This won’t be liked by many, I will be called a ‘whiney journalist’ (courtesy my very own troll) but if standing up against an attack from people with vested interests is wrong, sue me!
And after today’s
charter that’s what I and probably a number of bloggers will face as all ‘news-based’
material is coming under attack under the Royal Charter-that-isn’t-statutory-regulation-but-
Put simply, it’s
a solution to a problem which has not yet been defined (thanks to
@davidallengreen) and doesn’t deal with the true problem – true punishment for
those who truly plumbed the depths all for a front page.
What went on
with phone-hacking and other dark, dirty, moments was wrong and yes downright
evil but legislation like this motivated by Hacked Off, a bunch of rich celebrities
who want draconian privacy laws, solves nothing.
the lies being spread, Hacked Off don’t represent the true victims, the Dowler’s,
the McCann’s, the Chris Jeffries of this world. They represent the like of Hugh
Grant, Steve Coogan and Charlotte Church.
court publicity one minute complain the next. Under oath in a court of law Miss
Church admitted she did deals with Rupert Murdoch, such as singing at his
wedding, in exchange for good publicity!
Not only does
my blood boil that Hacked Off virtually pressured Labour and the Lib Dems and later
the Tories into making a deal but that our elected representatives fell so
How dare Hugh
Grant dictate how we regulate the press, how dare they issue press releases
virtually condemning political parties!
I look at their
reprehensible actions and think of a group of people, the families of the 96
people who went to a football match in 1989 and never came back.
Hillsborough families never needed celebrity, they acted with dignity in their
fight for the truth, they met, met, met politicians and stated their case until
eventually action began to be taken.
And when the true
horror of what happened was revealed, did they demand and threaten, no they
simply stated the truth had been revealed, leading to a certain national
newspaper to offer its apologies once again.
I admire them
greatly, I admire the Dowler’s, I cannot admire people like Hugh Grant – if Hacked
Off is such an upstanding institution then why won’t it name the people funding
So what would I
do, well some of the punishments being suggested by this sham are correct, huge
fines and prominent apologies. But a Royal Charter – problem is that suggests
legislation of a free press and I don’t know if Hacked Off have done their
research, but phone hacking....already illegal.
From the outset
I have said the industry needs a steroid infused PCC, butch and bulky and packs
a punch to those who err.
Instead of the
current code which was set up to deal with complaints (hence Press COMPLAINTS
Commission) we need a code of practice with laws, not guidelines – laws.
Hack a phone?
Boom instant dismissal, fine for paper AND proprietor. Defame, libel an innocent
man who has been arrested (Google the Chris Jeffries case) and fines, sackings
By fine I mean,
millions and millions of pounds – won’t work? Oh believe me it will.
importantly, the board of my new regulator should have (but not chaired by) a
serving editor of a tabloid and one of a broadsheet, a member of Parliament and
ordinary people who have been wronged. I couldn’t do wrong sitting opposite Bob
and Sally Dowler, could you?
needs to be protected, injustice needs to be exposed, but in the correct ways,
not through invasions of privacy.
Charter does nothing to tackle the cancer still within the industry, just make
it harder for the press to report on wrong-doing.
We have a genuinely
free press, we have a genuine free democracy and the power still lies with the
consumer. If you don’t like a newspaper, don’t buy it!