Today The Sun has come under fire from England batsman Ben Stokes for a front page story Stokes has called “utterly disgusting” and the “lowest form of journalism” after despicably delving into his family’s past with blatantly no public interest.
Hacked Off have been told repeatedly by newspaper editors that “everything has changed” since the Leveson report 7 years ago. It is abundantly clear that nothing has changed. Some newspapers are just as incapable of abiding by principles of human decency and basic journalistic ethics as they were during the phone hacking scandal.
Jacqui Hames, Hacked Off board member and herself a victim of press abuse went on Radio 4 this afternoon and said she “felt physically sick when I read that headline…I fail to see any public interest in dragging up such an appalling tragedy. In my view this breaches the Editors’ code.”
The fundamental problem is the total absence of regulation across most of our newspaper industry. The self-regulator IPSO has the power to issue large fines and launch serious investigations into breaches of the Editors’ Code, but it has never done so. This is because IPSO is run by the same newspapers it is supposed to regulate. There is no deterrent from newspapers acting in this way time and again.
Until it is reformed or replaced to meet the Leveson requirements for independent regulation, there will be no accountability for the press and no protection for ordinary people who are victims of outrageous press behaviour.
To keep up the fight we’re working to build a sustainable funding model comprised of a diverse funding base. With that in mind, we’re aiming to build a “100 club” by securing 100 regular gifts of £5-£10 a month to secure our advocacy future. Will you consider give to us regularly so we can keep standing up to the powerful press barons?
We’re still here because nothing has changed but the tide is turning and the public outcry to this incident suggests the momentum is with us. Together we can make a difference.