Five (random) thoughts about phone-hacking and ethical standards

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Phillips, Hari, News of the World. Not been a great week or so for journalism, has it?

Five thoughts, and then I’m stepping away from this for a while:

  • You really don’t need 1000 words from me on this topic, because every other journalism blogger will already have done it.
  • Journalists are normally quite ready to tar whole groups of people with the same brush: football fans, bloggers and immigrants all know this well. Yet, suddenly, when it’s our reputation on the line, it’s important to distinguish the bad few from the good majority…
  • Those old arguments about journalists being so much more professional and ethical than bloggers have had a grave dug for them by Johann Hari, and the News of the World folks are busy burying the coffin.
  • It’s natural that journalists have a slightly skewed sense of how important “the story” is. What’s building suggests a systemic problem where “the story” becomes more important that ethics or facts. Our industry needs a perspective check.
  • The Guardian deserves respect for pursuing the phone hacking story with such vigour, and the New Statesman has earned my respect for not letting Hari off the hook just because he’s “one of” them.

Adam Tinworth Twitter

Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.