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Change of a culture

July 9, 2011

All over the world the media has great power to manipulate, convince and influence both the public and the politicians; often it has been said that this is wrong though nothing has been done to change this.

The recent News of the world phone hacking scandal has brought this to light. Owned by media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, the newspaper is now being stopped with tomorrow being the last ever edition. There is already talk of another newspaper to replace it ‘the sunday sun.’

Although the phone hacking of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler is a legal and moral wrong which has caused her parents and society great distress, it uncovers a much greater issue – Why was nothing done? What is to be done now? Where is the judicial review?

Labour has written to No 10 to urge the immediate appointment of the judge to lead an inquiry into the scandal, whereas it seems the Conservatives want to wait for the police review to finish…which could take years indicating they want it to be buried behind future bad news.

Meanwhile, former NoW editor Andy Coulson, 43, was arrested on suspicion of conspiring to intercept communications and alleged corruption and former royal editor Clive Goodman, 53, who was jailed in 2007 for phone hacking, was arrested on suspicion of corruption.

Rebekah Brookes, the chief executive of news international has been called on by many fellow colleagues to resign, however she has not been fired. This decision has shocked many with announcements that this could change in the next few days as her position with the newspaper is being critically analysed.

In light of all this, there have been changes in the minds of the British public, can we really trust the media? A politicians problem is that they often over rely on the power of the media and under-estimate the common sense of the public, for example the last general election – the Sun newspaper heavily backed the Tories though this still did not lead them to an overall majority from the electorate.

Furthermore, the media, the police and the government need to decide who is responsible for this and how in future these people can be held to account.

A country where the media is patrolled by the government would not be a fair and democratic one (though arguably it already is!) so an independent body needs to have the power to review the media and have greater power to call figures such as James Murdoch to a select committee or an alternative to this. Following this David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg have called for the Press Complaints Commission to be scrapped following its handling of the News of the World (NoW) phone hacking scandal. However, they are independent so what power does parliament have to remove them?

This change in the way the public views the media will change the field of politics for years to come, so lets sit back and (HOPEFULLY) watch the executives be brought to justice.

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