The nation’s newspapers must work together to recover the reputation of print journalism in this country, a leading columnist has insisted.
Writing in today’s Scottish Sun, Bill Leckie urges journalists across the media landscape to forego attempts at point scoring in the wake of the phone hacking scandal and pull together to restore credibility to the industry.
Says Leckie: “Let’s be honest here – we’ve never been the most-loved workers in the land. Pretty much down there with traffic wardens, the football referees and the call centre drones who ring up when you’re halfway through your tea.
“Ever since the hacking scandal hit, though? A cross-dressing tax inspector who drowns puppies in his spare time’s going to be more popular than someone who makes a living from newspapers.”
Continues Leckie: “On the morning the final edition of the Screws hit the stands, there was a piece by a senior journalist on a Sunday broadsheet which ran to 1,500 words, but which could have been boiled down to five.
“Please Miss, it wisnae me.
“This guy’s line was that he was honest and that he refused to believe anyone else in his office wasn’t honest, but see those ones in those other newsrooms? They’re ratbags.
“What he plainly doesn’t get is that, unlike the ConDems with their weasel-worded motto, we really are all in this together.
“Jobs are already being slashed on every title and the last thing we need is an easy excuse for more P45s.
“That’s why right now, every one of us has to get used to having the Black Spot on us, from those at the sharp end of big-selling nationals to the guy who compiles the crossword for the Auchtermuchty Bugle.
“The only way to scrub that spot clean again is to start from scratch and to do things right.
“And we’d better not wait for anyone to cut us any slack, because… well, when did we ever give a sucker an even break?”