It's hard to know what's really happening in the newsroom in terms of the quality of journalism and the trainees we are getting. So many journalists (I prefer reporters) of a certain age hark back to a golden age. An age of flawless reporting by three-week-in juniors, trainees bringing down the heads of councils, zero grammatical errors from a band of hardened 16-year-old news gatherers.
Obviously this is all a bag of absolute cock.
There has always been bad journalists, useless, lazy, greedy, spiteful, retarded journalists. This industry is and, I suspect, always will be populated by crap, stupid, idiotic reporters.
But will, oh ye of little faith, also be the home of earnest, honest, brave, determined, motivated, clever, sexy?, funny, smart and talented young hacks.
But the basics are missing.
I always ask (tell) my lot to have an awareness of the things that go on around them. The big stories nationally. The big issues locally. Who's shagging who in the office? It's all important. Information is power. No matter how small the snippet.
But most of the new guys have no idea what is in their own paper. They look at what they have written and how it looks and that's that. I see their eyes glaze over as soon as their own, often pitiful, news list are dragged out as conference. In an industry dominated by petty rivalry, jealousy and terrible, terrible bitterness, if juniors have little or no interest in what their own collegaues are doing, how, in the name of holy fuck, are they expected to know what is happening in the real world?
These young turks of journalism, these purveyors of truth, these bastions of all that is good in this dark, dark industry haven't even got the basic interest in what they actually do.
If they don't buy and read their own products why should anyone else?