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Showing posts from July, 2011

The tough questions over press regulation

We hope for catharsis in the News International crisis and some kind of moral cleansing of the nation. I’d be the first to agree that heads need to roll, but is it really the tactics of journalists at the News of the World that are the problem? Or could it actually be their outrageous choice of targets? Let me put it another way. We didn’t really care too much about the illegal hacking of phones when we thought the victims were celebrities and politicians. The explosion of rage has been prompted by our discovery that hired investigators were deleting the voicemail of a murdered schoolgirl and listening to the conversations of people who’d lost relatives through war or terrorism.

Much investigative journalism depends on deception. This may be a difficult idea to accept, but it’s undoubtedly true. After all, when people are involved in wrongdoing, they rarely declare it publicly. Remember the recent Panorama exposĂ© of the abuse going on in a home for people with learning disabilities? I…