Two of the top stories on the Media Guardian website today involve dishonest practice amongst programme makers and journalists.
Channel 4 had tried to win a gagging order preventing coverage of a libel trial which alledging that parts of a Micheal Jackson documentary had been faked. Meanwhile the News of the World has been fighting to keep secret evidence that is thought to reveal illegal methods used by reporters, including phone hacking. Just earlier this week I was listening to stories from an ex-tabloid journalist who would regularly use with tip offs found in celebrities' bins. One of their most-used tricks involved fabricating a story and getting the person involved to deny it, allowing them to print, for example, " Top footballer denies affair...".
I'm struck again by the pressure to twist and distort stories, make our lives, our politics and our culture more thrilling, scandalous and extreme then they perhaps really are. No-one reads newspapers that are mundane, and you can't make a programme out of a non-story (unless you are very, very good). And occasionally something comes us, like the MPs expenses story which reveals the value of investigative reporting, perhaps even when it's a little shady.
The issue of integrity is on my mind today, and I'm praying for all of you who are involved in making these kind of desicions- that you would be so deeply rooted and grounded in truth that nothing else is a possibility. And that you would win awards anyway