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  • 1 year ago
Journalism – the first draft of history?

Journalism – the first draft of history?

Journalism has been called 'the first draft of history', and as a first draft it may be written over, forgotten, ignored.  In this podcast, journalist Martin Bright (@martinbright) considers one tiny strand of the story of the Iraq war. It illustrates truth and fake news, things that are very much on our minds at the moment.  It is taken from a lecture Martin gave for IF, the free university in London, in its series 'Thinking Without Borders'  in 2017.

Martin Bright:  Let's begin with the rules of journalism - never befriend a politician, never befriend a PR, never betray a source and never use PowerPoint (though that one I am ignoring....)

I'm going to look at one story that plays its part in the history of the lead up to the Iraq war which you may or may not have heard about. It is a story in which I as a journalist felt I was writing the first draft of history. It's a story I wrote while working on The Observer [a UK Sunday newspaper] in early 2003. It is a story left out of the r