The missing 'labour correspondent'

About a year ago an article appeared in The Guardian that lamented the demise of the 'labour correspondent'.

The main reason given then was that 'labour' had become subsumed under the all-embracing heading of 'business' - ironically, just what is happening in higher education establishments.

Today a similar article appeared in same newspaper - A gap in the picket line (John Lloyd).

The article bemoaned the absence of the labour correspondent in relation to the wildcat strikes that flared up at oil refineries around UK just two weeks ago.

I remember at the time sensing that for all the media time spent on the unofficial strike action, the public was pretty much left to its own devices in terms of what this all really meant.

For me, Lloyd nails the problem in the following statement taken from the article in question:

Something was happening: and if we did not know what it was, that may have been, in part, because there was no authoritative journalistic voice, informed by a knowledge of organised labour and its ways, to turn to for interpretation.

It seems that market forces has seen off the critical (mainstream) commentator in labour affairs, or cast such voices to the margins of the media.

Perhaps we'll see the return of the labour correspondent in the dark times ahead - hopefully the demand for an authoritative voice on labour affairs will almost increase in my line of work.

I doubt it, but you never know...

3 comments:

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