The Phone Hacking Scandal: Global Implications. CREDIT: Surian Soosay(CC). On July 2. 4, 2. 01.
Royal Courts of Justice in London, the Leveson Inquiry's formal evidence- gathering concluded. Set up to investigate abuses surrounding the News International hacking scandal, it also assessed "the culture, practice and ethics of the British press." Some individuals have been charged, others are suing, and perhaps more criminal prosecutions will followвЂ”as might a new regulatory or legislative framework for the UK media.
2nd part of an 8 part video of the discussion hosted by John Snow at the Frontline Club. T he phone-hacking scandal started out as a story about power and its abuse, and as such understandably attracted intense interest from politicians and the media whose daily business is power. But for those outside the beltway. By Tony Rogers. The phone-hacking scandal has reignited a long-running debate in Britain: Should journos, as they're known across the pond, follow the lead of their American counterparts and conduct themselves as professionals. Posts about phone hacking written by jtownend. Media law & ethics for online publishers, collected and written by Judith Townend. Please note that this site is no longer regularly updated.
Hugh Grant v Paul McMullen - How The Hacker Became The Hacked - NOTW Phone Hacking *HOT* - Duration: 4:22. NOTWPhoneHacking 23,185 views. The News International phone-hacking scandal is a controversy involving the now defunct News of the World and other. consider the wider culture and ethics of the British newspaper industry and that the Press Complaints.
Judge Sir Brian Leveson has been given unprecedented powers by Prime Minister David Cameron to make proposals and "ways forward for the future," which he will reveal in the coming weeks and months. This formal battleground for media ethics centers on traditional print mediaвЂ”or more specifically, tabloid newspapers in the UKвЂ”but it is nonetheless part of a larger debate on the practical realities of a rapidly changing industry. As the business of the media has been changed by the advent of the internet and the decline in advertising, newsgathering methods have changed too. Perhaps we need new ethical standards to keep up with realities of social media, technology, how we consume news, and from where. Although any recommendations coming out of the Leveson Inquiry will be addressed only to the UK, nevertheless they will surely have international implications as other countries watch the debate.
Any legislative or regulatory outcomes for the UK could also have consequences for international freedom of the press. The Leveson Inquiry The Inquiry saw over 6.
Its remit is not only to investigate the role of Rupert Murdoch's tabloid newspapersвЂ”the News of the World [No. W] and The SunвЂ”in the phone hacking scandal, but to investigate the bribery and corruption of senior police and politicians and the cozy relationship between Murdoch, his newspapers, and the ruling establishmentвЂ”the unique 'politico- media' complex. We now know that editors and reporters at No. WвЂ”an 1. 68- year- old tabloid that Murdoch shut down weeks after the scandal broke in July last yearвЂ”presided over a large- scale policy of hacking cell phones and computers belonging to celebrities, politicians, and private citizens. High- profile victims include Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, members of the royal family, and J. K. Rowling. Notebooks recovered from private investigator Glenn Mulcaire (himself the target of an investigation in 2. Perhaps the most striking incident was the revelation that someone had hacked into missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler's voicemail in 2.
The ethics and practices of the UK press have come under suspicion after a phone-hacking scandal led to the closing of the British tabloid The News of the World. Prime Minister Cameron has promised a full inquiry into the. The UK hacking scandal was a major breach of law and ethics. Yet too extreme a backlash runs the risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and any legislative or regulatory changes in the UK could also have.
Her body was found months later. The individual responsible has not been found). News International CEO Rebekah Brooks, David Cameron's former Communications Director Andy Coulson, and six othersвЂ”including Glenn MulcaireвЂ”will be charged with conspiring to hack phones and could face jail time.
Many more victims are suing News International."Berserk and Shouty"Some of the public believe 'Hackgate' is an endemic media problem, symptomatic of the UK tabloid media's uniquely competitive market and unscrupulous practices. Circulation is declining, but tabloids still have huge reach and political power. No other major country has huge national tabloids with deep pockets and that are locked in fierce competition," says Edward Schumacher Matos, National Public Radio's ombudsman and a professor at Columbia Journalism School. Lauren Collins's New Yorker piece on the rise of the Daily Mail makes this droll observation: "In Britain, unlike in the United States, television tends to be a dignified affair, while print is berserk and shouty."Murdoch certainly made this argument, that it is a media problem, in his own testimony. But media professionals say it was a Murdoch problem. The Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger told the Inquiry that he found, during his paper's investigation into the hacking, that Murdoch's power had cowed politicians and the industry regulator: "The Murdoch influence, power, money, dominance and reputation was such that it seemed to confer a form of immunity from scrutiny."The truth probably lies in the middleвЂ”precisely where, and what to do about it, is up to Leveson.
