So Murdoch’s News of the World ‘hacked’ phones. So what?

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Is there anything wrong with phone hacking? I have to say, I don’t think there is.

Let’s face it, this kind of thing has been going on for years. To say it’s only a tactic that’s been used by the News of the World is too naive.

Journalists come and go between newspapers all the time, and so do their methods of getting stories.

All newspapers

I would bet at one time or another, all newspapers have accessed voice mails and messages in this manner.

But what’s the problem? Journalists uphold standards of journalism, and journalism in turn upholds standards of democracy.

News has a crucial role in holding to account those who need to be held to account.

Yep, in the public interest

The defence of ‘in the public interest’ has been used many times, but that’s because it’s such an important one.

As a society we deserve to know what those in power and positions of responsibility are actually doing.

It’s through methods like this (though not directly) vital stories about MP’s expenses and injustices have come to light. Surely that’s benefited society?

If those people who are being ‘hacked’ have done nothing wrong, then they have nothing to fear.

Celeb double standards

But what about celebrities? Don’t they deserve better? Well arguably yes.

But they can’t have their cake and eat it.

If they truly want privacy, why are they staging shots for the paps and doing everything they can to stay in the public eye.

You can’t phone a photographer to tell them where you’ll be to get your picture on page three of the Daily Mirror one minute, and then be complain when they try to get your messages the next. Double standards?

Our conversations have been listened to for years by the government’s own hacks as they bring about a Big Brother state.

I’d say that’s more worrying than some millionaire actor or politician being rightly held to account.

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Today’s paper roundup: Jeremy Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and Northern Ireland bomb in Libya link

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Forget the crisis in Libya. Jeremy Clarkson’s apparent affair is obviously much more important.

At least that’s what today’s Daily Mirror believes.

 Their front-page story is an “exclusive” (always be wary about that word) about the Top Gear presenter with a “secret lover.”

Overboard

Clearly tabloids thrive on celebrity news, but today they really seem to have gone overboard. “Clarkson’s mistress” adorns page one, while two and three are taken up by Charlie Sheen’s latest antics.

 Pages four and five then give us another double dose about the BBC star before we get to any serious news on page six.

Don’t get me wrong, I like celeb rubbish as much as the next person, but with such serious things happening elsewhere this does seem a little extreme.

Luckily The Daily Telegraph gives us a sense of reality. Their splash about Gaddafi reports on how he could soon stand down after a “growing realisation” strikes the Libyan leader.

The second main story is also very interesting, regarding the death of police officer Ronan Kerr in Northern Ireland. It claims the bomb which killed him could have been “supplied to the IRA” by Libya.

Strange

 It’s very strange to think these two stories, seemingly completely unrelated on the face of it, may actually be linked.

However, even The Telegraph can’t resist a bit of royal dabbling, with Camilla and Prince Charles the main picture on the front-page. Everyone loves a bit of royal news…don’t they?

The Times runs with a worrying story for the Tory leader David Cameron about his NHS reforms, with the PM being accused of having “lost control”.

The paper clearly sees the issue as a significant one for the government, using emotive phrases like as he “scrambles to prevent the coalition from splitting” to portray Cameron’s dilemma.

 Interestingly, the paper also runs with a comment piece on the front-page about Gaddafi.

 This is certainly something which you don’t see often, which reflects the scale of the crisis.

Read more of Wordsmith:

Celeb Gossip: Why people love it

Rupert Murdoch’s media monopoly

Japan earthquake shows importance of rolling news

Matt Baker: David Cameron’s nemesis