|The old gatekeepers
John Simpson's World, What's Really Happening in the US?
I find myself, against my will really but, thinking and arguing in favour of the old ways where an elite is responsible for putting out the news.
And, I mean, I used to work alongside NBC and CBS and ABC and I knew some of the top characters there very well. And I know how seriously they took the job of telling people what they believed they needed to know.
You know, the masthead on The New York Times, 'All the news that's fit to print'. I mean, it irritates me very much to read it, but, you know what they mean. They meant, 'We will be the gatekeepers but you can rely on us to tell you honestly what's going on'.
The BBC and British broadcasters are in very much the same position.
And all of that sense that an elite is telling you what it is its interests to tell you, all of that is now very much on the back foot, and it indeed may be disappearing, and, well, you know, I'm a child, a product of that kind of elite. It's not a social elite. It's a sort of intellectual elite. And we're losing it. We're losing it everywhere. And I'm not sure things are any better.
When I read what's on the web I often think, 'Surely things weren't as bad as this in the 1950s and the 1960s and the 1970s. Wouldn't some kind of control be better?'
I wouldn't care to go back to those days actually personally, but you can see that they represented a stability and a certainty which we've now lost, and that the loss is very strong I think.