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Independent editor: Leveson 'loading a gun' at press
British newspapers - 'a point by point demolition of the industry'

 8:08 am on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

[bbc.co.uk ]

Mr Blackhurst said he was shocked by the document, which he described as "a damning indictment of my industry".

..."a point by point demolition of the industry".

"The fact is that newspapers are an adornment to our society. We would be lost without them," he added.

I don't read newspapers, so perhaps I'm out of touch with this, but are they really as important as they say they are? If they all disappeared, would we actually be any worse off, since we would still be able to get information from countless other sources?

And isn't it a bit rich that they are complaining about this, given the alleged state of their industry anyway? I assume part of the complaint comes from this specific newspaper, defending themselves rather than the industry, (and I am also aware that this article is published by a non-newspaper arm of the media) but my impression is that the newspaper industry as a whole has lost its morality, and generally makes most situations worse than better. Surely any 'damning indictment' is justified, and, to some extent, expected?

But then I don't read papers, so maybe I'm biased.



 9:06 am on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

They also use their own version of the "loaded gun" by scaremongering about freedom of the press, big brother, etc. The truth is that the in the UK freedom of the press seems to be more about being allowed to reveal stuff like outing gay pop stars at orgies naked or dressed in nazi uniforms and the like. you know what I mean? The important stuff?

When they start censoring the press for political comment, etc. that is when I'll start to worry. But having said that, Rupert Murdoch already censors his media and few people in the press appear to be too concerned about this. Cuts both ways!


 9:12 am on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

"Never let the facts get in the way of a good story."

"If you haven't got a good story, make one up."

"If a witness doesn't provide an interview, make it up."

"Why have all the journalists got such a deep tan?" "It's all the years they spent lying in The Sun."

[edited by: g1smd at 9:13 am (utc) on Aug 30, 2012]


 9:13 am on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

The Tommy Sheridan case is a good example of what the press can get up to. This guy was jailed for perjury by people who perjured themselves to ensure a conviction. You will hear more about this.



 9:44 am on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

If they all disappeared, would we actually be any worse off, since we would still be able to get information from countless other sources?

The vast majority of politician spend the vast amount of their time serving the public good (either of the uncontentious or idealogically inspired kind). Some occasionally do dishonest or self-serving things, as do the press.

However, most politicians have to do things to get elected, which has nothing to do with the public interest. Similarly, papers have to sell copy in order to exist. That does not serve the Public Interest, but merely Interests the Public.

The fact is, investigative journalism is rooted in the national press. They pay professional rates to staff journalists and have editiorial standards that the vast majority of "other sources" of news barely touch.

For the good side of journalism, I think newspapers are an essential part of the checks and balances of a free country. However, in order for papers to continue to exist, they need to publish sensationalist tripe. Sadly, the important stuff just doesn't sell.


 9:49 am on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, the Sun published photos of prince Harry in the buff claiming it was in the public interest. Yeah right!



 10:27 am on Aug 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Actually, I think there is a public interest story here, you just don't need to publish the pictures to make it.

I'm personally not fussed, but there are valid questions about the Prince's security arrangements (strangers with personal electronics given intimate access) for example.

What the actual photos add to that, I have no idea


 8:29 am on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

The biggest problem would be finding a replacement to line the bottom of bird cages


 9:14 am on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Seedy stuff, eh? ;o)


 10:09 am on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Oh dear BDW..you'll be getting your coat ?


 11:52 am on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I am very quick! ;o)


 1:58 pm on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

line the bottom of bird cages

Would they be left-wing or right-wing papers, then?


 2:23 pm on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

I like you guys :)


 2:35 pm on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

How important are newspapers? Well here in Canada a "Do Not Call" law was implemented a few years back to curb telemarketers. But, excluded from the law were not-for-profit organizations, and...newspapers, so they can continue to call you up to try to get you to subscribe. There must have been some extensive thought put into that for "the powers to be" to continue to allow newspapers the right to telemarket their product.

Some might argue that newspapers and reporters have lost their sense of ethics but I think that varies largely according to the underlying social norms of the society they cater to with it being worst in some. The more laid-back the people are in some countries the more likely the press will be able to get meaningful valuable stories into the mainstream daily conversations. Whereas, in countries that have citizens who constantly crave to be entertained, well they get the seedy sensational stuff.

I do think it would be a loss to any nation to loose their long established unbiased investigators who strive to keep people informed.


 2:42 pm on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

The problem is that most big media companies, especially those with newspapers, magazines, TV channels and and websites..
Couldn't give a fox about ethics..

Marketing Guy

 3:04 pm on Aug 31, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, the Sun published photos of prince Harry in the buff claiming it was in the public interest. Yeah right!

Yeh and argued it was "peverse" *not* to publish the pictures. Gobsmacking hypocrasy. Basically the UK press were grounded for bad behaviour, but The Sun couldn't stand other kiddies playing with the new toy and just had to have a go themselves.

For those not familiar with The Sun, it's a cheap tabloid famous for its page 3 girls (topless models) and generally celebrity gossip and "news".

I think the comments from the Independent are as much trying to position themselves away from the tabloid side of the market as protecting themselves. And rightly so, as most of the issues have risen from the slack ethics and supposed self regulation of the lower side of the business (seriously, what level of scumbag actually lowers themselves to hacking the voicemail of a murdered teenage?).

Bring back newspaper tax IMO - for tabloids only!

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