Why do journalists get such a bad press?

I am loving the new BBC1 drama The Missing.

I got a bit lost at times last night – and I wasn’t the only one, if Twitter is anything to go by.

But the plotting, the pace, the characterisation and the acting carried me through.

Well most of the characterisation, that is.

One of the people who pops up every now and again is a very nasty piece of work journalist.

He is unashamedly using a family’s unimaginable heartache as a stepping stone to a job on the nationals, and the writers have so far given him no redeeming features.

Malik Suri

Picture: BBC

Like many characters before him, Malik Suri is portrayed as a ruthless operator who will trample on feelings and sidestep ethics to write the story he wants.

I’m struggling to remember a sympathetic British TV portrayal of a journalist, one that shows a representative of our profession as a caring, fully-rounded and emotionally intelligent human being.

If we’re not being made out to be aggressive doorsteppers, we’re being painted as whisky-sodden losers.

I once had a Twitter debate with a crime writer whose books I love about the way he portrayed the media.

He all but admitted that I was right, but said relying on stereotypes meant livelier characters.

So it was heartwarming to see a post on Facebook from a magazine editor who’s been through some tough health times recently.

“I love journalists. Not all of them, obviously, but the ones who also happen to be friends. A special breed. Brilliant, generous, creative, open and brave to a woman/man. There, I’ve said it.”

I couldn’t have put it better myself.

Now I’ve just got to persuade her to write a TV drama and get it commissioned for a prime time slot on BBC1.

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3 thoughts on “Why do journalists get such a bad press?

  1. State of Play? We didn’t see much of them bashing out nibs mind.

  2. Clark Kent was a journalist!

  3. That cub in Broadchurch was laughable too. Did he do Pet of the Week?

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