Thursday, 7 July 2011

so long and thanks for all the chips

so long, originally uploaded by Dru Marland.

Feeling quietly celebratory here that the News of the World is to be shut down, after all the revelations of phone hacking performed on the paper's behalf.

Not that it will mean an end to bad practice in journalism; but there's just a chance that it may herald some shift in attitude.

Snooping phone calls by the families of victims of murder and terrorism, and buying stories from policemen, is vile behaviour. Sufficiently vile to provoke national outrage. I'd like to think that some day, the vileness of reportage such as that (to take but one example from countless examples) by the Daily Mail, over the Sonia Burgess case, will also be seen as unacceptable. And it'll take more than the worthless Press Complaints Commission to effect that change.


  1. Please don't call what the News of the Screws did 'journalism'. It isn't. And never was. There are thousands of real journalists working on local newspapers and radio who are just as disgusted by this practice as the readers are.

    It's hackery of the worst kind. REAL journalists don't choose to work on national 'newspapers' because it has always been like that.

  2. I never liked the News of the World. My parents used to read it. It just seemed to be reports on rape and articles about celebrities sometimes with the wrong picture. The end of a tasteless era which is best forgotten

  3. The tricky thing is, Anne, that there are a lot of people working to provide fodder for the crap papers, who presumably describe themselves as journalists.

    My experience of people-who-write-the-newspapers was quite offputting- a few seedy reporters in the Tribunal hearing, some skanky photographers, and no-one really interested in hearing the truth. When I won my case, I tried to get in touch with some of the big papers, and got nowhere. The story was eventually taken by the Press Association, and moulded into the Standard Tranny Narrative; the Daily Mail dug up my past, and despite my refusing to corroborate it and telling them that they should not mention it, they did anyway, and wrote a crap and biased article. The PCC were worthless.

    And then after all that I had a stream of enquiries from hacks wanting to write my story for the exclamation mark magazines. None of them were able to see outside the box of Same Old Shit.

    Loads of people. And never once did I encounter a 'journalist' worthy of the name. Maybe 'proper' journalists should invent a new name for themselves....

    Yes, Anji; I used to encounter it at work, and it was striking that you could pick up any copy of NoTW or the other redtops, from any time during the last thirty years, and with a few minor tweaks over names and prices it would probably be essentially the same as the latest edition. Really rather dispiriting.

  4. Yup. Never trust a journalist has been my motto ever since personally experiencing how they basically twist and straitjacket all events into a 'story' that suits them.

    Before jumping in triumph over the execution of the NoW, it's worth pondering a few things.

    The NoW has long been one of the most popular newspapers in the world. This sort of writing is what large numbers of our fellow human beings wish to read.

    There seems to be a whole network of corrupt police and other officials along with private detectives and journalists - from all newspapers - all greasing each other's sweaty palms to provide the sensation hungry public with what we crave. A Guardian article about Jonathan Rees says that:

    "The bug betrayed the sheer speed and ease with which Rees was able to penetrate the flimsy fence of privacy that shields the vast reservoir of personal information now held on the databases controlled by the police and the DVLA, the phone companies and banks..."

    "When the Daily Mirror wanted the private mortgage details of all the governors of the Bank of England, Rees delivered."

    "When the Sunday Mirror wanted to get inside the bank accounts of Prince Edward and the Countess of Wessex, it was equally easy ..."

    "...the Information Commissioner's Office raided the home in New Milton, Hants, of a private investigator named Steve Whittamore and seized a mass of paperwork which turned out to be a detailed record of more than 13,000 requests from newspapers and magazines for Whittamore to obtain confidential information, many of them potentially in breach of the law. Several staff from the Guardian's sister paper, the Observer, were among Whittamore's customers."

    The NoW is most likely being put on the sacrificial block in a desperate attempt to prevent far worse being exposed, and to distract from that.

  5. Hell - why would you take any notice of what a REAL journalist is telling you? (ok ex-journalist) You've clearly made your mind up, based on what a few 'big' papers have done.

    Real journalists don't need to invent a new name for themselves. We just need people to stop using the word incorrectly.

  6. I am expressing my frustration at the fact that, when I was involved in a story that I thought needed telling, I could neither access nor interest anyone willing or able to make a decent fist of it, in the mainstream media. I could have asked for a gagging order. With hindsight, that would have been the better option.