Monday 7 November 2011

Why it's wrong for journalists to be always right

Guardian columnist George Monbiot (pictured) in the latest issue of The Word magazine argues that journalists should accept that they're always going to be wrong about something.

Monbiot says: "The role of the journalist is to hold power to account, and very few journalists actually do that. Most are happy to hide behind their corporate structures and behind the fact that there's no moral compulsion to change the way they operate.

"Most should also accept that they're always going to be wrong about something, because being wrong is the default state of humankind. I'm not saying that as a moral judgement; I'm just saying that because the world is such a complex place: it's beyond the capacity of the human brain to understand everything.

"What destroys journalism is people like Christopher Booker or Melanie Phillips, who seem to believe that they were born right, and whatever they say is right. That kills journalism, coupled with the desire to cultivate a loyal fan base - the last thing journalists should do. We're not rock stars, and we shouldn't behave like them."
  • The Word has a website but doesn't put up all its magazine articles.

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