ITV journalists are not investigative reporters – says ITV journalist

This amazing quotes caught my eye in the latest Media Lens bulletin

“In the aftermath of the Iraq war, then ITN political editor (now BBC political editor), Nick Robinson, wrote:

‘It was my job to report what those in power were doing or thinking… That is all someone in my sort of job can do. We are not investigative reporters.’ (Robinson, ‘”Remember the last time you shouted like that?” I asked the spin doctor,’ The Times, July 16, 2004)

This certainly came as a surprise to me and is a root and branch redefinition of Western journalism as it is popularly understood. Robinson clearly sees his job as merely ‘reporting’ on what those in power have said, rather than trying to establish the veracity of what they are saying.

And yet the Media Lens bulletin goes onto to reveal that Nick Robinson commented recently that:

David Cameron will become the first world leader to be welcomed aboard Airforce One by President Obama so that both men can travel to the crucial swing state of Ohio. The pin up of the global left and the leader of the British right will add the latest image to the photo album of the Special Relationship.’

He added:

‘Last week President Obama had the opportunity to look Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu in the eye and judge how close he is to launching a war. David Cameron will want to know what he saw.’

This mythologising of leaders as virtual Hollywood heroes – and the depiction of policy as emerging from powerful individuals rather than powerful groups – urges the public to defer to leaders portrayed as far more than mere representatives of the people.”

So in this case Robinson didn’t think that his role was merely to report the word & deeds of the powerful; he thought his role was to eulogise them.

Yet again an endorsement of a particular point of view presented in the media as if it were ‘common sense’ or the ‘natural order’, thus disguising, or attempting to disguise, the partiality of the coverage.

About I Am Not A Number

I Am Not A Number is written by Chris Jury. For 30 years Chris Jury was a TV actor, director and writer best known for playing Eric Catchpole in over 60 episodes of the BBC’s antique classic, Lovejoy, and for directing over 50 episodes of Eastenders. In 2008 he was appointed as the Senior Lecturer in Recorded Media in the School Of Music & Performing Arts at Bath Spa University. He currently presents, Agitpop, a pop & politics radio discussion programme on North Cotswold Community Radio He is currently the Communications Officer for UCU at Bath Spa University and a UCU SW Regional Rep at SWTUC.
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3 Responses to ITV journalists are not investigative reporters – says ITV journalist

  1. moelarrythecheese says:

    It’s just so much easier to let the media gurus tell us what to think. Don’t you think?

  2. moelarrythecheese says:


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