Scots Academic Warns Credibility of Tabloid Press in Tatters

The entire tabloid press is at risk, in the wake of the phone hacking scandal – a leading academic has claimed.

Writing in today’s Scotsman newspaper, Andrew Jones, journalism course leader at Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, insists recent allegations implicating the News International titles in illegal activities is certain to hamper credibility of newspapers the length and breadth of the country.

The warning follows promises a full, judge-led inquiry is to be held into the scandal, where media proprietors, journalists and politicians will all be required to give evidence under oath.

Writes Jones: “News International is in the eye of the storm, but it’s inconceivable that other media have not been working with police officers. I think all of us concerned with press freedom are concerned we don’t end up with some draconian law that restricts these freedoms.

“I cannot image the inquiry is going to seek to call journalists at regional papers. I suspect the focus will be on a handful of journalists based around London.

“In many ways the media have brought this upon themselves, but I’m slightly fearful we will restrict the press when there’s fewer newspapers than ever.

“My concern is it leads to legislation that makes transparency more difficult to achieve. Increasingly, people tend to group media together as a whole. It is difficult to see how tabloid newspapers can regain any sense of credibility.”