RELEASE DATE: 13 FEBRUARY 2009
The Media Standards Trust is today accused of ‘insulting’ thousands of professional British journalists and demonstrating a ‘shallow understanding’ of the newspaper industry through its controversial report on the situation in popular daily publications.
The Chartered Institute of Journalists, the world’s oldest professional association of journalists, and its Professional Practices Board, accuse the 12-strong report team of ‘tarring all with the same brush’ while ignoring the true roles of journalists, journalism and the vast majority of newspapers in British society.
The chairman of its Professional Practices Board, Robin Morgan, said: “The report falls into the trap of assuming the popular daily tabloids – that many self-respecting journalists call the comics! – represent the true picture of the British newspaper industry and fails to recognise the reasons for their style and content. This has a bearing on the Press Complaints Commission’s adjudications in this particular area while ignoring the value and respect the PCC and its adjudications carry in the vast majority of published titles.”
The report repeats the ‘foul canard of linking all journalists with estate agents, politicians and Arthur Daley-type second hand car salesmen’ while ignoring the fact that the vast majority of British journalists working on regional and local newspapers, as well as magazines, are responsible and respected members of their communities.”
Mr Morgan said: “The make-up of the reporting panel is flawed by its lack of inclusion of true professional journalists from the wider field who have a much greater understanding of our industry.
“We have asked the Media Standards Trust to withdraw this report for further consideration – or make it plain that it does not represent the fuller picture of journalism in Britain today.”
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Notes to Editors:
Formed in 1884, the Chartered Institute of Journalists (CIoJ) is the world’s oldest established professional body for journalists, and a representative voice of media and communications professionals throughout the UK, Ireland and the Commonwealth.