Victimisation not journalism

Today, rugby star Gareth Thomas has revealed that a tabloid ‘forced’ him to disclose his HIV status after a reporter turned up outside his parents’ house.


In a radio interview this morning Thomas said: “Can you imagine how I felt when a tabloid journalist knocked on my mother and father’s front door and asks them to make a comment on my HIV status… when I had literally not really sat down with my parents and had a chat about it because I wanted to protect them.”


“Imagine what position that puts me in. I can never, ever, ever have that moment back with my mother and father of sitting down and telling them something so personal to me…That person came and took that moment from me.”


Hacked Off have been told repeatedly by newspaper editors that ‘everything has changed’ since the Leveson report 7 years ago. In 2018, the Government justified reneging on its promise to complete the Leveson Inquiry by suggesting the press had cleaned up its act and there was no need for a further inquiry into alleged corruption and wrongdoing.


That could not be further from the truth. It is abundantly clear that nothing has changed. 


IPSO, the sham complaints-handler controlled by the press barons, will soon have a politician as its Chair and dozens of distressed victims of press abuse continue to contact us every month.


It seems 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.


Cancelling an inquiry that may have forced the press industry to confront its criminal past and change for the better was a reprehensible step, which failed not just past victims but future ones too.


But the fight isn’t over. The Online Harms Bill is our greatest opportunity since Leveson to change the rigged system. We are currently campaigning to ensure any plans for social media regulation applies to newspapers and news websites too. It is time to level the playing field – your tweets should not be more regulated than the Sun.



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Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

September 18, 2019 at 8:16 pm

I am appalled that nothing seems to have changed. Both stories show a complete lack of morals, ethics and human decency. There is no excuse for bringing such stories to the general public and no excuse to cause such hurt to all those involved – what kind of society do we live in that allows this disgraceful behaviour.

Michael Grayreply
September 19, 2019 at 12:34 pm

It is a disgrace that the Reporter should do this and he ought to hang his head in shamefor the pain and anguish he has caused. Perhaps he is homophobic?

Anthony Bennettreply
October 17, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Nothing will ever change unless certain Press scum are held to account. In this particular case there should be some kind of procedure where those responsible are called to account and publicly so. A zero tolerance of such actions needs to be in place and some form of punishment forced upon those behind such things. All this is so long overdue!

Yvette Coxreply
October 17, 2019 at 5:11 pm

The British media and journalist should be hold accountable for the distressed they have caused they have abused their rights they standards of professionalism is very low and the regulator should also be held accountable journalists/reporters/gossipers should be sued for false information bullying racism and false narratives they are disgusting there should be another’s inquiries into their behaviour it not good enough it causes life’s

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