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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

journalism, News Ltd style « Previous | |Next »
July 9, 2009

In his 'bash the bloggers' speech last week at the Press Club, John Hartigan of News Limited called for less political spin and more inspiring stories in newspapers. Less focus on the "politics of politics" and more "that inspires, surprises and delights readers" as he marketed News Ltd vision of the future of newspapers in Australia's digital economy. Interesting he sad nothing about the drip feed.

Hartigan's vision stated that people will pay for "well researched, brilliantly written, perceptive and intelligent, professionally edited, accurate and reliable" information/news, with the inference that only News Limited was able to deliver. I'd' always puzzled about what "well researched " meant given the deceptions practised by the News Ltd tabloids, the way they stir the prejudices of their core readership, and the systematic prying into the lives of people in rather repellent ways. Or the example of Fox News in the USA, which is the media mouthpiece of the Republican party. This is the press that poses as the bastions of morality and champions of law and order in Australia whilst selling selling fear and hatred to make a profit.

Now, what has been happening in England----the phone hacking saga---gives us some idea of what "well researched " may mean. It is alleged that Murdoch's News of the World tabloid (and News Group Newspapers, part of News International) used criminal methods to get stories. The Guardian reports that "research " involved illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public figures to gain unlawful access to confidential personal data, including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemised phone bills.

It states:

Most of the work was subcontracted to private investigators. A senior Metropolitan police officer claimed to have evidence that thousands of people in public life had had their phones hacked by agents working on behalf of papers. The victims included MPs, cabinet ministers, minor celebrities and sportsmen. The Scotland Yard files mirror parallel evidence compiled by the information commissioner, who uncovered thousands of examples of activity which was "certainly or very probably" illegal.

It's more like the mongrels of the dumbed down yellow press being off the leash isn't it. I wonder how the News of the World and the News Group Newspapers will run the public interest defence argument for these kind of invasion of privacy practices.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:02 PM | | Comments (6)


For many Australians, news in its traditional forms is no longer a daily priority and fewer people are turning to the traditional sources of news and current affairs – especially newspapers and TV. It’s the same older audience that watches news and current affairs programs.

News Ltd's relationship with politics is ridiculous.

They're critical of the ABC being a Labor recruiting ground, but somehow Switzer joining the Libs is ok. Same with the editor of News of the World, who is now David Cameron's advisor.

They're so embedded in conservative politics here, they practically *are* the opposition.

I don't understand why a Labor government would keep them on the drip feed, especially when there are so many ways to speak over and around them. Why knowingly host a parasite that means to kill you?

An insight into the tabloid culture:--confessions of a tabloid hack

the Murdoch press has a long record of winning pay-back from the political leaders it backs. Few media regulators have seriously challenged Murdoch's market power and his need for light regulation.

If that story is true then it's unlikely anything will come of this. Too many powerful people in the right places are implicated.

I don't think that a Parliamentary committee would wear being lied to by News International lightly. They have to save face.