I am told that if you have a blog section on a website like this, you need a lot of blogs to make it credible.
Yet my feeling is that while that might serve an established project, for a project like this that has only just started it takes away from the most important thing of all, which is “why”.
If we are going to go further, we need to say why.
The Fourth Estate Alliance is a personal project which offers a framework for independent freelance journalists that I hope will eventually be taken over and run by a team of publishers and freelance journalists together for the benefit of both.
At the moment, it is an NGO registered in the UK with Companies House, eventually it will become a trust for the benefit of those writing and publishing within our network.
I started the project because I classify myself as a boundless optimist, who despite 30 years as a journalist with all of the insights into how bad people can be still sees so much that is positive.
It may not be a wonderful world, but it certainly could be, and journalism should be there to help it keep on the right path. Those who make the world a better place are not seen enough, those who make it worse are seen too often, and PR is being used to confuse the two.
Journalists need to stand behind what they write, and they need to expand what they write beyond the news pages to include the entire spectrum of what people want to know about. All over the Internet you can find news about books, software, holiday destinations, restaurants.
Our project helps to make the independent journalist stand out from the rest, reporters who will guarantee the independence of what they write through their by-line and agreement to our code of conduct.
Working as a freelance has for too long been seen as the poor relation to a staff position. But in fact, being freelance means freedom to write about anything, and to publish it anywhere.
What has been missing is a professional accreditation that also offers transparency for our work, which is the only way to protect against allegations of bias or fake news.
Yes, there are many other things that freelance reporters need to that we also offer, and this blog will be extended in the New Year to cover some of those. But until then, this will remain as our only blog entry dealing with the most important thing of all, which is why.
We no longer have knights in shining armour, but the pen was always mightier than the sword.
It is currently in the wrong hands, and it is time for journalists to take the first step to reclaim our profession by giving our publishers what they need – which is independent and fair news reporting.