The credibility of both Newspapers and Journalists were dealt a devastating blow earlier this month following the collapse of Rupert Murdoch’s Tabloid Tyrant, The News of the World.
The collapse happened after a devastating couple of weeks for the company whose recent phone hacking scandal exploded into the public arena and the company watched as their intrusion upon civilian liberties was exhibited for the world to see. As the situation continued to spread across the globe, the free press began to publicly reassess both the future of Murdoch’s Monopoly and the steps that must be taken to maintain the mass’ faith in the media. It forced many areas within the media and Government to re-evaluate the influence of Murdoch’s monopoly and even to condemn Murdoch’s illegal intrusion into British public life.
The exposure of hacking scandal came at an extremely unfortunate time for the media tycoon who was forced to abandon his BSkyB bid, and watch as News Corp. came under threat of collapse after its Wall Street stocks fell by almost 8%. The social fallout of Murdoch’s actions symbolised an obvious testament of the public’s unwillingness to allow their liberties to be invaded. And sadly the continued unwillingness of Murdoch’s monopoly to bow to the public’s will has not only damaged the credibility of his own profession but also undermined the reliability of all other media sources.
The damage caused by Hackgate can be seen across all public media spheres, with many national and international papers (not owned by Rupert Murdoch) speculating their own fallout from the hacking scandal. Recently Britain’s ‘The Guardian’ and the U.S. based ‘Washington Post’ printed articles exploring the changes of public opinion towards the credibility of the free press and the changes that they may be forced to make. Recent data released by Britain’s ‘YouGov’ revealed that 78% of the voters believed that the nation’s tabloid press is spiralling out of control, and only 69% of voters recognised the flaws of generalising all journalism as now being corrupt. It is clear that the world’s media are suffering from Murdoch’s actions and the longer the case drags on, the more damage will be.
The big issue that British Press now face is how to rebuild and secure the public’s trust whilst tackling the issues of educating the public to distinguish between the credible media sources and their detrimental counterparts. For now, those in the media must tread carefully and ensure that they only ever exhibit legal press allegations, and guarantee that those undermining the honest journalists are exposed for both their peers and public to see.