A lot of people have extreme views of journalists – they either put them on a pedestal or think they’re sewer rats.

Some people believe that newspapers and magazines are staffed by extraordinarily intelligent journalists who only write about extraordinarily important things.

Other people believe that journalists derive perverse pleasure from telling lies about people, taking them out of context, making them look stupid or ruining their business.

In fact – and I’m generalising now – journalists are just regular people.

Some are extraordinarily intelligent; some are extraordinarily stupid; most are somewhere in between. Sometimes, they do, indeed, write about extraordinarily important things, but usually they don’t.

Mostly, they’re stressed-out workers who have to churn out lots of copy in a short amount of time.

Yes, some are vicious, but most are friendly and just want to be loved and appreciated. They don’t want to antagonise you; they want you to praise their work.

If you treat a journalist with respect and kindness, you’ll almost certainly get the same in return.

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