Press intrusion and privacy: where should the lines be drawn?


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On the 4th July 2011, ‘The BBC’ published a story on the Milly Dowler phone hacking scandal.

The subject of the newspaper article was how an investigator at ‘The News of The World’ had allegedly hacked into the phone of murdered schoolgirl, Milly Dowler. The angle is how the phone hacking allegations have had a negative effect on Milly Dowler’s family and interfered with the police investigation.

The phone hacking scandal is something that’s been at the centre of the media for the past few years and eventually foresaw the closure of ‘The News of The World’.

Glen Mulcaire hacked into the teenager’s voicemail while she was missing. ‘The Guardian’ newspaper even go so far to say that he had intercepted the voicemails and stated that the news of the world had also deleted some, this took a toll on police investigations and even gave the parents of the 13 year old girl false hope.

Phone hacking consists of personal communications being expropriated to benefit news cooperation’s. ‘The News of The World’ isn’t the first newspaper to face the backlash and consequences of phone hacking and it certainly won’t be the last.

There were many individuals working for ‘The News of The World’ that took part in the phone hacking saga, this is evident in the book Hack Attack: How the truth caught up with Rupert Murdoch, the book identifies the roles that many individuals played, there was a system. A quote from the book that supports this is “Mulcaire went to work on Gordon Taylor. By 22 February, he had recorded eleven messages that had been left on Taylor’s phone. Mulcaire passed the tape to Miskiw who gave it to a secretary in the Manchester office, who typed out the messages. This was a well-oiled system.” (2015, pp. 43)

The hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone was unethical, not only was her phone hacked but voicemail messages had been eradicated. As previously stated it took a toll on the police investigation as well as giving the parents false hope that their little girl may be found alive.

Other Sources: 

Davies, Nick. (2015, pp.43) Hack Attack: How the truth caught up with Rupert Murdoch: Vintage