The phone-hacking row in the UK reflects the deep ambivalence inherent in public regard (or otherwise) for tabloid journalism in that country.
Far more popular than “serious” broadsheets, they have over the years become objects of loathing for many owing to their rather aggressive brand of journalism. This revulsion turned into an outpouring of public disgust when the aggression took the form of snooping into the phone records of a murdered teen—one of a long list of alleged infractions by the News of the World. Caught up in the controversy are the British government, the world’s foremost media mogul and his plan to take over all of UK satellite broadcaster BSkyB (See Page 24)
The result of the various investigations should reveal who exactly did what to whom, but the worst thing that could happen, just because the climate is right, would be stringent new laws that will make the practice of journalism more difficult in a country where the rules are already quite tough.