This morning, Lord Justice Leveson formally launched an official public inquiry into media standards, following the hacking scandal that engulfed July. Considering it was only the first day of the investigation, a number of ground-breaking claims were put forward for the first time. The most significant of these proposals was undeniably that Private Investigator Glen Mulcaire’s extensive archive of notes has suggested to those scouring through them that he didn’t just work for the News of the World. His records supposedly show that he had been commissioned by journalists from other publications, both inside and out of News International.
So-called “corner notes” on every single one of Mulcaire’s eleven thousand pages of notes reveal the names of the journalists that paid him to hack the phones and blag the personal details of high profile figures. Due to the on-going criminal investigation being carried out by the Metropolitan Police, the identities of the journalists in question remain shrouded in secrecy.
However, today shone a light on their employers at the exact time that they requested Mulcaire illegally hack the phones of celebrities. Theoretically, if accusations prove to be correct, then The Sun, sister paper of News of the World and News International’s most popular newspaper, also ran stories that were based around illegally-gained voicemail messages. Interestingly, the Daily Mirror of the Trinity Mirror group is facing similar allegations. This comes as news emerges that News International is ramping up for an early-2012 launch for ‘The Sun on Sunday’ which will replace it’s News of The World.
Although no one is claiming that their staff ordered phone hacking to anywhere near the extent of the News of the World, The Sun and the Daily Mirror are both now facing pretty serious charges of conduct. My question is this; if proven guilty, should they go down too? What makes them any better than the Sunday red-top that crumbled earlier on this year? Does the amount of illegality carried out to gain headlines matter, or should it be seen as a black or white option?
The first day may have now concluded, but the Leveson Inquiry has many months to go before it concludes. The spotlight has only just been switched on, and I have a feeling that a number of journalists will be quaking in their boots tonight.
Callum Jones is a blogger and Student and contributor to the Huffington Post who has a keen interest in Politics and Current Affairs. He tweets @CallumJonesBlog and has his own personal blog http://callumjones.blog.com He Will also be giving PostDesk a unique insight into the Leveson inquiry over the next few weeks.