I’ve followed the unfolding phone hacking saga with interest over the last couple of years, since The Guardian first broke the story, and with amazement as the crisis escalated to claim The News of the World, which has been culled today.
It’s an amazing story, which everyone has commented on but no-one connected with it – including those of us who buy tabloids without complaint – comes away completely untarnished.
It’s a struggle to think of anything original to say about what’s happened this week; but, hey, here’s a couple of thoughts, based on my own experience and feelings.
Continue reading “Some feelings on phone hacking and journalism”
I am half way through a draft blog posting, and think I’ll to sleep on it before publishing. As Twitter continues to sing on the scandal, this tweet from Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger about The Telegraph’s front page tomorrow shows that this story is going to get even worse tomorrow, and for a long while yet.
The saying that readers are not interested in what the media does, however scandalous, will never be heard again in a newsroom again after this.
George Eustice: The dilemma for Coulson’s heir – PR Week
David Cameron’s former press secretary and Camborne and Redruth MP George Eustice gives his take on the Government’s communications challenge in the wake of Andy Coulson’s resignation. He makes the point (which I agree with) that there is a difference between managing the press and obsessing over how they are going to cover the Government’s policies.
John Shewell: Public sector comms needs to make the case for change – PR Week online
Brighton and Hove City Council head of comms John Shewell outlines eight key steps public sector teams should take to deal with the changes local authorities are having to make. His suggestions include unifying public sector communications teams, making greater use of social media and using the function to generate income.
He says: “The message boils down to two key themes: cut or innovate. Frankly, the more people shout about the cuts, the easier it should be to explain the reasons to innovate. As the old saying goes: if we do not change, we die!”
‘Rupert Murdoch’s arrogant empire must be reined in’ – The Observer
One of a number of pieces about the News of the World phone hacking scandal in The Guardian’s sister paper today. Campaigning journalist Henry Porter draws our attention to the ‘bigger picture’, reminding us that this story is about much more than one high profile individual. It is about more than celebrities having their phones hacked too; ordinary people routinely suffer far worse, as Christopher Jefferies can testify. And it is now emerging that more papers could be sued by people whose privacy has been trampled over. This story is not going away any time soon.
Continue reading “Links I like 11.01.23”
I blogged recently on the media’s general reluctance to report on matters involving itself, which became impossible following the irresponsible coverage of the Joanna Yeates murder investigation.
And so it is with yesterday’s resignation of Number 10’s former director of communications Andy Coulson, who quit amidst continuing allegations over his role in the phone hacking controversy at the News of the World. In doing so, he has sparked one of the stories of the year; one which refuses to go away and which his former employers at News International would probably much rather downplay.
For evidence of this, you only need to look at the coverage that followed yesterday’s announcement. The Guardian, who pursues this story with an almost obsessive zeal, went to town on it again yesterday, with a mountain of analysis and questions about the police, governance at News International and David Cameron’s judgement.
The coverage on the website of News International sister paper The Sun, however, is much less critical.
You can see Mr Coulson’s statement, issued yesterday, in full here.
Tabloid hack attack on royals, and beyond – New York Times (log in needed)
Details and arguments surrounding the News of the World’s alleged phone hacking activity are well rehearsed, on both sides. But they are no less fascinating for that. This story in today’s New York Times is one of the better pieces I have read on the controversy, which resurfaced this week with the trial of Scottish Socialist Tommy Sheridan. The most telling quote – which drives at the heart of the ‘public interest’ defence the tabloids often use to justify their intrusive methods – came from Brendan Montague, a freelance journalist.
“It wasn’t finding out wrongdoing. It was finding out a bit of gossip,” he said.
More’s the pity.