Friday, July 08, 2011

Unleashing the power of true investigative journalism

Although it could be said they only did it to embarrass their rival the Guardian's work in uncovering the alleged News of the World telephone hacking shows the power of the media.

While the allegations of the hacking of royal and celebrity phones created an aura of distaste against News of World, its parent company and Murdoch it was the story about hacking into a missing possibly dead schoolgirl that turned the tide.

While not condoning any illegal actions it could be said that in the circle of celebrity and royalty they invite us to look at them; sure it can be taken too far, but still it's vaguely understandable. However hacking into the victims of crime; or casualties of war - I'm not sure the word outrage does enough, disgust, loathing? Amusingly the same types of reactions so many of the tabloids try to whip up against artificial enemies has come about quite naturally and aimed at one of their own.

Did this affect circulation of the paper? I don't know, but what it did do was start the pull-out of several major advertisers and that's where the money lay. They no longer wished to be associated with a paper that had these allegations hanging over them.

The public have forced the closure of a 168 year old paper because of the journalistic efforts of another. No blogger would have the time and resources to have pursued this story. In this era of 24-hour rolling news no television executive would have budgeted it. It took a newspaper to bring us this story.

But this isn't the end of the story. The obvious continuation is the pursuing of those actually in charge at the time. The less obvious is, I hope, the public asking itself why the paper supposedly did this and a questioning of how all papers obtain the stories they publish. Because they only do it to please us, so what does that say about ourselves?


Anonymous said...

"They no longer wished to be associated with a paper that had these allegations hanging over them."

Except for Tesco, Mars & British Gas.

FlipC said...

Who knows? Had the paper not shut down they might have been the next to leave.

Anonymous said...

If there are Tesco, Mars and British Gas adverts in the last 'sorry-for-what-we-did' edition on Sunday, will you eat your hat?

FlipC said...

No because I don't underestimate the power of contractual obligation i.e. get a discount if you guarantee X number of adverts.

Anonymous said...

So did Tesco, Mars or British Gas advertise in the last edition of the toxic News of the World? I didn't buy it as I'm not an arsehole.

FlipC said...

Neither did/am I. Shame as allegedly "There were unconfirmed reports that copies were trading hands for as much as £10 on Sunday"

However an online version can be found here.