Anyone agreeing to take on a managerial role is often taking on a lot more than they bargained for.
With management comes many highs, but also a few lows, and it is how you handle the lows that make you a good manager. In my humble opinion.
As my industry is in the spotlight at the moment with the News of the World (NoTW) saga, I thought I'd stick in my two pence worth.
I've been lucky in my career to work under three great editors and have learned a lot from all of them, which has stood me in good stead for my own career (I hope).
When it comes to editorial practices, any editor worth their salt will always enquire on sources for sensitive stories and make sure they are happy with the source before allowing the article to be published. There is no way any editor would just turn their back and not know what is going on. I know that for a FACT.
But this is where the issue of scruples comes in. Either you have a conscience when it comes to your publication, or you don't. Either you give two hoots about your team and your readers, or you don't.
For us on CRN, contacts are absolutely crucial. The last thing we would do is tread all over them, or break any trust we have spent years building up. It is counter productive.
Most TV shows portray journalists as these grubby little hacks, hanging around where they are not wanted and asking increasingly personal questions and violating the privacy of their targets on a constant basis.
But not all journalists are like that. And it really annoys me when everyone is tarred with the same brush.
Our job is to get at the truth. To act as the mouthpiece for the industry/readership we represent and ensure issues concerning them are dealt with fairly and adequately.
We are there to fight for just causes and occasionally raise issues that make some parties uncomfortable.
But as long as every issue is handled fairly and in a balanced way - there should be no problems.
Now and again people make serious errors of judgement that can bring a business down. It happens all the time, not just in the media world. Anyone remember Nick Leeson?
It is not for me to comment on individuals in the NoTW case - but any editor should be prepared to take the flack if something goes wrong.That is the nature of the job.
The buck stops with you. If you can't take that fact, then perhaps you shouldn't have taken the job in the first place.
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