"The campaigning journalist George Monbiot stirred up a considerable amount of debate among hacks recently when he decided to publish a registry of his financial interests on his website. There in black and white, Monbiot declares how much he’s paid by The Guardian, his publisher and his lodgers, as well as his total gross and net incomes.
Why the brave move? Monbiot believes that “journalists should live by the standards they demand of others, among which are accountability and transparency. One of the most important questions in public life, which is asked less often than it should be, is “who pays?”
Should wine journalists do the same thing? In the light of recent revelations in Spain, covered in depth by Jim Budd on his website, that producers in Murcia and Jumilla were being asked by their own inter-professional association to make a substantial contribution to fund a visit, tastings and a seminar by Jay Miller of the Wine Advocate, it’s a hot topic.