13 January 2007

Unethical tactics exposed

And rightly so...

Browsing other blogs this morning, I dropped by Girl With A One Track Mind, which I enjoy dipping into occasionally. Hell, I even bought the book! I hadn't read her blog for a while, but I was delighted to see that she'd decided to out the news editor of the Sunday Times - this was Nicholas Hellen, who sent Abby Lee a rather nasty email in which he detailed exactly how he planned to out her, and her mother.

Such tactics disgust me (that'll be the Sunday Times' tactics, not Lee's, which I think were entirely justified). In our media-savvy, celebrity-obsessed world, we all know that papers can and will stoop very low, but Hellen's activities were the lowest. Abby Lee is not a celebrity (and even if she was, I don't approve of such methods), she's simply a woman who enjoys sex. And she's entitled to a private life. Now, some may argue that blogging about her sex life in the public domain means she's lost her right to privacy. I disagree. Hellen's outing of Lee served no purpose other than to attempt to increase his paper's declining sales.

Hellen would be better off using his talents, if he has any, to expose government cover-ups, corrupt businessmen and other stuff that genuinely deserves to be put into the public arena.

There's much debate in journalistic circles about the planned new law on privacy - many journalists fear it will restrict their right to report stories. As it may, but the press has only itself to blame after years of publishing non-stories about ordinary people's private lives. I, for one, welcome the new law. Because, let's face it, while Hellen and his ilk continue to print this kind of muck, it makes me ashamed to be part of the profession of journalism.

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