Volume 17 Issue 2
An author recently told me that a journalist of their acquaintance had questioned – rather superciliously – why the CRJ does not engage in political reporting. I can assure the journalist that this is entirely intentional and will always be one of the main principles of this publication.
Why? Democracy is fragile and must be nurtured; it is essential to any well-functioning country. Yet many political systems have evolved in ways that preclude meaningful long-term planning, particularly in the areas of national and societal resilience, disaster mitigation and prevention. As Eric McNulty says on p12: “Politicians think in electoral cycles. The action needed to address emerging risks is more urgent and requires consideration of longer time horizons.”
In many countries, the roles of ministers or mayors are frequently shuffled; sometimes they don’t get to spend enough time on an issue to gain a true understanding of the complexities. And any policies – however bold, enlightened or effective – are at risk of reversal or of being dropped by incoming governments or new incumbents. Sadly, this can often be because the spending increases required are ‘politically’ unpalatable.
This the opposite of what is needed, especially when it comes to the complex and multidisciplinary breadth of what the CRJ covers. These critical areas are far too important to be swayed by partisan, often diametrically opposed ideological agendas. Preserving lives, the environment and economies should not be subject to petty politics, unquestioning tribalism or point scoring.
I was astounded at the naïveté of the comment. It is clearly wrong to think that ‘politics’ alone holds the solutions as the “risk picture darkens,” (Bruce Mann, p8). At best, this view is misguided. At worst, it is profoundly ignorant of what is required to grasp the intricacies of – and interconnections within – this field.
Which is why CRJ is so proud of its independence, neutrality and lack of political commentary. Our reports and insights provide reasoned, nuanced analysis written by – and for – the people who are dedicated to improving the safety of individuals, communities, businesses and the governments they work for.
Let’s listen to the experts.