Ah the double-edged sword of technology: yesterday I managed to spark a very interesting debate during a Skype interview for Radio 5’s ‘Double Take’ regarding the Leveson inquiry. However, just as things were getting interesting- and before I could voice some of my key points- the connection was cut and I was left stranded in my home office.
The debate proceeded, the media machine turned, and I was powerless to change or influence it, or to explain my true point in any audible way. See any analogues?
The problem that the hacking scandal and the Leveson inquiry have thrown up is that, for most people, the media acts in just this way but writ large. It tantalises the average person as it touches on their daily lives, yet it is ultimately a mysterious and unalterable process to them. When Jane Garvey asked me to clarify what it was I do this was brought home to me- would she ask the same of a solicitor or accountant?
The squabbles between the media and the famous are elevated to epic battles in the eyes of the public, who witness them through a filter. The reality is that this is a procedural question as complex and unromantic as its equivalent in any business. With tabloid journalism now largely driven by showbiz, and the public’s appetite for stories as ravenous and insatiable as ever, certain questions need to be asked and decisions made. However, they need to be made in a measured and demystified manner.
It would be better both for the media and for those in the public eye (who most often suffer the same banal problems as the rest of us) if the voodoo was stripped away.