The Word on the Week

Independent News and Media

This week the largest newspaper in the country was embroiled in controversy. The problems are multiplying and the High Court Judge recused himself from those involving other media acquisitions in order to concentrate on the matter of journalist’s confidentiality i.e. the protection of their sources.

Apparently there was an inordinate interest taken by the major shareholder in the information journalists gleaned over the years. This would have included the coverage of the Moriarty tribunal which was set up to investigate the allocation of the States’ first mobile phone licence. The licence was won by the major shareholder in competition with 5 other companies. The tribunal’s findings were not conclusive but neither were they entirely satisfactory and unanswered questions of insider knowledge in the bidding rumble on.

There can be few if any of us who would not like to know what our competitors were doing. The Bible’s diagnosis is “the inclination of man’s heart was only evil continually” (Genesis Chapter 6 verse 5) which means that left to ourselves we get into a mess! In this case the desire to find out where the information came from led to the newspaper’s data being taken out of storage, shipped to a firm in Wales, and professionally interrogated in order to extract the background material.
This material would presumably reveal who said what and to whom. This is the stock in trade of the journalist – his source – whose identity has always been a closely guarded secret (otherwise no-one would tell a journalist anything!). Journalists have gone to prison rather than reveal their sources. To avoid such measures, it is rumoured that legislation to protect journalistic confidentiality is being considered.

There are 19 ‘persons of interest’, as the news calls them, whose confidential information has been mined and is known by others, as yet unspecified. This is approaching the ultimate in control of one person over another.
It is a god-like ability which cannot with confidence be intrusted to the hands of man.
But when Jesus say’s “I am the good shepherd I know my sheep and my sheep know me – just as the Father knows me…” (St John Chapter 10 verse 14) we can confidently entrust ourselves to him.
His knowledge of us is complete – ‘as the Father knows me’. We are transparent to him. No place to hide anything. All is in the open (Hebrews Chapter 4 verse 13).
Our knowledge of Jesus is partial, limited by our sinfulness. St Paul writing in his first letter to the Christians at Corinth, about seeing and knowing Jesus, wrote “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror, then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (chapter 13 verse 12).
For all committed to Jesus he promises “you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (St John Chapter 8 verse 32).