Media Stings against MPs- fair, or unfair?

The media are having fun poking at LibDem ministers’ “indiscretions”- but I wonder how fair it is for the journalists to lie, to disguise themselves as constituents, have conversations full of “leading questions”, and then to print only what has been said by the other side of the conversation. We have no idea what the journalists said to the MPs to provoke these comments. Is it fair to lie and then publish what the MPs believed were private conversations with constituents and LibDem supporters?

It isn’t as if it was one “over eager” journalist, either. This was a coordinated exercise involving three or more journalists, obviously under editorial control of the Daily Telegraph. So, I question the journalists’ ethics, and that of the newspaper in commissioning it.

Are we surprised that the first “revelation” is yet another media story? This time it is the UK “quality press” running scared from Murdoch and the BSkyB bid. Amidst all the coverage, no one seems to be asking the obvious question- what are the media’s motives at engineering this little fiasco?

Will every MP (especially those with ministerial duties) now have to re-think what they say to their constituents and their party supporters? Is it right in today’s world of “transparency” that no conversation can ever be thought of as “private”? How would the constituent with a genuine grievance or problem feel if the MP published their conversation? It seems that the media feel able to engage in any kiind of scam, without regard to the longer term effects it might have on how MPs and their constituents communicate. This is a story that it really worth exploring, rather than the idea that ministers don’t always agree with coalition policy, or that a minister has a view about an issue (well, duh- that’s hardly news!)

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About catherinesweet
Academic, professional, communicator, stakeholder in a dozen different disguises

One Response to Media Stings against MPs- fair, or unfair?

  1. Jane says:

    great item and yet those same journalists are quick to crticise PR for duplicity! Seasons greetings one and all

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