Submitted by davidosler on Wed, 15/06/2011 - 17:11
As a socialist who has worked as a journalist for mainstream left, far left and bourgeois publications over three decades, can I just say I agree with the piece above.
The fact is that no serious capitalist paper - especially ones that charge readers a small fortune - would knowingly publish anything that was wilfully inaccurate. People pay premium prices because they need a sound basis on which to make decisions. Bullshit is surefire way to lose subscribers.
So while it is physically possible to turn out 500 words off the top of one's head in an hour, even today a reporter might well spend an entire working day to produce that amount of copy, if the story is important enough to justify it.
This means that you ring up and speak to all significant players first hand, even if you have to wait all day long for VIPs to ring you back. You check and double check. You may even make a day trip to a western European country just to attend a press conference, if that's what it takes.
Getting out Trot papers is always a struggle, if only from the resources point of view. There is no way that our side can match what the FT and Bloomberg can do, and that is why so much of the content of the socialist press consists of putting our gloss on hard facts established by the mainstream media.
And let's face, the writing style seen in some leftie titles is just about unreadable. If I wade through a full-page FT feature on, say, the Indian economy, at least I know I'll have learned something new at the end of it. That isn't always the case with some of the four page 'theoretical supplements' that we sometimes churn out.