Is it just me, or is everyone today getting younger?
I’m an oldie and supposedly at an age of wisdom, but I’m still a “news nut” - something learned forever from my late father, a newspaper man and radio news presenter.
As a newspaper and radio man he was “the voice of the Dutch East Indies”.
His news reels were sent to Dutch movie houses on KLM flights marked “express”.
Keeping folks at home informed about life in the colonies in the late 1940s and early 50s, his role was important because so many people had previously worked in the land that became known as Indonesia.
News time was sacrosanct and my brother and I were clipped over the ears if we ever spoke while he was listening.
We listened to news broadcasters of the time like Walter Cronkite, Walter Winchell and Dan Rather from the US, veritable news oracles. If they said it was a fact, it was the epitome of informed truth.
In Australia, it was Laurie Oakes who often broke political exclusives and sometimes leaked news at the cautious behest of some parliamentarian, warming up the public or warning them of forthcoming developments, particularly if it was bad news.
There was no such thing as “fake news”, an accusation which President Trump is so fond of levelling at his detractors - just willing them away like osmosis.
These days I am often surprised to see the young “experts” and correspondents who are now fonts of authority on important aspects of political life.
Particularly when compared to the old news hounds, who carefully cultivated contacts and had “good oil”.
More importantly, they kept their mouths shut about the origins of their scoop.
Revealing sources of news is anathema to good journalists, who would rather go to prison than reveal where their information came from.
There were photogenic young thrusters, reporters based around the world who often reported as though they were also assessing - quoting anonymous background sources to give gravitas to stories.
People like Woodward and Bernstein, forensic journalists who never revealed their “deep throat” informant, yet laid various trails for other media to pursue and ultimately led to the demise and of President Nixon, who resigned before he could be impeached.
I remember the then owner of what was a major airline, Ansett, being asked for an interview about important aviation issues.
He responded: “I am happy to speak to someone who is not just out of nappies.”
Many members of the media, especially in New York, are still trying to gather revealing information.
For example, by drawing on what was said by the Mueller inquiry into alleged Russian interference in American politics and accusations surrounding President Trump.
No collusion was discovered, but neither was he completely exonerated by Mueller.
So regular Trumpian claims of “fake news” persist because of Mueller!
Ahh, the investigative media.