Journalists really shouldn’t write about each other if at all possible.
The job of the Fourth Estate is to report facts that are in the Public Interest and to bear witness.
Consequently, time spent in polemical sparring is often a waste of time and energy.
However, sometimes it is unavoidable.
This piece by Ruth Dudley Edwards was brought to my attention by a colleague in my branch of the National Union of Journalists.
They advised that I seek the right of reply to Ms. Dudley Edwards and this I did.
There was then an email correspondence between myself and a member of Belfast Telegraph and they offered me the right of reply as a paid commission, and I accepted.
I submitted the copy, and it was published in the paper yesterday.
Colleagues in my NUJ branch had sight of the copy before it was filed, and one of them remarked to me that the piece had not been altered in any way.
This is not the first time that I have had my work commissioned by the Belfast Telegraph.
However, I bring this to your attention dear reader because of certain claims made on social media that I would never be employed by the Belfast Telegraph again after this piece in March about the RIFC EGM.
This was untrue at the time and NUJ at national level here in Ireland dealt with this lie.
Then there was the claim from the same chaps that I would never have a by-line in the Belfast Telegraph again.
Yesterday put that one to bed.
Today it was brought to my attention that it was being claimed on social media that the piece I submitted would not be paid for.
This is as untrue as the rest of their dignified output on this matter.
When it comes to me, it would appear that they tend to be rather glib and shameless.
The invoice for payment for the piece yesterday will go through the normal Belfast Telegraph procedures in due course.
I am very grateful to have had the support of my local branch of the NUJ in this matter.
It is worth restating that an attack on a journalist is an attack on journalism, and that is not in the Public Interest.
It is ironic that the subculture that generates these attacks and smears would now be in such better situation had they supported investigative journalism into matters Ibrox.
Instead, The People threatened the messengers if they strayed off message.
Consequently, all that The People consumed from the mainstream was, in the main, pre-approved feel good nonsense.
That largely remains the case.
Dear reader, your humble correspondent was never on that page, and I’m happy about that.