The case for the prosecution is that journalists too readily accept what Government Ministers and others in authority tell them, that they are spoonfed by the rich and powerful, that they are influenced by the conservatism of their superiors, that they trivialise and fabricate the news, and that personally they are a boozy lot who collaborate with their rivals in the pub instead of using their own judgements. In short, that they supply bad news. The case for the defence is that, while some of the popular national newspapers based in London may indeed be guilty on some of those charges, the great majority of regional or local newspapers are not, and never have been guilty (apart perhaps from an addiction among journalists to have a pint or two in the pub, but even this is now less common than it used to be). And as to broadcasting, whatever the position in the early days of radio and television, in the past 50 years radio news has proved its reliability while television news, after a shaky start, has done so in the past 30 years.
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