DON’T CALL THE PLUMBER!

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‘At last I am getting an inside track, after someone leaked what is going on in this organisation!’

During a 40 year career as a journalist, for our Editor Phil Parry accurate information from trusted sources was always paramount, with a lot of the information coming initially from ‘leaks’ – and this is now underlined by the outrage today over a Welsh Government minister being sacked over an alleged ‘leak’.

But all the coverage has assumed that ‘leaking’ facts is a BAD thing, when sometimes it ISN’T!

 

There is a fundamental difference between News journalism and Current Affairs.

Hannah Blythyn was sacked for being a ‘leaker’, but said she wasn’t to blame

Broadly speaking News journalists tell you what’s happening, whereas Current Affairs journalists tell you WHY it’s happening.

This salient fact has been underlined for me during coverage of the sacking of Welsh Government (WG) minister Hannah Blythyn for the apparently grave offence of allegedly leaking information by text.

But in all of the media coverage about it the assumption is made that ‘leaking’ information is bad, when The Eye could not survive without the details these provide, which are then sourced elsewhere, in order to hold to account influential people.

I could not conduct the kind of journalism I specialise in, without this kind of insider knowledge.

Yet it isn’t simply the News reports which see this leaking in a negative context, politicians do as well – not least the one at the centre of all this.

Hannah Blythyn was sacked by Vaughan Gething

In a social media statement Ms Blythyn said: “I am deeply shocked and saddened by what has happened… I am clear and have been clear that I did not, nor have I ever leaked anything.

“Integrity is all in politics and I retain mine.”

Her Welsh Labour colleague Health Minister Eluned Morgan seems to see a ‘leak’ as unfavourable too, and has said that she did it.

Eluned Morgan said there had to be trust

She has declared that there had to be a “degree of trust” within the Cabinet, and that she was “happy” with First Minister (FM) Vaughan Gething’s explanation.

Ms Morgan has proclaimed: “My understanding is that the leak can definitely be traced to her phone.

Is there other evidence – that leaking information can actually be good?!

“There’s enough evidence to support that.”

But what about the other evidence – that ‘leaking’ information can sometimes be A GOOD THING?!

Apart from anything else it might help to keep politicians like Ms Morgan Ms Blythyn or Mr Gething, on their toes..!

 

The memories of Phil’s decades-long award-winning career in journalism (when leaks supported by other evidence were a mainstay of his stories) as he was gripped by the rare disabling condition Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP), have been released in a major book ‘A GOOD STORY’. Order it now!

‘BUY MY BOOK!’

Regrettably publication of another book, however, was refused, because it was to have included names.

Tomorrow – how news now that prosecutions of sub-postmasters by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) could be “tainted”, and that the head of the organisation at the heart of it all may have known, once again throws the spotlight on the central role of Wales in the huge controversy over the wrongful convictions in the appalling Post Office (PO) scandal.