New technology, same old mischievous journalism

There’s a great story in Gentlemen Ranters this week by Harry Nuttall concerning a parrot with a lisp. It must be a true story as it was in the papers…

Time was that the really serious stuff published in Her Majesty’s Fourth Estate was researched and written by educated gents who knew what they were writing about. The more interesting stuff was written by the great blokes and women who just wanted to make their readers buy the papers and used all manner of means to make sure they did.

Now, I quite understand that it’s wrong to tap into other people’s telephones and the like, but that’s today’s equivalent of rummaging around in their dustbins or asking their cleaning ladies questions about the goings on behind the front door.

I’m not entirely certain that John Prescott has any rights to privacy and I’m 100 per cent certain that Katie Price hasn’t. I also know, and the sales figures endorse my view, that if you’re stuck on a stationary train with no means of escape and have a copy of the Financial Times and a copy of the News of the World nearby, the truth is that it will be the latter which will be more engaging. Tarts, vicars and their modern equivalents offer more human interest than that offered by the dry text of a company’s annual report.

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“Before we all sink into a slough of digital dystopian despair, it might be worth considering this: is this a sign of the strength, not weakness, of revelatory journalism in the digital age?”


Charlie Beckett, director of POLIS at the London School of Economics, reacts to news that the UK government forced the Guardian into destroying hard drives that contained information leaked by Edward Snowden.


(Source: POLIS)

 

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