Comment is for columnists

During an interesting period of my life training would-be
journalists, my golden rule was that the news pages were for news and
any personal observations or comment should be for parts of the
newspaper reserved for that purpose.

Sadly, The Sunday Times’ reports of the royal wedding went way beyond any such division.

The
entire offering of Jasper Gerard (cleverly written, as it may have
been)n was riddled with personal views and sarcastic sniping on a level
not witnessed even in some of the more extravagant tabloids.

Space
is at a premium so I’ll quotejust two examples: “The deed done, Camilla
gave the Queen a triumphant curtsy, perhaps reflecting that she had
bested her ancestor Alice Keppel, who only made it up to bed with a
prince, not up the aisle,” and “The prince had made this promise before
(the one about faithfulness). This time he assented like he meant it.
But Camilla stumbled over her resolution of faithfulness.”

If we
are to maintain (or improve, hopefully) a high standard of journalism
during the years to come, should we not be insisting that news
reporters do just that, and not bombard us with their views and
prejudices?

John Alexander Cambridge

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