Commentary: What has UK phone-hacking scandal exposed?

08:32, July 21, 2011      

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by Mo Hong'e, Yang Lina, Fang Yang


BSkyB Chairman James Murdoch, News Corp Chief Executive and Chairman Rupert Murdoch (R) appear before a parliamentary committee on phone hacking at Portcullis House in London July 19, 2011. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

The UK phone hacking scandal has exposed that the ultimate goal of the Western Media is to maximize their commercial gains, while the so-called concepts of "Freedom, Justices and Human Rights" they have long boasted are all but hypocritical, said media analysts.

Ultimate goal: maximizing gains

In recent years, traditional media has been faced with mounting pressure from both the same industry and new media.

To survive the fierce dogfight and retain lucrative market share, they have to engage in illegal practices, such as hacking into individuals' mobile phones or email accounts at the cost of violating people's privacy.

These means are popular in the British media, especially in the tabloids.

U.S.media are no better. In May 2003, Jayson Blair, a journalist of The New York Times, was found to have plagiarized and fabricated many pieces of news, triggering shockwaves among the U.S.press.

Other U.S.mainstream newspapers such as the Boston Globe and USA Today were also haunted by fabrication scandals.

"The hacking scandal shows that the ultimate goal of most Western media including News of the World and The Sun, is to maximize their profits, which makes it hard for them to report news events "truthfully and objectively". Under the existing market and media systems, it is impossible for the Western media to make sure that their news reports are "pure, independent and objective", as self-discipline without supervision is hard to achieve," said Ling Haoying, an associate professor of the Communication University of China.

Ma Xiaolin, BoLian Agency CEO, is of the view that hacking derives from the interests of Western media and is driven by competition. In particular, the paper media has become a sun-setting industry.

In order to expand their circulation and influence, Western tabloids have been obtaining information by means of hacking, and have gone so far so to break the bottom line of social ethics and violate laws, he said.

Moreover, the hacking scandal is attributed largely to the internal mismanagement of Murdoch’s News Corp. and the lack of external restrictions. The News International, a subsidiary of the News Corporation, has monopolized the print media market in Britain. Consequently, it considers itself so influential as to be able to deceive the whole world by defying laws and the bottom line of social ethics.


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http://english.people.com.cn/90001/90777/90853/7446930.pdf