Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Be Careful What You Wish For...

Hello again old friends, it's been a while, what with silly season kicking in, riots in London, no money in any of our bank accounts.

Still, the bitter winter is coming and that always enlivens a newsroom.

Anyway, I thought I'd return with a new tone of blog - a bitter and cynical rant. There, I knew that would surprise you.

The Guardian. Yes, I've mentioned it.

Set to scoop all awards this year for the paper's phone-hacking coverage, the whole sorry business still raises some questions for me.

In recent days, we've had story after story - certainly online, which seems to be their tactic these days - regarding the Met's attempts to garner sources from the paper.

Now, while I naturally don't agree with any journalist being forced to reveal their sources, the saga does raise some questions for me.

The Guardian is, quite rightly, outraged by this move and is standing firm against the attempts, legal or otherwise.

But something doesn't sit right with me.

After the shocking phone-hacking scandal and the investigations, inquiries and debate that will continue as it all goes on, doesn't the world's most worthy paper think that just this sort of thing could be the outcome?

Is the Guardian really naive enough to think that there will be no legislation after these inquiries and the resultant reports?

Could something enabling public bodies to demand sources really be that far from thinking in the corridors of power?

The Guardian would argue, of course, that what they have done is in the public interest, something which should be protected from any possible legislation.

But I'm not so sure that this will be as clear cut as they - or the likes of the Hacked Off campaign - think.

I hope I'm wrong, of course, but in urging full disclosure, and by going after those at the NoTW with such vigour an being so keen to condemn their tactics, the Guardian and those hanging on their shirt tails need to be careful what they wish for.

Don't forget, you can follow me on Twitter - @haplesshack - or email at thehaplesshack@gmail.com

I'm determined to have another moan today so look out for that if you're inclined to be as miserable as I am.

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