JOURNALISTS AS 'PLAYERS'

 

Madam, - The debate in your letters page between Colum Kenny and Ed Moloney on the journalist's role in society raises important issues of relevance to our own media.

It is difficult to disagree with Colum Kenny's statement that 'a journalist's duty is to the truth and not to party or political process'

It is equally difficult to find fault with the New York Times code of ethics, quoted by Ed Moloney, which says that "Journalists do not take part in politics. While staff members are entitled to vote and to register in party primaries, they must do nothing that might raise questions about their professional neutrality or that of our news operations."

It is my opinion that not many journalists in Ireland would pass either test.

Far too many political commentators, who should be taking powerful politicians to task on behalf of the rest of us, are instead indulging in slave minded grovelling. With one party in power for most of the last 20 years, many journalists are little more than a one party state propaganda team. They seem to see their sole purpose as providing favourable copy for the individual members of an all powerful permanent government.

They are also useful to the permanent government in that they occasionally tell those of us not in the inner circle, including the opposition, to know our place. - Yours, etc,

A LEAVY, Sutton, Dublin 13