What Caused The End of ‘The World’? - Page 2
The modern world is riven by hate even as it is perversely melded by mutual loathing. Do newspapers and their writers merely reflect this or are they the partial cause?
As a kid I was told that the job of a (local) journalist was to make celebrities of nonentities. That explains a lot!
I also remember learning three-times Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin’s scathing censure of the British newspaper barons, Lords Rothermere and Beaverbrook.
During a speech on March 17 1931, using a phrase borrowed from his cousin, Rudyard Kipling, he claimed that their privilege was “power without responsibility - the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.”
Nothing has changed during the past 80 years. It’s just got much worse. The Murdochs did not close the NoW to save Rebekah Brooks’s role as chief executive of News International but to save their News Corporation and more specifically their plan to own BSkyB (British Sky Broadcasting).
The past fortnight has been woefully sad for British journalism. First there were the allegations of intellectual theft by award-winning writer, Johann Hari – and now …
The conclusion is bound to involve a radical overhaul of British news practice - both electronic and print - with yet more stringent laws against contempt, libel, intrusion and privacy.
But those worst off will be the poor souls scribbling for small, undistinguished regional papers - should these impoverished publications survive. Such people’s working lives will be made yet more miserable by strictures designed for the large publications but which are certain to affect them.
However, there is one further twist in this awful saga which yesterday was highlighted by columnist and pro-Israel activist Melanie Phillips. If the Murdochs are forced to leave Britain, the anti-American, anti-Israel consensus will prevail. That is not good news.