You often hear people saying that “you can’t ever really trust the media.” Of course each news network has it’s own agenda with every story, stretches the truth to make for juicier news, and often provides very one sided views on important issues. But imagine how much more weight that statement holds when you hear that Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. was accused of phone tapping to illegally obtain information used in the news. It appears we all have a very real and scary reason to not trust the media.
Reporters and journalists have been known to employ somewhat shady methods of obtaining information; digging through trash, bribing people for stories, and even stalking persons of interest. The sick thing about this is that it is considered the industry standard and even good journalism. What makes the case of News Corp. very troubling is that the victims of the phone tapping were the families of soldiers killed in combat and even the family of murdered school girl Milly Dowler (which significantly interfered with the police investigation of the murder). I understand that serious investigation plays an important role in journalism, but where do we draw the line?
The fact that such a huge and influential corporation took part in this illegal practice is extremely unsettling. This illegal method of obtaining news via phone tapping has probably been going on as common practice for many years across many organizations. Also, if a media business was capable of doing this, imagine what our government could and probably has been doing? I am not much of a conspiracy theorist, but it would be naive of us to think our government does not make use of this type of hacking.
Anything we read in the news should be taken with a grain of salt, but now we also have to wonder how they are obtaining the information in the first place.