A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Saturday, April 09, 2011

News International under fire and under pressure

Hacked off over the hacking!
Rupert Murdoch let his minions do what they wanted mostly. In the newspaper world if it sold papers then it didn't matter how the story was obtained. If it was largely untrue, so what. The News of the World started out by being a reasonably good read for gossipy news. Then Murdoch got his hands on it and the content became far more than gossip. It contained half-truths, innuendo and malice even. Now they are embroiled in a phone-hacking scandal that they cannot control or contain.

Max Clifford, the ubiquitous publicist, claimed his phone was hacked. As he puts it, "they listened to me!", and he got a £1 million plus settlement. Then others came forward and then two journalists got sent to jail and then.....it just goes on. We hear it's not just News International but the whole of Fleet Street involved.

Now News International has admitted there were at least eight victims and has put aside £20m for compensation. This after all their protestations that there was only one rogue reporter on the loose. Either they are incompetent at managing a newspaper business or they are actively involved in a cover-up and this is onion peeling time.

All types are involved. Tessa Jowell, former culture secretary, Andy Gray, erstwhile Sky Sports pundit, the designer Kelly Hoppen and actress Sienna Miller. More are emerging, no doubt emboldened by the revelations and believing that the authorities are taking their claims seriously.

Max Clifford said one good thing today. Journalism should be about exposing wrongdoing and hypocrisy. It most certainly is not about employing wrongdoing in order to obtain tittle-tattle and private conversations.

This is going to roll on until Murdoch rolls over.


Post a Comment