It is easy to criticize the alleged, deplorable actions of News of the World. However, it is important to remember that in the past, there have also been other newspapers that could be accused of inappropriate behaviour.
In order to win the circulation war, it is evident that staff at News of the World, were allowed to resort to any measures necessary to break new stories.
Similarly in 2009, to increase circulation, a quality newspaper editor – with his newspaper strapped for cash and fighting for survival – decided to take advantage of Dubai’s woes during the credit crunch. He sent his prize winning young journalist to Dubai to write a strong and shocking article. The eager journalist did not disappoint. He came back with an inaccurate, one-sided horror story portraying Dubai as a harsh and backward city.
However, once the newspaper was challenged by people including myself who know Dubai well, it could not produce any evidence to substantiate any of its comments. The journalist who published the article, has now admitted that he had invented witnesses for one of his other articles.
In response, I wrote an open letter dated 16 April 2009, titled THE DARK SIDE OF BRITISH JOURNALISM, where I stated that by allowing the publication of inaccurate articles, newspapers risked losing their credibility as well as the trust and confidence of their readers.
I believe it is rather insulting and bizarre, that the same newspaper which sacrificed truth and integrity to sell more papers, is now one of the biggest critics of the News of the World’s actions. The pot is now calling the kettle black.