Wednesday, 17 June 2009

An Open Letter to the Times

For fuck's sake, you have no clue. You have thrown away everything that makes you a serious newspaper, everything you once stood for, every claim to uphold the public good and the historic values of the news media, for one cheap headline in a small story that will mean little enough to your readers now, and nothing in a month's time. For that you threaten to ruin the life of the Nightjack, and consigned his award-winning blog to history. On net your story destroyed news. Far more has been deleted from the internet, from the sum of what we can read, than you have added. You have completely reversed your purpose, become the anti-newspaper.

The Times went through an entire court process and not once did anyone think. Not once did anyone consider the effect on this man's life and career, the response he might make and the damage you might do and compare it with the utterly trivial public benefit of releasing his name.

I cannot think of words to express how stupid, how unbelievably crass and how clueless this decision has been. How can the Times ever again defend an editorial decision? How can you quote an off-the record source? How can you keep quiet about your whistle-blower?

There is a proud history in newspapers of journalists going to court, even being imprisoned, to protect an anonymous source. The Times is the first newspaper I have seen to go to court to expose an anonymous source.

[Small correction made to grammar]

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Cold Tuesday Evenings said...

Very well said.

North Northwester said...

When the Thunderer became the Whimperer is was sad enough... but the Informer?

Post a Comment