Daily Mail accusing BBC of double standards? Come off it… For journalism’s sake

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An article on the Press Gazette‘s website today reported on the Daily Mail‘s criticism of the BBC, after the corporation admitted using private detectives at the Leveson Inquiry.

BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) Centre, London (Photo by Panhard).

BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) Centre, London (Photo by Panhard).

To me this is a rather foolish route to take, as not only does it reek of hypocrisy, it also does nothing to help journalism as a whole.

While obviously newspapers and broadcasters shouldn’t shy away from reporting about Leveson, because that would only breed more distrust in the industry, to resort to ‘infighting’ via editorials seems a bit cannibalistic and self-destructive.

Holding us back

It’s now clear to all that virtually every news organisation has turned to underhand tactics at one time or another, but to continue dragging them up and mudslinging won’t help us move forward.

It will only do the opposite and hold us back.

Clearly the Daily Mail’s agenda against the BBC comes into this issue as well, and the fact the BBC used licence fee payers’ money on PIs adds a different angle too, but continued attacks will only damage journalism’s integrity. This is a time when news organistions should be speaking to one another to try to move the industry forward, not just squabbling about who’s to blame.

Read more of Wordsmith:

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Sorry MacKenzie, you’re speaking rubbish

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

Great Metro headline

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So much to do, so little time…

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Sorry folks, no real post today. We got our ethics essay questions today, and to ‘test’ our journalistic skills we have to answer them by Friday, which means all hands to the pump at the moment.

In many ways this is my last assignment for my journalism course, as after this it’s just exams and housekeeping. Quite sad in a lot of ways, but such is life…

Hopefully I’ll be able to get back to posting tomorrow. Sayonara for now!

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.

Read more of Wordsmith:

Japan earthquake shows importance of rolling news

Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and NI bomb Libya link

‘Hypocritical’ Clegg hammered as Sun leads witch hunt

Sun and Mirror get Rooney fever over his ‘Coke’ problems

Sorry MacKenzie, you’re speaking rubbish

Sorry ex-Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, you’re speaking rubbish again

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So Kelvin, as you say in today’s Independent, you’d shut all the journalism colleges down eh?

He proclaims “there’s nothing you can learn in three years studying media at university that you can’t learn in just one month on a local paper.”

That, for a start, is completely wrong.

If you’re to become a complete journalist and learn the real necessary skills needed, you need some kind of training.

Learning the skills

 How else will you learn about subbing, design, layout, interviewing, headline writing, use of pictures and how to structure a story to make it interesting, all at the same time?

If you took “the old-school route” as he puts it, you would be thrust into the job without having a clue how to juggle these requirements.

Yes, you would learn some basic stuff, but not very well or in any great depth.

No time to fail

On papers you don’t have time to fail, because of the pressure on you and the hundreds of people waiting to take your job.

You need time to make mistakes and learn from them, and learn about how a newsroom works before being thrown into one.

Best in the business

 There’s a reason I’m studying journalism at UCLan. And that’s so I can learn from some of the best former, or practicing, journalists out there.

The skills I now have can be applied to a vast plethora of jobs, not least PR, advertising, marketing, copywriting…the list goes on, and it’s a long one.

MacKenzie is living in a dream world if he thinks it’s that easy to “go straight from school and join the local press.”

Read more of Wordsmith:

Rupert Murdoch’s media monopoly

Japan earthquake shows importance of rolling news

Clarkson’s affair ‘exposed’ and NI bomb Libya link

‘Hypocritical’ Clegg hammered as Sun leads witch hunt

Sun and Mirror get Rooney fever over his ‘Coke’ problems

Japanese earthquake shows importance of rolling news

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Journalism has often been described as the first draft of history. No incident shows this fact off more than the recent disaster in Japan.

Incredible footage and images have been broadcast worldwide, showing the destructive power of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

The plight faced by the people of Japan is all too apparent, as the continuous news stream has shown us all what’s happening.

When seeing this, something which will become part of history and written about years from now, it’s hard to deny the importance of reporting it.

Not only does it mean we can help by sending relief as soon as possible. It also means we can learn from it.

Scrutiny

We can scrutinise how the government deals with it. We can make sure we are all more prepared for such disasters in the future.

Many people deride the way the news is now shown 24/7. They say it causes them to sensationalise every story and resort to using reams of user generated content.

These points are, for the most part, valid. But when it comes to these, thankfully, rare events, journalists step up to the mark.

Human right

It’s an essential human right nowadays to know what is happening in the world, and journalism provides this function.

As this massive event unfolds further, the story will keep changing and evolving. We owe it those poor people in Japan affected by it to record what happens.

Only then can we know, and be compassionate. And only then can the truth be documented seamlessly for future generations.

Read more of Wordsmith:

Rupert Murdoch’s media monopoly

Celebrity gossip: Why people love it

Related:

Red Cross

BBC Japan coverage