Free Press?

So obviously anyone who has any idea about News and the like, would have heard about the News of the World phone hacking scandal. It really is disgusting the levels some people seem to have gone to, so that they can have exclusivity on a story or event. Kinda makes me sick. I mean, hacking into someone’s phone is wrong, something made even worse by the very idea that even death didn’t protect some people’s private information from these ‘reporters’. In a, much delayed, reaction, News Corp International, The News of The World’s owners, have decided to stop the paper. And that Sunday will be it’s last edition. Which, to be honest, is fooling nobody.

This is a level of corruption in the British press, which has been dumped on the News of the World’s door, and to be honest, it runs a lot deeper than this. This is something which has being going on for a generation of at least 30 years. Whilst dumping a 168 year old institution seems like an escape, the fact is still there that the lackies got sent to the dole queue, whilst the people who are in charge will have a job, just somewhere else. This is what happened to the banks, and every other company that has problems. Those at the top are spared, and the people who really are the face of the company get sacked.

The British public have gotten used to seeing sensationalist headlines on their tabloid newspapers, with the various publications screaming like children to get the consumer’s attention. And to stand out from that crowd, a publication must seem more ‘breaking news’ than the rest. And this need to be the loudest, is what has created this problem. It is not about opinions and views, it is about the headlines that belong in an episode of Jeremy Kyle.  Journalism has always been an area I have looked on fondly, admiring the writers who get to write their feelings, and get paid for doing so. But how much of what they write, is what they think. The Newspapers should be something where people can read discussions, and see viewpoints on two sides of the ‘fence’. This way they can make a truly educated judgement on what they believe has happened. It is a forum for opinion, and for a paper to do so, it should be adequately mixed with a variety of opinions and values. Give the reader credit, and don’t make decisions for them and say what is right and wrong.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that the Pro-Labour press are condemning Rupert Murdoch and News Corp as they prepare their take-over of BSkyB. A company which wouldn’t be where it is without Sky Television, a company partially created by Rupert Murdoch. So they lather on the abuse to News Corp, and back it up with why they should be unable to take a 100% stake in BSkyB, and the phone hacking seems to be getting used as an excuse. When, there is not a doubt in my mind, that other publications in the UK, have taken similar methods, to make sure that their paper was the one with the most breaking news.

Which is surprising when you see the volume of jibes coming from other publications in the press. Look past their ‘booing’ and ‘hissing’ for the News of the World villain, it appears to be unsettling over-done. By that I mean, they are acting almost too appalled. Almost as if they are trying to put on a front to say they are against what happened, when secretly they have employed similar illegal tactics. And they think that rejoicing the death of the News of the World puts the situation to rest. No. Every news publication in the country should be investigated, so the public can see how deep this runs. And if a paper is true and honest, they should pay for it themselves, to show that they are innocent and give the money to an independent company to investigate.

British journalism has hit a low, and it is going to take drastic action to fix things. Because, right now, the idea that we have a free press in this country is becoming a running joke.

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