Monday, November 21, 2011

Celebrities turn spotlight on press at UK inquiry

"Hollywood stars and other high-profile figures will try to turn the tables on Britain's celebrity-obsessed press this week when they put newspapers under the spotlight at a public inquiry into media standards.
The likes of "Notting Hill" actor Hugh Grant will join parents of murder victims to spell out how they and their families have suffered from a ruthless hunt for stories to boost flagging paper sales and sate a public's clamor for gossip about the rich and famous.
From a phone-hacking scandal which has engulfed Rupert Murdoch's News Corp empire to the use of "chequebook journalism," the tactics of Britain's notoriously aggressive press will be exposed in detail.
Stewart Purvis, professor of television journalism at London's City University said it would be "a trial of the British popular press."
"What we're going to hear next week are almost the prosecution witnesses. It's going to be very powerful television," he told Sky News.
Prime Minister David Cameron ordered the inquiry in July after revelations that journalists from the News of the World, part of Murdoch's British stable, had hacked the phone of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler who was later found murdered.
Dowler's parents, who were also hacked, will be the first to give evidence on Monday. Grant, actress Sienna Miller and "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling will be among those appearing this week.
Last Wednesday, the lawyer representing 51 clients who say they have suffered at the hands of the press delivered a withering critique of newspapers which he said had resorted to unacceptable, "tawdry" tactics to find exclusives.
Three of those he represents say they believed papers' hounding had contributed to family members committing suicide or attempting to kill themselves.
"When people talk of public interest in exposing the private lives of well-known people or those close to them, this is the real, brutally real impact which this kind of journalism has," lawyer David Sherborne said.
All were targeted to get stories to make money for the papers, he told the inquiry. "That's why it was done: to sell newspapers. Not to detect crime or to expose wrongdoing, not to protect society or for the public good."
Most of the focus of the inquiry so far has fallen on News International, the British arm of News Corp, whose lawyer has admitted that phone-hacking was widespread until 2007, when one reporter was jailed, and possibly beyond. (...)"


Vague Raconteur said...

About time too. Journalists show so little respect to people and the terrible things that have happened to them, feeding off it like parasites.

November 21, 2011 at 9:37 PM
Michael Westside said...

I totally agree full heartly with Vauge

November 22, 2011 at 4:09 PM
Foxzero said...

haha actually i think we all wanted that to happen since very long time =3 to the point that wanted to kill one hahaha

November 23, 2011 at 10:07 AM
Anonymous said...

Absolutely! They go too far all the time

November 23, 2011 at 10:15 AM

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