Modern popular journalism has been turned into “little more than a newsprint version of an old-fashioned seaside what-the-butler-saw machine”, according to the Guardian‘s Roy Greenslade, as he hit out at the arguments against superinjuctions that are now influencing the ‘serious’ press.
Writing in the paper, Greenslade says: “Tabloids have always carried a lot of trivial, often sexy, froth. There is now a disproportionate amount of meretricious material aimed at appealing to public prurience, most of which revolves around the philandering of celebrities. For years, with increasing casualness, there have been unwarranted invasions of privacy.”
It’s this increase in the flouting of personal privacy that has led to the proliferation of the superinjunction. But Greenslade, on the whole, supports these court orders that suppress information from being revealed to those who would feed off it. “The judges responsible are making their decisions by balancing the competing rights enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights – the right to a private family life and the right to freedom of expression.
“Too many newspaper editors, including those from the serious end of the market, seem to believe that this is a gross inhibition of press freedom. It is no such thing,” says Greenslade. “It is the natural consequence of unwarranted tabloid intrusion into the bedrooms of assorted celebrities and, as such, does not threaten the pursuit of proper journalism.”
He even goes so far as to call the arguments against superinjunctions “well wide of the mark”. Greenslade believes that “the overall effect could be to choke off the publication of kiss ‘n’ tell stories”, to which he pointendly contends: “So what?”
Greenslade’s opinion on the matter is clear: “It is time for the responsible, serious section of the British press to disengage from any coalition with the popular newspapers. The willingness to ingore their misconduct has led us all astray and increased the public’s lack of trust in all journalism.”