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Regional daily columnist ‘still proud to be a journalist’

A former regional journalist and TV presenter has declared she is is ‘still proud to put journalist on her business card.’

Writing in the Western Morning News, Teresa Driscoll launched an impassioned defence of the trade in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal and the Leveson Inquiry.

She said she was “very tired” of the profession being depicted as “institutionally dishonest” and said good journalism occasionally demanded “flouting of the rules.”

Teresa, pictured, began her career on the Kent Messenger and went on to become the presenter of the BBC South West regional news programme Spotlight.  She now writes a weekly column for the Plymouth-based daily.

She wrote:  “We don’t condemn all doctors when one turns out to be a murdering psychopath or when a private clinic won’t replace faulty implants. We don’t write off the whole teaching profession every time someone is exposed for a relationship with a pupil.

“So why assume it is common practice for journalists to hack phones and bribe the police?

“Sometimes cameras need to be hidden. And sometimes privacy needs to be challenged. But it isn’t rocket science to work out when it is justified… and when it is patently not.

“There is no shame in responsible journalists being hungry for genuinely important stories.”

Now freelance, Teresa also worked as chief reporter for the now-defunct Kent Evening Post and as a reporter with Thames TV.

Her column can be read in full here