Yesterday I met with a close friend who happens to be a journalist. In the way that friends do, we were talking about our families, work and what we were going to do over the summer.
We both have lives that are ludicrously busy but as she was talking about the stories she has had to cover over the last two weeks I was struck by not just the importance of her journalism but the demands we place on individual journalists as the vital storytellers of the news we consume every day.
Our world can be a scary and complex place. Every week it feels as though we have had an excess of news stories and little time to absorb one story before the world throws something else at us. And that just refers to the news we manage to hear and read. We are completely dependent on incredible journalists who ensure that the most challenging of stores are comprehensible for the rest of us. Highlighting the key issues that we need to be worried about.
It’s easy for all of us to listen to the news and then move on with our days. After all, we each have our own dramas, our own worries and our own concerns. But we get on with our lives reassured that someone is always shining a spotlight on the things that we need to know about. That teams of dedicated investigative journalists are working day in and day out to hold power accountable. Demanding answers from those who have power and exposing where we as citizens have been let down.
So this blog is a celebration of investigative journalists. Brave, dedicated, professional, honest and incredibly determined people. Who in the last week have ensured that Stephen Lawrence’s family know the name of another suspect – thank you Daniel de Simone.
Journalists who have proved that the Wagner Group is still recruiting in Russia and Belarus – thank you Sarah Rainsford and BBC Verify.
Journalists who proved beyond doubt that Christmas parties happened at the Conservative Party HQ during the Covid lockdown – thank you John Stevens and Mikey Smith.
Each of these stories represent dozens more covered this week in every country that is lucky enough to have a free media.
We shouldn’t just seek to protect our hard-won rights to media freedom, every so often we need to celebrate the journalists who strive to uncover the truth every day and that’s what I’m doing today.