Well, that’s some great PR advice. News of the World is contrite. Apologising.
Brooks has fallen on her sword, And the rumours about it coming out tomorrow are true, using its own vehicle to ensure that its story is told in its own words.
Attention is now pointing at politicians and police officers.
Whether this particular public opinion juggernaut can be turned around, who knows? A lot will depend on what comes out from here on in. The company doesn’t appear to have a good deal of banked goodwill or social capital to help it sway the tide of public opinion, and the powerful alliances it boasted are now going to be avoiding public association.
It will be interesting to see just what News International does from here. Money talks. But actions still speak louder than words, and nothing much will remove the stain of Millie Dowler’s deleted phone calls. Apologies are great, but when the apology seems to come only when you’ve been caught, rather than when you found out what had happened, something more is needed. Something that Murdoch seems to have understood and be seeking to make amends for.
I was wishing, hard, that Google would let me in on Google +. It has, and now suddenly I’m thinking it will take me years to organise my contacts and am somewhat concerned that if I don’t some measurement company will dive in with a measurement tool for ‘influence’ – at the moment my followed is far more than my followers because half of my ‘followed’ don’t have Facebook accounts leave alone Google +, (my gmail account’s always been for private stuff rather than work related). Although I do have a Google profile for my Claire at Waves PR email address which is used to access analytics. I can’t link the two accounts. This will need resolving. My to do list just got longer. It feels like a huge invasion of privacy, but I’m simultaneously compelled to dive in. I may follow Mr Zuckerberg and the Google execs into privacy mode! ((Oops reverse that – they just went back into public again.)
So whilst I’m wishing that perhaps I’d not wished so hard for a Google + account, the big story that’s been raging, of course, is the News of the World telephone tapping debacle. UK print media needed this like a hole in the head! I, like most people, am absolutely appalled that someone can not only tap into a dead girls phone but delete messages that could have helped bring someone to justice sooner. The person concerned lacked any kind of morality and was quite rightly put behind bars.
But before we get hot under the collar about tapping, we should probably get hot under the collar about ethics.
There’s lots of online comment, most of it positive. But, as with all things, there will be winners and losers. For me, one of the most interesting things that’s being discussed is digital rights direct payments. Thinking this through, this could have an additional impact on micropayments for journalism if implemented – as well as those artists – including photographers – who currently use third parties (like istock) to sell on their wares if they want payment.
This could absolutely change the face of paid journalism and create an egalitarian market where good quality work is sought after and rewarded. It will be interesting to see where this pans out. If I was Twitter, one of the content distributors but still looking for a revenue model, I might be keeping a very close eye on this potential lifeline.