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Anorak | News of The World versus the BBC: who wins?

News of The World versus the BBC: who wins?

by | 12th, November 2012

BBC closes News of The World versus the BBC: who wins?

WHAT’s worse, then, the BBC calling an innocent man a paedo and celebrating a guilty man who was, or the News of the World for hacking phones? The NoW died. The BBC carries on.

John Ware writes for the The Observer. We’ve changed a few of the words, which are highlighted:

The resignation of Rebekah Wade as News International director general is both a personal tragedy and a hammer-blow for News International. In just a matter of weeks, the senior management seems to have collapsed into a dysfunctional heap under the strain of first the Milly Dowling and then the Hugh Grant crises.

The irony is, as Michael Grade used to say, when he ran Channel 4: “It’s News International that keeps us honest.” That was true then, and it remains true today, despite the trouble that Wade’s resignation has prompted.

Almost every week, one News International title or another breaks a story with something new, important and interesting to say…

The News of The World – the programme I worked on for 25 years – has been right on song recently, with some hard-hitting investigations, most notably corruption in Pakistani cricket and unconscionable lying by Tory Boss Jeffrey Archer. In the latter case, the culprit has just been jailed.

At almost every level, News International journalism illuminates areas of our national life, and around the world, with a care and precision unmatched by other media outlets. On any objective view, News International is overwhelmingly a force for good and understanding. And this really is the point. The News of the World debacle is an aberration.

The News International legal department is used to dealing almost on a daily basis with highly explosive material. Some of its lawyers could earn a fortune in public practice but settle for lower salaries because they believe in the moral purpose of public service broadcasting.

It is easy to imagine the News of The World wishing to redeem its pride, built up from an impressive record of investigative journalism – phone-hacking allegations at the Sunday Mirror; dodgy metal hip replacements; Whitehall officials in tax avoidance deals; to name only a few – all of which would have been scrutinised in the referral process. But was the Dowling story subjected to the usual referral process? Not quite, it seems. The Milly Dowling crisis has caused such paralysis at the top of News International that the people who normally would have been consulted, were, I am told, not directly involved on this occasion…

We could have picked many other articles to have altered. But you get the gist…

 



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