Monday, 18 July 2011

Keating lets fire on media self-regulation

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 |

My View

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.


  1. Alison Alloway19 July 2011 at 08:39

    Well said Ross. I recall reading Mark Latham's autobiography (you should read it!) which contained raging, ranting accusations of media leaks by ALP colleagues and party officials. He particularly and bitterly blamed Kevin Rudd for leaking private conversations he had with people.
    Were his calls being hacked by the media? In retrospect, I wonder. (No, he would not have defeated John Howard in the subsequent election, but perhaps his reputation would not have been so tarnished and his emotional disturbance could have been less severe.)
    Then there was John Edwards the Democratic Senator in the USA who was widely tipped to defeat George Dubya Bush. Suddenly all hell broke loose in the good ole USA (where having an affair is regarded as a far worse crime than illegally invading a country and killing over a million of its citizens) and Edwards was found to have a mistress. It killed his chances of pre-selection. Subsequently, the mistress has had a baby and he now faces charges of using his campaign funds to support her and the baby.
    However, I wonder, if the affair was discovered initially through his phones being hacked?
    I note that the scandal in the UK has already incriminated two high ranking police officers, including the Chief of Scotland Yard. It isn't just about phone hacking, but bribery as well!!

  2. But if they have to name their sources, then they won't HAVE any sources, and the public will never know the truth!

  3. Have a think about Shane Warne then. How many times has his SMS text messages been "found out". And no not all women kiss and tell. I believe Warney has been hacked because he's big news.


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