Journalists have got to stop 'kow towing' down to those in power if they are to do their job, according to veteran British war correspondent Robert Fisk.
Speaking at a meeting of the Frontline Club in New York this week Fisk launched a scathing attack on what he called third rate journalism, saying: "As long as journalists kow tow to power and sucks at the hind tit of power, wants to be close to power because it wants access, American official sources say, official sources say …as long as it does that your newspapers won't be read and it doesn't deserve to be read."
Fisk, who is the Middle East correspondent for British newspaper the Independent and writes prolifically on politics in the region, picked up a copy of the Los Angeles Times and rallied against an article in the newspaper which used 'several US official sources' as its only source repeatedly.
"As long as this is your journalism ….you should not trust your journalists" he said.
Fisk said: "It was that very fine Israeli journalist Amira Hass who made the point to me three years ago, our job is to monitor the centres of power, to challenge power, all the time whatever the cost even if they hate us for it. If we don't do that our countries will go to war and they'll lie to you about why they're going to war as they did to you in this country and as Tony Blair (the former British prime minister who supported the US invasion of Iraq) did to me in my country.
"Because we didn't do our bloody job."