I’m not trying to tell anyone how to do their job, just making a plea from the ranks of the ‘articulate minority’. I like to feel that I can weigh facts for myself and make my own conclusions, but should I have to spend my time dealing with whether the claims and counter claims that many make are correct?
This morning, I read an interesting piece from an Opposition politician, who took issue with the truthfulness of claims made by a soon-to-be-former-MP, setting out data that seemed to show that porky pies were being told by the MP. Robert Morgan took on Damion Crawford’s contention that the latter was focusing on education in his constituency.
In my mind, sifting through the simple facts is part of what good, investigative journalism should include. When it’s not done, one has to ask the question ‘Why?’
I’m sure we would hear claims of competing priorities, limited resources, lack of public interest, and a raft of other reasons why this isn’t done. But, especially as we move tiptoeingly towards a national election, who will help us in this area? The other body that could be helping is academics.
Our media often focus on the peripheral aspects but less on the basic nuts and bolts of what politicians do, say or write. It’s grunt work. In that vein, Susan Goffe just wrote a short piece on how often MPs attend Parliament. Telling us whether politicians are ‘on the curve’ is less likely to sell papers than showing people the curves of leggy ladies. Which is more important?
We all know, or should know, that everyone can be selective in what they share about what they do. But, there is a base that can be built that shows what has actually been done, so that we can see or understand that selectivity. Any journalist want to help in this effort? 🙂