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Friday, 8 July 2011

News of the World

The closure of the News of the World seems like a good outcome in light of the appalling behaviour of its journalists in the phone hacking scandal. But fear not, the vacuum in provision of intrusive tittle tattle and invasion of individual privacies to find "scoops" for the titillation of the great British public will soon be filled.
What irritates me is the universal po-faced righteous response to all this. There is no fundamental moral difference between hacking of phones and the time-honoured "legitimate" intrusive practices such as those of the paparazzi, or the sly journalistic eavesdropping on private conversations that has been the stuff of media fodder for generations.
Indeed, even the revered BBC is happy to condone the regular cringe-making hurtful activities of their interviewers when they ask a distraught bereaved parent "how they feel" in order to make a dramatic piece for their own six o'clock News of the World.
Elements that respect the rights of individuals, such as privacy, restraint and dignity, used to count for something in the media. Now it appears that anything goes, so why all the surprise?


Norman said...

I agree and I hope such a blatent move to "get out of jail" doesn't work. Organisations, and countries for that matter, take on the values of their leaders. if we can all learn from this it will redress some of the injustice done to the families so assaulted.

Shane said...

Willo, newspapers are like sausages - the Great British Public snaffle 'em up, but they don't like to think too much about how they're made. And now they know, and they're not too happy. You're right - the vacuum will be filled, and there's no shortage of candidates stepping up to grab that market share. But is cheapoburger seriously healthier than cheaposausage? Probably not. The manufacturing processes are hardly going to be more ethical with the latter than the former. But it's still arguably no bad thing to prevent market leaders becoming to comfortable in their position.

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