risks on news publishers. 2/15
Editors, we are told, have shied away from investigations even when they were of pressing public interest value because they concluded that, even if they were likely to win a legal contest in the end, all the uncertainty and expense along the way were just too great to bear. 3/15
Read 16 tweets
Feb 20
More shameful and dishonest journalism here from the Telegraph. Nowhere in this article did the interviewee say anything like this. What she actually said that she is ‘full of love’ for the National Trust. And that’s only the start. . . (thread)
This is the Telegraph pursuing the ludicrous vendetta of the right-wing papers against was they call the ‘increasingly woke’ National Trust (see below). And there isn't just one unsubstantiated headline in this case, there are two. 2/
The headline from the print edition is 'Cancel Culture? At least we're not the National Trust'. That line doesn't appear in the article either, and while the online headline has been changed after protests that print one endures. The Telegraph needs to publish a correction. 3/
Read 11 tweets
Jan 28
What we are witnessing is the UK's equivalent of the storming of the Capitol. Johnson should no longer be PM and everybody bar a few fanatics knows it, but (with the Met's assistance) an outrageous attempt is being made to keep him in office. 1/4
The constitution, such as it is, is being torn up. Governments and PMs are supposed to be constrained by the law and the police are meant to uphold the law. MPs are not supposed to lie and other MPs are meant to police that. Such checks and balances are being set aside. 2/4
Johnson's position is by normal UK measures untenable. No one could claim he has behaved with the propriety we should expect from a PM and it doesn't take Sue Gray or the Met to prove it. By refusing to quit he is defying all precedent – staging a kind of coup. 3/4
Read 4 tweets
Dec 2, 2021
You can read the full #Meghan judgment here: bailii.org/cgi-bin/format…) But here is a thread of extracts.
'The extensive new evidence seems to have been more directed at correcting allegations raised in the pleadings than at issues relevant to the question at hand, namely whether the judge should have granted summary judgment in this case.'
'The fact that the Duchess permitted her staff to meet with the authors [of the book Finding Freedom] … was of no consequence to what he [Lord Justice Warby, the judge in the lower court] had to decide.'
Read 17 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Don't want to be a Premium member but still want to support us?

Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal

Or Donate anonymously using crypto!


0xfe58350B80634f60Fa6Dc149a72b4DFbc17D341E copy


3ATGMxNzCUFzxpMCHL5sWSt4DVtS8UqXpi copy

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!