Friday 22 May 2015

Suspicious Minds

Fair dos to last night's Newsnight for leading with the hacking scandal at Mirror Group newspapers. 

Given the wall-to-wall coverage the BBC gave the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World, owned by the BBC's main UK rival, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, you would have expected the BBC to 'go big' on this story as well - especially as the hacking scandal at Trinity Mirror is now apparently much bigger than the one at the NOTW...

...and yet, overall, the BBC hasn't given the Mirror scandal anything like the saturation coverage it gave the scandal at the Murdoch Empire, has it? They've certainly covered it, but without any of the frenzy of their NOTW coverage.

Is that because the BBC doesn't see the Mirror Group as a serious rival (unlike News Corp)? Or because Mirror Group leans to the left (unlike News Corp)? Your guess is as good as mine. 

One of the criticisms often made of the BBC's NOTW coverage (on blogs like this) has been that the BBC seemed to have been working hand-in-hand with the Guardian to build the story into a scandal of some proportions that it would destroy Rupert Murdoch's power in Britain - as if they were Siamese twins.

No one could excuse last night's Newsnight though of working hand-in-hand with the Guardian in their reporting of Guardian rival Mirror Group's legal travails, could they? 

Yes, Newsnight's editor and former Guardian deputy editor Ian Katz had invited Guardian-columnist-turned-BBC-media-expert Steve Hewlett to present his Newsnight report, and Steve Hewlett's 'media expert' was none other than the Guardian's resident media pundit Roy Greenslade, but surely no-one would read anything incestuous into that, would they?

Or to the fact that the honest, repentant ex-Mirror journalist interviewed in the studio after Steve's report, Graham Johnson, has also written for the Guardian and worked on the BBC's Panorama - and received the backing of Hacked Off and Nick Davies of the Guardian during his trial? There's nothing incestuous about that either, is there?


  1. The Mirror isn't part of the Murdoch Evil Empire. Hacked Off was all about getting Murdoch and nothing else. That's it. Any additional reasons stem from that anyway.

  2. In broadcast terms, 'coverage' on Newsnight is like the BBC claiming a mention on the East Rutland local section of the website equates to full national commitment.


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