But journalists would argue that calling for media reform misses the point: 'Hackgate' was not the result of obscure or lacking regulation, or even unclear ethical guidelinesвЂ”it was an obvious breach of privacy and ethics. On the legal front, phone tapping and hacking contravenes the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) 2.
Former No. W royal correspondent Clive Goodman was jailed under this legislation in 2. Beyond the fact that UK broadsheets and other media outlets differ greatly in standard, quality, and reputation from their tabloid or 'red- top' counterparts, many journalists feel that any stringent reform would be unfairвЂ”making an industry share the blame for the crimes of a minority. Some abuses, like police bribery, have been uncovered at other newspapers, and No. W's defense is that there was a widespread culture of questionable information- gathering. Regardless, the Inquiry revealed that over 2,0. Mulcaire to intercept phone messages came from just four journalists at No. W. The justification cited by those involved was that the information published was in the "public interest." Journalists often have to balance privacy and public interestвЂ”and it is never an easy task.
It is very hard to define "public interest." As the Guardian's Roy Greenslade puts it, "the boundary of acceptable practice is often determined not by the means used but by the nature of what is uncovered." Some methods, while questionable, can be justified. Privacy is often the first casualty, but there is some understanding that the extent of the invasion must correlate with the degree of public interest. With Hackgate, a small group enlarged the usually small subset of 'public interest' (e. Hugh Grant's love life).
But phone hacking is not a grey area: it is so clearly illegal, and they knew itвЂ”which is why it was covered up for so long. Most importantly, there is no 'public interest' defense for contravening RIPA."A glance at the UK's Press Complains Commission code of conductвЂ”and the equivalent Ofcom [the UK's media watchdog] rules and BBC guidelinesвЂ”should be sufficient to convince an impartial observer that the basic principles surrounding journalists' behavior are sound," says Andrew Knight, a senior lecturer at London School of Journalism, and Press Association trainer, who has had a long journalism career in Scotland and England. The problem in this case was enforcement. One important issue to have emerged during the Inquiry was why illegal and unethical practices were allowed to continue unhindered when editors and staff involved were fully aware of the law and the PCC's guidelines," says Knight. It has been pointed out that Rebekah Brooks, for example, was not a trained journalist, and that she achieved her sharp- elbowed rise to CEO of News International (and into Rupert Murdoch's inner cabal) without any real reporting experience.
News media phone hacking scandal By 2002, the practice of publications using. diligence of the initial police inquiry, alleged illegal payments to police by the press, and the general culture and ethics of the media. Defamation, privacy, phone hacking litigation and media regulation in this week’s Law and Media Round Up, which can be read in full at the Inforrm blog.
It would be unfair to blame Brooks entirely, but her lack of experience in the field could certainly explain, if not a lack of awareness of good journalism conduct, at least a lack of respect for it."Dirty Bathwater"Anticipating possible measures Leveson might recommend, media professionals are worried that he will be so repulsed by the parade of worst practices that the Inquiry will "throw out the baby with the dirty bathwater" and produce a "more stringent outcome than wise," wrote Michael White in the Guardian's Politics blogвЂ”measures that would infringe press freedom. Some options include self- regulation by the Press Complaints Commission and the government giving the PCC "teeth" with legislative force. A press tribunal has also been suggested.
Lord Hunt of the PCC proposes a contract that all media outlets would have to sign, any breach of which could be punished. Another argument is that legislation could be devised that actually increases freedom of the press, giving the UK something along the lines of the US's First Amendment and enshrining a "watchdog" or accountability function."I don't suspect that it will be the end of the world if the right kind of limited legislation is devised," says Schumacher- Matos. Though I have to admit that Lord Hunt's contract law proposal is novel and would seem to be sufficient."There is some consensus that the tabloid press do need reining in.
Corrupt journalism is the enemy of free expression," wrote Brian Cathcart, a journalism professor at Kingston University. It places us at the mercy of monopolists, bullies and lawbreakers. We surely don't want that."Then, there is the view that we must take the 'bad' press behavior in the interests of the 'good: ' robust investigative journalism. Education Secretary and former journalist Michael Gove stated earlier this year that a few slips in standards were the price we had to pay for a "precious" freedom of speech. Some think Gove, a Murdoch enthusiast, was cynically trying to protect the Conservative party from any fallout over the scandal. For his part, Leveson threatened to quit if Ministers did not stop passing comment on his Inquiry.
Whatever Gove's motivations, he made the point that already an investigatory zeal was being "chilled," with reporters shying away from sensitive storiesвЂ”and he is not alone in saying this. The police, who are highly implicated in the Leveson Inquiry, have used the scandal to "claw back control" of information, wrote Sandra Laville in the Guardian. John F. Burns wrote in The New York Times that there has been a chilling effect in UK newsrooms, and that charges resulting from the Inquiry show a new intolerance for unsavory journalism practices and 'checkbook journalism'вЂ”paying for scoops.