Thursday, 6 January 2011

Is anyone listening in?

It may come as something as a surprise, but I have never blogged on the so-called phone hacking 'scandal'.

Being a legally-minded yellow belly has played a part in that of course, but so has my own difficulty in settling on an opinion of this tactic, whether it has happened or not.

You see, the clear cut moral supremacist in me immediately wants to cry 'outrage', 'folly' and other such words only an indignant mother can use with any authority.

But the reporter in me yearns to cry 'what the hell, these things are news and if people don't want you to find out, they should sort their fucking lives out' at the top of my voice across the newsroom.

So where do I fall? I remain, as yet, undecided.

One thing I can tell you however, is where I don't fall. That, my friends, is in the sickeningly self-righteous camp of those seemingly taking such joy in highlighting the alleged working processes of some newsrooms.

I mean, come on, even the most liberal newshound on Planet Papers has to swallow a bit of ego here and admit - to themselves in a darkened room on a cold winter night if no-one else - that they would love to have written the possible exclusives these alleged hackings have produced.

And more to the point, if they don't, why the fuck not?

The last thing any reporter who understands the pressure in a national newsroom should be doing is taking this easy chance to, effectively, shit on their brethren.

Because like it or not folks, newspapers will ultimately stand and fall together, tabloid or broadsheet, tits-on-page-three or no-tits-on-page-three.

If we are all so confident we have never, ever, pushed a boundary in the pursuit of truth; whether we perceive it as being in the public interest or otherwise, then this nauseating witch hunt taking place at the NotW should continue unabated.

However, cast your mind back to your first day in a newsroom.

What would you have done to score a huge exclusive to impress the scary person sitting in the big office? I can guarantee the answer would have been an unequivocal 'anything'.

No, that doesn't excuse illegal tactics, if any of those being alleged have been used and those caught should face stern punishments.

But please, save me the self-righteous pontificating so much in evidence currently.

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