Thursday 17 April 2014

Time to reflect

• With the publication of the Leveson Report into the standards and practices of the British media, one wonders how journalists themselves feel about all of the attention.

Do they now regret their attitudes? Have they finally realised that the concept of 'freedom of the press', while essential to democracy, did not justify crimes like corruption, breaching privacy and ignoring the ethics of their chosen profession.

They, who were always so quick to see the faults in others, must now do a post mortem on their own behaviour. These 'physicians' of British democracy must now heal themselves.

But we, the public, must realise that this is not just about the privacy of celebrities. It's about the relentless pursuit of a story, and profits, at all costs. Not only did they hack the phones and email accounts of people as diverse as politicians, murder victims' families, JK Rowling and the royal family, they bribed and encouraged others to do it.

People we trust with protecting our privacy, like the police and government officials, were co-opted and coerced into compromising our personal security.

It could have been anyone if they had been in something 'big' enough to warrant the media vultures' attention.

But while we see the faults in others with this scandal, we must also accept that we too played a part in creating this problem every time we bought one of these tabloids, with their overt invasion into the private lives of various people and said nothing about their methods.

The Press aren't the only ones in the spotlight over the phone-hacking scandal. We, the public, are too.

Colin Smith
Clara, Co Offaly

Irish Independent

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