Sunday, 3 November 2013

Press freedom is good. Fairness would be nice too.

I am all for the freedom of the press. Everyone should be able to say what they want within the usual constraints  (I am thinking in particular of inciting to violence, and the rules on defamation and invasion of privacy give in article ten of the European Convention on Human Rights).

Well on the 21st  October,  The Sun apologised because it had told us that there were hundreds of thousands of benefit tourists. Why would The Sun want to make up such a story? The answer is easy. It wants to sell newspapers and if that means pandering to fear then it will do so regardless of whether there is any evidence.

I believe that everyone should be free to write what they want but the press, particularly the most widely bought newspaper in the country, has a responsibility to write with accuracy. Fairness would be nice too but maybe that's too much to expect.

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