All I want for Christmas is the media to be held to account

5 mins read

The media have enabled the government’s vandalism to our society, we need to change our approach.

It’s the morning after the election, it’s June 9, 2017. 

I switch on the news to see the results in their entirety, the Tories, led by Theresa May have secured a majority, but only just, by four seats. 

I check who voted for who, my heart sinks. For the second time in just three years I utter the words: “Scotland, what have you done?” Scotland returned 13 tory seats, without them they had no majority and we could have had a very different last couple of years. 

The next autumn I embarked on the start of my higher education, with the bright eyed idea of learning journalism for the benefit of the “common man” to give a voice to those who need it, but that’s not happening in the wider reach of the industry.

Brexit has dominated the political landscape the last three years and the media have been lapping it up, more often than not letting issues slide that the electorate feel that are important, over the issue of leaving the EU.

Since 2010 our society has been gutted: Mental health trusts, cut. Benefits, cut. 

NHS funding in real terms, cut. Fire and police, cut. 

Investment in affordable housing, cut.

Public sector pay in real terms, cut. Local authority funding, cut. Youth services, cut. Social services, cut. State pension age, up.

Crime, up. Suicides (attempted and deaths from), up. Food bank reliance, up. Child poverty, up. UK debt, up.

Leaving the EU will only exacerbate these issues, but this isn’t what this piece is all about. This is about the election next month. If I was religious, I would pray that I don’t wake up on the morning of December 13 and see that the electorate have written their souls away for the next five years. 

There is a real danger that we are going to leave the most vulnerable behind. That your granny struggling on a state pension, that your family member on Disabled Living Allowance, that your friend studying at university on student loans, that all struggle to make ends meet will not be able to afford basic medicines after the USA gets its corporate hands on our NHS.

And the most galling part of all of this? It’s not the electorate for voting for it, it’s the journalists that sell all this to them. 

It’s the journalists that are in a position, just like the rest of us, desperate for a job to keep a roof over their head and food on the table that will write what their bosses tell them to. 

There are great journalists out there, but most of the papers, both national and Sunday editions, backed the Conservatives in the last election.

The pen is mightier than the sword, that’s why they no longer carry them in the House of Commons. The Tory weapon of choice is now the very ones that they are going to punish with the endless cuts and privatisation over the next five years if they win again. Journalists are far from middle class, most get paid less than the doctors and nurses that we so desperately want to get a pay rise. 

We need more of them to stand up and refuse to be the turkeys that vote for Christmas on the 12th and stand up for themselves, their families, and the most vulnerable in society that will be decimated with the path we are on.

And please, until that becomes the norm, I beg you, don’t believe everything you read before you check it out for yourself. Look into the real impacts of policies. 

If a loved one of yours in the future was dying because they couldn’t afford the treatment that would save their life, could you look them in the eye on their deathbed and say, “I’m sorry, I voted for this.”

Featured image credit: Getty Images

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Trying to find my voice in the modern digital journalism landscape.
Have a creative flair, and not scared to rock the boat.

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