Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Our own correspondent

I'm pleased to be able to take down the Alan Johnston banner in good circumstances today following his release.

It's common currency that journalists are right down in the gutter with politicians and estate agents in the public's estimation. Brave operators like Alan, however, who plies his craft in some of the most dangerous hot-spots in the world modestly and without any self-serving fanfare, should challenge that perception.

I download From our own Correspondent on Radio 4 each week and listen to it at least twice - for me it exemplifies what's best about the BBC, true to its Reithian tradition of educating and explaining whilst entertaining too. Alan Johnston's ordeal over these past months, however, highlights that these unique insights can come at a significant cost.

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