It is interesting to enter the media industry as an Editor, just as the UK phone hacking scandal and subsequent investigations are in full swing. What was the initial impact? A whistleblower is dead and resignations by the London Met’s two top police officers followed the shutdown of a recognised and established media publication. Quite an astounding chain of events and will undoubtedly lead to a major overhaul of media, government and police interaction.
Having conducted ‘lawful’ telephone interception operations, I can appreciate the degree of personal invasion this level of surveillance provides. However, for corruption to have become endemic and sustained in an organisation, albeit a media organisation, is no surprise and nothing new. Although in different contexts, and with different names and organisations involved, this has all happened before and most likely will happen again, in one form or another.
Humans have an inert vulnerability to collude and conspire together and act unlawfully and corruptly, often with the motive of personal gain or malicious intent. In the News of the World case, it involved the intention of public news generation and ultimately profit. From the police and government perspective, it smells of corruption or stinks of negligence of duty. The conduct of private investigators, protocols of telecommunication companies, and insufficient corporate governance within News Corp all helped, to varying degrees, to facilitate the scandal.
From time to time, there is a need for people, in whatever capacity they have, to take a good hard look at themselves and ask the question, “is what I’m doing and how I’m behaving morally and ethically balanced” because if it’s not, there is no end to the type of fascinating scandals that can occur.
Crime, fraud and misconduct is widespread throughout society and will be never ending, it is simply the way humans are and how we interact. Not without reason, it is the human propensity to act corruptly which corresponds to our fundamental need for security…To read more subscribe to the magazine today!