Originally posted by detachedindividual
I agree to a point, but I also agree that journalists need to be pushing this, and they can keep investigating and opening a route for whistle-blowers who might feel that this is becoming another whitewash.
Of course, the journalists job is to present information for the public to assess, and they have been doing that job in this respect. But they should also keep the pressure on and provide information as the investigation continues. That is the best way, IMO, to better ensure that justice is actually being done.
On the subject of the media and tabloids etc, it all comes down to one thing for me when it comes to the legalities of their information gathering (the whole phone hacking scandal etc.)
The notion of "in the public interest" has been warped and redefined. The trashy tabloids like to pretend that "in the public interest" means anything they think anyone would have the slightest interest in, from the size of Jordan's boobs to the weight of a Hollywood star.
In reality, "in the public interest" means stories that the public has a RIGHT to know about, such as police and government corruption or instances where a cover-up has taken place.
The media should get back to actually reporting based on the idea of what is in the public interest, and that doesn't mean they have the right to hack phones to find out which celeb might be sleeping with another.
This case would be one of those that is most definitely in the public interest, as it involves the potential criminal activity of politicians and BBC staff (who are all paid to provide services to the public), and it involves criminal acts against children.
This is completely different to gossip, and true investigative journalism should continue unabated in this case. I would expect the press to use whatever legal methods they can to uncover the story, while doing so in a way that will not jeopardise the case or accuse innocent people.
But the press are pushing it. As has been pointed out by myself and others, journalists did the leg work decades ago only for it to hit a brick wall with the police and, since the Savile story actually made it to the papers, it's been pretty much front page news ever since. I'm really struggling to understand what people expect of journalists here at a time when there's only about 60% of paid journalists in work compared to about a decade ago.
The public interest point is a little fuzzy as how do you define 'public interest'? It's too easy a manipulated concept to be of any real worth. It wasn't that long ago that the press thought tapping into Milly Dowler was in the public's interest. The Sun and the Daily Mail created a paedophile scare out of public interest that saw a paediatrician attacked. The press was fairly complicit in a Satanic Ritual Abuse in the early 1990s with disastrous results. Rupert Murdoch increasing his influence over the media could easily be presented as being in the 'public's interest' too by Sky journalists and executives: print a few BBC 'waste' stories and people