Friday, July 08, 2011

The only way is ethics

Even before the news broke yesterday that the News of the Screws was being shut down, I had a feeling something game changing was in the offing. It wasn't ever going to be about the government squaring up to Murdoch, he changed the debate and moved it on. And I can't recall anyone suggesting the NOTW be closed in order to atone for this nonsense.

But what are the deeper lessons and how are they going to play out? How will this impact on journalism? I had an intruiging chat to Liam Fogarty about this yesterday. He also teaches on the journalism course at UCLAN. We were both in agreement about a need to reinforce the ethical heart of journalism and storytelling. So much of the cruelty and meaness of everyday life stems from a diminishing of this. There has to be a recasting of the purpose of journalism from the ground up now. Not just the teaching of the law and the rules, but of the nobility of fairness and accuracy. 

1 comment:

George Dearsley said...

The real journalism is being done in the provinces, where legions of hard grafting (but very poorly paid) souls are keeping an eye on institutions and maintaining the fabric of communities. National papers (certainly the red tops) are mostly run by hugely cynical and often amoral people, trapped in a cycle of "need to do whatever the proprietor says to pay the mortgage and ex-wife". They rule the proles who are nowadays often very green and just follow orders. A huge amount of what appears is simply fiction. All very depressing. The hacking scandal won't be a watershed in "cleansing" journalism'll just accelerate the downward sales trend.