A new report from the head of a major inquiry into British media standards suggested that the British press should institute an independent regulator. The report is a response to a history of questionable practices by British tabloids, including the infamous Rupert Murdoch phone hacking scandals, which triggered the inquiry.
Hundreds of witnesses testified over several months to help provide evidence. The tabloids’ invasive measures have been admonished by politicians and other press outlets as violations of privacy. The head of the inquiry has put it to the politicians to decide how to regulate the press – already, there has been outcry from media and government, including Prime Minister David Cameron, who voiced his wariness “of any legislation that has the potential to infringe free speech and the free press.”
Should government statutes regulate the press, or should any ‘policing’ be instituted voluntarily by the media? How far is too far when it comes to privacy -- what sorts of practices are too invasive? Is there a difference between exposing crimes and exposing fodder for gossip? How would the American press fare if there were a hacking scandal involving Hollywood tabloids?
Jose Lambiet, veteran gossip writer and columnist; Publisher, GossipExtra.com