Former prime minister Paul Keating has attacked Australia's Press Council and said the phone hacking scandal in England could have happened here. In a broadside against media self-regulation Mr Keating also said it was "beyond doubt" that News Ltd papers in Australia were out to destroy the Gillard government.
Asked on ABC TV about the News of the World phone hacking scandal Mr Keating said people who had their privacy invaded should have a right of action.
"One thing for sure comes out of this and that is self-regulation by the media is a joke," Mr Keating said. "People shouldn't have a right to appeal about invasions of their privacy to some body funded by newspapers, they should have a right at law," he said. The News of the World was closed by owner Rupert Murdoch amid growing revelations about the activities by some staff came to light.
There was evidence that the paper had generated stories by hacking mobile phone messages of celebrities, families of dead war veterans, and even a missing 13-year-old girl. "It could have happened in Australia," Mr Keating said. He also said it was clear News Ltd papers were at war with the Gillard government, although he was not certain whether such a directive would have come from Mr Murdoch.
The Daily Telegraph newspaper had called for an early election because its editors felt such a move would see the government defeated, Mr Keating said. "Ministers are saying News Ltd is after regime change, and I think how can you read it any other way?" he said.
He said a bid by Sky News, which is partly owned by Mr Murdoch, to win the rights to broadcast Australia's overseas news network could be hampered by the phone hacking scandal in England. "If there were important findings about these matters in England it must materially affect things here," Mr Keating said.
Author | Source | 7 News AAP |
It always concerns me when I read in an article that the journlist/author quotes 'party sources' or 'unidentified sources.' That is the perfect segue for saying by unlawful means.
The Press cannot self regulate for the same reasons that politicans or police officers can not self regulate themselves.
I believe that if jouranlists can not name their sources then that article should not proceed to print.