Friday, July 8, 2011

The freedom of the press is in danger: Daily Telegraph

The Telegraph's Josie Filmer writes:

"As a recent graduate, I’ve had an extraordinary week of work experience at The Daily Telegraph. The appalling News of the World phone hacking scandal revealed the worst excesses of tabloid journalism, and has culminated in the closing down of one of the most widely read newspapers in the English-speaking world. Now, it seems, David Cameron is set to wage war on Britain’s free press. Fleet Street is reeling in shock.
"There seems to be a consensus that the Prime Minister has today questioned the very foundations of this industry. Instead of defining journalism as a public service – whose job was to keep a check on those in power – he used one newspaper’s illegal phone hacking to launch an attack on the Press more generally. He even, disingenuously, compared the scandal to that of MPs’ expenses.
"This week – and the mess that could follow – gives student journalists a lot to think about. We have all been asked by friends and parents: “Are you not concerned about the future of the industry?” Now it’s more urgent. The rise of the internet and unregulated bloggers, who comment scurrilously on current affairs, has been seen as the greatest threat to traditional media. But today an even greater one emerged from the opposite direction. How will the press be regulated by the Government? What will this regulation mean for the content newspapers have produced, in one form or another, since the 17th century? . . ."

Click on the title to read the full story.

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