The tragic death of television presenter Caroline Flack in February 2020 followed months of relentless press attacks and intrusive newspaper coverage.
“Caroline Flack: Her Life and Death”, a Channel 4 documentary which aired this week, highlighted the way Caroline Flack suffered a ‘trial by media’.
A year on, her death continues to raise wider questions about modern fame, newspaper culture, and mental health.
The unethical press conduct Caroline Flack faced happens because newspapers and their websites are not properly regulated.
Most newspapers are members of IPSO, a sham complaints-handler ran by newspaper editors, executives, and compliant politicians. IPSO does not adequately protect people from media abuse, intrusion, and intimidation.
You do not have to be in the public eye to face this kind of treatment. And currently, there’s nothing to stop newspapers from doing the same to another, blameless person.
Since the Leveson Inquiry into press standards eight years ago, we’ve been told repeatedly by newspaper editors that; “everything has changed.”
The way Caroline Flack was treated shows that could not be further from the truth. She’s not alone – Gareth Thomas, Ben Stokes, and Meghan Markle have all been subjected to intrusive and unethical press coverage in the last couple of years.
These patterns of behaviour have detrimental effects on people’s lives and newspapers are getting away with it.
At Hacked Off, we hear from more victims of press abuse each week.
Enough. The public deserves a free and accountable press.
In the last 50 years, there have already been seven inquiries into press standards that have all ended with politicians caving in to the press barons, and lacking the spine to introduce meaningful reform.
It’s time for the Government to take serious action.
Please support independent press regulation to protect people, like Caroline Flack, and write to your MP today to call for them to replace IPSO by a proper regulator and end press abuse.
The Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.