In the days when they could take shorthand, construct a grammatical sentence, type 40 words a minute, and were bothered with little things like checking facts, journalists were viewed with contempt. Now journalist characters are frequently the heroes of Hollywood movies and university graduates fall over themselves to do unpaid work for grotty trade mags so they can gain media experience.

It's harder to get into the business (I hesitate at the word "profession"), but, once you're in, I imagine being a journalist is easier than being a soldier or a pilot. This hasn't stopped journos from making ill-informed criticisms of the conduct of British and American troops throughout the Iraq war. Strange, since, during the same brief period, members of the fourth estate have been involved in things like this and this.