Sky News correspondent Alex Crawford has raised questions about the devaluation of journalism in an interview with the UK Press Gazette.
Alex Crawford in Mexico for the Women at War series. Picture: Sky News
Despite being a foreign correspondent for almost 20 years, Crawford’s appetite for reporting from dangerous places remains unchanged. She believes it is an appetite for good journalism, which sometimes involves risks.
Crawford emphasizes the importance of journalism, stating that it should decipher truth from lies, investigate injustice, and act as the moral conscience. She believes foreign journalism is crucial as it brings back and tells truths to those without access to such knowledge. However, she acknowledges that foreign journalism comes with inherent risks, particularly in hostile environments.
Crawford expresses concern about the increase in people masquerading as journalists, including high-profile figures like politicians or sportspeople. She argues that journalism requires trained professionals and emphasizes the need to value the industry better.
As a patron of the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), Crawford believes that accredited training courses are essential for the industry’s survival. She notes that without proper training, anyone can claim to be a journalist, leading to a devaluation of the profession.
Crawford has experienced the changing landscape for journalists reporting from Ukraine, where press officers now tightly control the message. She emphasizes the importance of accredited journalists investigating and verifying information in such conflict zones to ensure accurate reporting.
The journalist’s focus on reporting about women in conflict zones, such as Mexico, has been successful. She believes it is essential to tell stories that interest both the journalist and the audience.
Crawford also advocates for more diversity in journalism and cautions against profiling journalists based on their backgrounds. Instead, she encourages giving opportunities to people from diverse backgrounds and allowing them to explore various subjects.