Thursday, 9 July 2009

Who’s bugging you?

Here is another load of stink to hit the headlines. Journalists have been using private investigators to find out information for scoops. The methods used have involved phone tapping and collecting personal information such as tax records and itemized phone bills. On the BBC breakfast news programme this morning, John Prescott, one of the victims, announced that he would be requesting an urgent investigation into this. He also queried why the Metropolitan Police force had done nothing, although they knew about the problem.
Rupert Murdoch’s News Group is behind a string of out of court settlements, designed to hush up the victims of this gross invasion of privacy. David Cameron’s director of communications, Andy Coulson, used to be the deputy editor of the News of the World when this was taking place – so what is going on?

I can understand journalists being desperate for the salacious tit bits of the rich and famous, but is this just a step too far?
How low should journalists stoop for scandal and gossip items?
Are the powerful, rich and famous of society entitled to some privacy, or is it in order to ruthlessly peruse them for the sake of selling papers?


curneysmells said...

I think it's horrific that people are denied their basic rights to privacy. Usually, I feel no sorrow for the likes of Jordan, especially when they get irate over the large amount of paparazzi that stalk them, or swam their own private homes. These types of celebrity have become popular due to this behaviour from the paparazzi and the scandal which has thus come about. So for them to then go and fight back against the people who gave them fame seems ridiculous. It is the price they have to pay. I do not however, condone hacking into people's voice mails. This is a step too far. Even putting aside the fact that it is a great invasion of privacy it also, surely does not achieve much. No one leaves long winded detailed voice mails, surely the most the hackers could have got from listening is the odd “call me when you can, I’ve got something important to discuss with you” or shock horror possibly even “John, where are you? Your dinner’s ready”.
Not exactly front page heat gossip, is it?

The Plashing Vole said...

It's no surprise that the newspapers do this - the Daily Mail is the worst offender with 985 requests for illegal activity in the report published last year. It's not even a surprise that none of these people are of 'public interest' (i.e. the stories don't make a difference to our lives).

What's shocking is the police's failure to pursue these criminals and to warn the victims, and the court's agreement to seal the records so that News International et al. could get away with it. That really stinks.

Sue's Blog said...

Curneysmells: I agree with you about Jordan, she is such a self-publicist that she would probably pay journalists to listen to her voice mail!

Vole: The last I heard was that the victims are planning to pool resources to challenge this. I agree that the police should have taken the illegal activities of this newspaper group seriously. I am sick of all the corruption that is going on, and the double standards where moral behaviour is concerned. Lets hope that things in the future will be run honestly.