I’ve always been a big believer in newspapers and have always preferred to read them in life than online. Ever since I was young my father and I would fight over the newspaper in the morning and they’ve made me want to become a journalist. It’s always interesting to receive people’s reaction when you say this would be your future job of choice. The reaction has changed somewhat recently as you can imagine, now instead of ‘oh good for you, it’s tough out there but I’m sure you’ll do well’ is now usually met with begrudging looks and tales of friends of friends involved in any form of recent Newscorp scandal.
I’ve found myself in hot water over recent months when speaking about these recent disgraces with friends and stood up for the News of The World. Even though I don’t condone their actions, I have said in the past that the public have been slightly to blame with regards to ‘hackgate’ by not making a bigger fuss when it only involved celebrities but as soon as it slightly crosses a morality line, they can cry moral outrage. I do mainly still believe this as I have to wonder why should any other person’s right to privacy be denied in a pay out whereas another’s right can close down a national newspaper.
Gordon Brown yesterday came out and told about how The Sun immorally used his son’s Cystic Fibrosis to sell newspapers and illegally obtained documents to prove the disease. Finally, a case for both sides! Only a politician could bring the celebrity side and the moral outrage cry together. So what did The Sun do this morning? Printed the most in your face headline imaginable. Newscorp haven’t said one single thing defending their actions until today and this is how it’s done? With not a shred of dignity or class left, the headline simply reads ‘BROWN WRONG’. That the Browns knew they were going to run the story because Rebekah Brooks called the ex-PM and told him they planned to do so, that they were told by a member of the public and not by accessing any medical accounts. Have the newspapers finally lost it? Are they so out of touch that they do not realise that this damning headline has just lead to trending twitter topics such as ‘boycott the sun’? Do they seriously believe that just because they’ve said ‘no, we told him’ that it’s ok?
Rebekah Brooks is quite clearly crazy, this was confirmed after I did a little background reading and remembered her attempted assault on her ex husband, a little known man named Ross Kemp. It never has been or never will be ok to gossip of someone’s illnesses and as a newspaper they went about it so wrong. Why didn’t Brooks just ask him for an interview speaking out about it? It’s easier, the Browns could have had time to prepare what to say, to raise awareness and to get the story out in their own way. Instead The Sun as usual, filled with class, beat him to the punch.
The British newspapers were once my favourite thing of the day, now I find myself cringing at their headlines for a fear of what malicious statement they’re going to make next. My faith in them has been shattered and I have started to question myself for wanting to go into journalism. It’s safe to say that I will never read a News International paper again and have firmly swapped over to The Guardian.