Sunday, 9 November 2008

Danger: Daily Mail at work

I'm slightly worried that not only did the last post on this blog have a touch of the Daily Mail about it, but now I find myself nodding along to Paul Dacre's keynote address to the Society of Editors conference, too.

Whatever you think of the Mail's politics, I think you'll have to grudgingly admit that the man at the top had a point today when he held forth about the NOTW Max Mosley payout.

"The British press is having a privacy law imposed on it, which is, I would argue, undermining the ability of mass circulation newspapers to sell newspapers in an ever more difficult market.
"The law is not coming from Parliament - no, that would smack of democracy - but from the arrogant and amoral judgements, words I use very deliberately, of one man.
"I am referring, of course, to Justice David Eady who has, again and again, under the privacy clause of the Human Rights Act, found against newspapers and their age-old freedom to expose the moral shortcomings of those in high places.
"What is most worrying about Justice Eady’s decisions is that he is ruling that - when it comes to morality - the law in Britain is now effectively neutral, which is why I accuse him, in his judgments, of being 'amoral'.
"Surely the greatest scandal is that while London boasts scores of eminent judges, one man is given a virtual monopoly of all cases against the media enabling him to bring in a privacy law by the back door."

I'm glad to see the Mail using it's mighty voice for good - especially as Max is off to the European Court of Human Rights in an attempt to muzzle the press yet further.

There's a danger that I'll end up a DM devotee, sorry, reader, if he keeps on like this - don't even get me started on his criticism of the BBC.

Thirdly, something must be done about my favourite bĂȘte noire: the ever growing ubiquity of the BBC. For make no mistake, we are witnessing the seemingly inexorable growth of what is effectively a dominant state-sponsored news service.
The corporation has all but seen off ITV’s news services, both nationally and locally, has crippled commercial radio, is distorting the free market for internet newspapers and now, with its preposterous proposal for 65 ultra local websites, is going for the jugular of the local newspaper industry. Lines must be drawn in the sand.

Anyone working in regional news will tell you he's got a point.


Old Reprobate said...

If it helps prevent your becoming "a DM devotee"... [& if you haven't already read it] this may help put Mr Dacre & his 'rant' into a more balanced context:... ... particularly the paragraph about Faye Turney. Oh and some of the comments are quite enlightening too. X

eric the fish said...

Of course, Dacre's rant over the BBC (and his paper's daily assault on it)has nowt to do with the Mail Group having a 20% stake in ITN.

There is a certain irony in his paper's readership constantly calling for the scrapping of the licence fee given his tears over the apparent failure of the commercial sector to compete.

A bit like all the private banks and services calling for state help at the moment.


Eric The Squish (doesn't work does it?)