X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week. If you receive it, you’ll also find your subscriber number at the top of our weekly highlights email.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.spectator.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050. If you’ve only just subscribed, you may not yet have been issued with a subscriber number. In this case you can use the temporary web ID number, included in your email order confirmation.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

If you have any difficulties creating an account or logging in please take a look at our FAQs page.

Blogs

What happens when journalists become the story?

28 January 2011

3:58 PM

28 January 2011

3:58 PM

When spin doctors become the story or spokesmen need a spokesman, we know the game is
up. So say Alastair Campbell and Andy Coulson, and they should know. So what happens when journalists become the story?  

The re-opening of the investigation into News of the World phone-hacking case has sent a chill across Fleet Street. Collectively, journalists really had hoped this would go away. A prurient
interest in the private lives of stars and public figures is nothing new. The pressures of a tabloid newsroom are immense, and it should come as no surprise that journalists looking for an edge
were prepared to take such technological liberties. But no one could have predicted that this would snowball to quite this extent.

[Alt-Text]


What is now happening with the News of the World has the potential to shake up journalism just as the expenses scandal shook up politics. And in a sense one is the natural extension of the other.
For too long an endemic cynicism poisoned the political culture to such an extent that no one thought anything was a story any more. But the MPs’ expenses scandal means that it is no longer
possible to shrug at low-level corruption in British politics. The investigation into the activities of journalists at the News of the World could do the same for journalism. A quick glance at the
Information Commisioner’s report from December 2006 into the use of private detectives by journalists will demonstrate just how prevalent this practice was.

Four years ago, the Information Commissioner tallied up over 300 employees of newspapers and magazines who used private detectives to access personal information. I would suggest that it was
difficult to work in a newsroom at the time and not know this was going on. There are a lot of people out there in journo-land who will continue to shift uncomfortably in their seats and hope that
this whole sorry affair blows over.

Give something clever this Christmas – a year’s subscription to The Spectator for just £75. And we’ll give you a free bottle of champagne. Click here.


Show comments
Close