Thursday, 12 March 2009

Lloyd nearly right shock

I usually disagree strongly with John Lloyd, formerly of the New Statesman, particularly his thesis that journalists should be more trusting of politicians. But I find myself agreeing with a lot of what he says in a post last night on Comment is Free - up to a point.

Essentially, Lloyd picks up on what Max Mosley and Gerry McCann said to the to the culture media and sport select committee - that media invasions of their privacy and fabricated stories had been deeply damaging. He shoots down Mail editor Paul Dacre's view that sexual exposes are necessary to enforce sexual morality and - worse - to fund tabloid political coverage.

But Lloyd loses the plot towards the end of the piece, agreeing with McCann:
that the press had to have tighter regulation if harm to reputations, families and private lives were to be avoided.
I would insert the qualification unnecessary in front of "harm". People cannot always be protected from damage to reputations etc and should not be so protected when a genuine public interest in exposing something rotten outweighs the harm.

As Lloyd puts it himself, shortly after setting morality above truth:
Journalism finds its calling in trying to ascertain the truth, and in providing a platform for diverse views. The rest is for the law, religion and conscience.

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