Rupert Murdoch is a name that might not be so familiar in the legal world but it is the most important name that you will hear right now in the media. He is the owner of News Corp. which is the grand master of a multitude of media outlets such as Fox Broadcasting and Wall Street Journal. He is also the owner of the now defunct News of the World which closed shop just recently due to the phone hacking scandals in the UK. The whole situation on the news could play out like they do in the movies. The basic premise would be: What if we could get the dirt on everybody using any way we know how and publish it under the banner of free press? They did basically just that and they are now paying for it.
The head honchos allegedly got into cahoots with PIs who allegedly hacked phones of their persons if interest. The NoTW employees also allegedly were in contact with officers in Scotland Yard to stave off any inquiry into their activities. The people who were hacked are not just politicians or celebrities but also the families of soldiers returning from war or even a murder victim and her family. These activities produced the juiciest stories that were brandished on the covers of the famed Sunday tabloid. The result: Insatiable appetite for more of the same gossip and a bump in the profits of the media conglomerate. Underneath it all, however, was the dark secret that nobody was safe from their prying eyes and ears and that the readers themselves could already be victims and not even know it.
The press is now in the middle of a maelstrom in good ole England but it was not something that they didn't bring upon themselves. The government is also under attack for their failure to address the issue head on. The personal relationships of the politicians with the bigwigs are also under fire and have increased the British people's distrust on the system. They are struggling with the thought on whether they can still trust what the news says or not.
The use of information and technology are the enabling forces for the press to get their news and share it to the rest of the world. This is such a blessing to the whole world to know what is going on but sometimes, it can be a curse. Any way you look at it, the use of covert and illegal means is not sanctioned by the public. There is always going to be somebody out there who take things too far just to get a good news story. This reminds me of what Uncle Ben in Spider-Man said that "With great power comes great responsibilities." We can get all of the information we want out there and we can do it either legally or illegally. It just depends on how we decide to use it.