I am bemused by the ongoing story about how “we” (the state) should be curtailing press freedoms in response to recent phone hacking scandals by scurrilous journalists. Let me get this right: the people who are known to be illegally scooping up countless millions of our phone calls, emails, and social media exchanges are now responsible for making sure the press doesn’t do it. NSA-300x192 It was the press, notably the Guardian and Washington Post, who blew loudly on Edward Snowden’s whistle, alerting us to widespread global hacking done by the US National Security Agency with the complicity of overseas security agencies like MI5.  It was the press who themselves shut down the offending News of the World, and who are facing charges for behaviour that is illegal under existing rules. Are any NSA officials being charged for their hacking, which was quite literally millions of times more invasive than that done by the press? I suspect not.
The press gets some positive and negative criticism in the chapter touching upon it.from So What’s News, chapter 19

“Despite its tendency to fill our heads with all the world’s anguish and grief, a free media can perform an invaluable service for society and does a better job of monitoring and exposing the abuses and iniquities of our world than does the “protective” state. How often have we witnessed the government being the last to acknowledge its own corruption and abuse, and then only after revelation in the media? The media is often the first to inform us of scandals involving large or small corporations and dangers facing us through exposure to environmental chemicals or diseases in the food chain.”
“Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter’. Thomas Jefferson, American Founding Father, 1743–1826

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