I cannot count the times which i have been greeted with an eye- roll or sarcastic comment when I’ve voice that I’m on a journalism degree. There is no doubt that people have a low opinion of the profession. Sandra Laville, a crime correspondent from The Guardian and this weeks guest speaker is determined that we need to defend the profession and here is why…
“Some people might think my job is the scum of the earth” she explains, “but it is essential for democracy.” The phone hacking scandal and the ongoing Leveson Inquiry (which Laville has also been a part of) is a lot of the reason why people have such a low opinion of the profession. The line between the journalists and the criminals have been blurred. Suddenly all journalist are criminals who are out to get people and frame the general public whereas in reality it is the minority.
“The behaviour of the minority of journalists has been appalling” Laville has no sympathy for those who were involved in the phone hacking scandal as it has forced her to stand up in court to defend her profession which she describes as being, ‘incredibly nerve racking.’
As a crime correspondant Sandra is fearful for the impact that the inquiry will have on her job. Naturally in her line of work she will be speaking to many police officers, and not always through an official source, so contacts are a vital part of her work. Now, with Leveson suggesting that he may make police officers make record of every time they speak to a journalist these contacts are at threat.
Sandra’s come back to this is that, “nothing should be put in the way of me doing my job” and as they eyes and the ears of the public it really is in our interest as a democratic society to stop this happening.