How Journalism Works…Egypt To Wapping

It is of course a total injustice that three journalists have been sentenced to seven years imprisonment in Egypt for writing things that the Egyptian Government dont like. That of course would be the same Egyptian Government, which is backed by the British Government. 

Of course Journalists are right to protest. Those BBC journalists outside BBC Headquarters in London were an inspiring sight. And no doubt the annual love-in between Amnesty and local Journalists (at the West Belfast Festival) will reference this abuse of Human Rights.

Yet a court case has been taking place in London. Seven journalists accused in basic terms of phone hacking or covering it up. The Leveson Inquiry was set up to look into Phone Hacking. Evidence emerged that it was widespread in British journalism.

And in due course, people were charged and taken to court.

Including Rebekkah Brooks, the right hand of Rupert Murdoch. And Andy Coulson, former tabloid editor and later Government Chief Press Officer, appointed by David Cameron. Coincidently Cameron is a friend of Ms Brooks. The case ended last week with the conviction of Coulson. And the acquittal of Ms Brooks….who held a Press Conference outside her luxury London home to confirm her innocence.

Hooray. Justice is served. Except of course the whole Phone Hacking Affair, previously dismissed by Journos as “one rogue reporter”, Clive Goodman can now be dismissed by the same Journos as “one rogue editor”. 

Justice ….Cairo style. Justice….London style.

But it still seems likely that British Journalists are more likely to cause Human Rights abuses than to be the victims of Human Rights abuses.

Will the staff at BBC be protesting this verdict? Or indeed Phone Hacking itself?

Probably not.

Will the Amnesty-Journalist Mutual Admiration Society at the West Belfast Festival even mention Phone Hacking?

Probably not.

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4 Responses to How Journalism Works…Egypt To Wapping

  1. sammymcnally says:

    I see now that ISIS (of Iraq and Syria fame) or whatever they are called – are a banned organisation in Britain – what exactly can a journalist in Britain say about them without breaking the law of encouraging terrorism?

    It could be that ISIS are the better of 2 ‘evils’ and that young British chappies are actually doing the world a service by going and fighting the ‘worse’ evil – personally I don’t believe so – but if I did and I was journalist and wrote about it – or if I (to use that appalling term) ‘blogged’ such a thing – could I be locked up as per Egypt?

    …and would the BBC staff take an hour off work and cover their chops with black tape and stand outside in the sun protesting about it?

    • It seems a bit odd that these guys were heroes fighting Assad but bad guys when they fight in Iraq. Even more oddly the Syrian Air Force were bad when they bombed the crap out of ISIL in Syria but its ok when they do it in Iraq.
      Fighting abroad is not a new thing in England.
      If it is made illegal, then surely the Ghurkas would have to be abolished.
      Additionally a lot of young men and women living in Britain spend some time in the Israeli army. Will that be made illegal?

      • sammymcnally says:


        Yes Western foreign policy on the ‘middle east’ stands accused of being hypocritical – and muddled and confused.

        In relation to journalism – I’m presuming that British journalists would find themselves in trouble if they put forward a story from the point of view of those now going overseas to fight.

        It has long been accepted that it is /was ok to praise those who volunteered and fought against Franco as being ‘good’ (something I tend to agree with) but I’m presuming a similar story from the point of view of those going to fight in Syria/Iraq would be against the law?

        It would be interesting to know at what point a positive opinion on the motivation of those going to fight becomes a crime?

      • Well I think some countries have a law which prohibits citizens for fighting for a foreign power.
        But where can the line be grown?

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