Thursday, 14 July 2011

On the news media

I'm somewhat outside my area of expertise, but I figured "Get journalists to respect peoples privacy and not break the law in search of stories" how hard can it be?

Basically as far as I can tell there is a problem with journalists doing rather evil things in pursuit of a story, granted its somewhat less evil than William Randolph Hearst starting a war just so he can sell papers by writing about it but its still pretty bad stuff. I won't go into detail as I don't want to write about it. The thing is though, hacking is illegal, so is bribing policemen, as well as, last time I checked, filming people without their consent and attempting to access other peoples personal information, which raises a point as to how they get away with it. The answer is rather simple in that they don't have to tell anyone they do it, and that the people who know they do it are in on it.

So my solution to this is a rather simple one. Make them tell people they are doing it. To clarify, I would argue that it should be law that journalists must reveal their sources and if these sources were illegal, such as phone hacking or breaking into peoples houses and putting cameras there, then they would be arrested as is appropriate. Granted this would need to be coupled with measures to protect people who reveal the nefarious activities of governments and businesses, as well as greater transparency in government so that "whistle-blowing" isn't needed. This would also negate the ability of the press to print outright lies that a "senior civil servant" apparentaly said.

Also I'd probably have some kind of law placing further limits on the amount of media one individual/company etc can own, makes sense really.

I read the newspapers avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction- Aneurin "Nye" Bevan

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