Thursday, 7 July 2011

The News International Affair Gathers Pace.

Listening to Radio 4 news coverage on the phone hacking affair on the way to work and on the way back home today, the game seemed to move on from phone hacking to stopping News International from owning BSkyB.

There has been very vehement opposition to the NotW and News International in general on the BBC over the past few days, with the ramping up of allegations (and they are only allegations, based on names found in the possession of the private investigator employed by the News of the World to listen to people's voice mails) from celebs we don't really care about, to murder victims, soldiers killed in action and victims of terrorism.

Robert Peston's piece on the closure of the NotW on this evening's Radio 4 news was especially discomforting. He puts a strange emphasis on words at the best of times, but this evening was excruciating to listen to.

Not surprisingly, this evening's Question Time lead with the cynical question if the closure of the NotW was a ploy to insulate it from the rest of News International. How about the rest of the news media? I'm convinced that the culture of listening in to personal messages is not restricted to just News International owned newspapers.

Autonomous Mind has a view about the baying for Murdoch blood by the BBC and other newspapers. Its an interesting viewpoint and he's once again eloquently stated something that was in the back of my mind as I listened to the news today.

Its interesting that in the eyes of the BBC Rupert Murdoch can do no good. Having announced the closure of the NotW he's now being castigated for ending the jobs of the hundreds of people employed to produce the newspaper.

One final note is that it seems to have gone very quiet about the ineffectiveness of the original Police enquiry into phone hacking. It needs to be investigated how on earth that enquiry couldn't probe deeply enough to find the reams of evidence that now appears to be available. People must have perjured themselves or the Police must have been incompetent, or both. Or possibly political pressure was put on the investigators to do as little as possible. If that's the case, its very much in the public interest to also investigate the relationship between the press and politicians.

UPDATE:

I just had the thought: what effect would having hundreds of disgruntled ex-NotW employees have on the flow of information about the culture in the newspaper? If I was a soon to be ex employee, I'd be lining up a deal with a competitor to blow the whistle on what went on behind the scenes and how culpable senior figures  in the management are in the illegal activities.

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