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Extract from The Saturday Paper, 7 May 2016 (Richard Ackland)
Back to journalism. Bob Bottom, an old investigative sleuth, was incensed by a recent column in The Sun-Herald by barrister Charles Waterstreet.
The columnist claimed in his April 10 piece, to the puzzlement of many, that lawyers like him get paid the same whether working on a matter involving a parking ticket or a million dollars’ worth of coke.
He also complained about another professional burden: “people accuse us of lying for a living, but my real job is to stop truth from ever coming out.”
Bottom whipped off a note to the editor-in-chief, Darren Goodsir: “As a subscriber to The Sun-Herald, and a one-time correspondent, may I advise that I am appalled by a proclamation in a column by Charles Waterstreet ...”
He wasn’t appalled by the pay scale for cases of drug importations and parking tickets, rather the claim that the brief says his job is to stop the truth ever coming out.
Unlike the lawyers’ code of conduct, newspaper writers are bound by an ethical regime that says they should “report and interpret honestly, striving for accuracy, fairness”, etc.
“Thus,” according to Bob Bottom, “Charles Waterstreet should no longer be accepted by Fairfax as a weekly columnist.”
Goodsir wrote back: “I am forwarding this to some of my senior editors for discussion. It is a serious matter and I will talk to them next week upon my return to work.”
They must still be discussing it because Waterstreet continues to appear in the paper.
....'my real job is to stop truth from ever coming out' - we too are appalled!!
Thank you Bob, we remain honoured to have your name attached to Lingering Doubts.
Deb and Jan