The News of the world scandal and mission statements

I’m sure you’ve read enough about the current goings-on at the NOTW to choke a hippo, but can I arrogantly suggest this angle may differ from the others?

What interests me is the defence of the current NOTW as a well-intended bastion of investigative reporting.

Leaving aside the question of whether or not Shane Warne + Liz Hurley is actually worth investigating, the whole stance is comepletely disingenuous.

The News Of The World exists for one reason alone: to sell copies of the News Of The World (and, by extension, make money for News International/Rupert Murdoch). They can’t claim to have had a mission of seeking out and exposing corruption (eg: Jeffrey Archer paying a hooker) because they ignored their own; they can’t claim to speak for the disadvantaged (eg: campaigning for compensation for 7/7 victims) because they hounded at least two to suicide:

And if there is no consistent thread of motivational behaviour for this newspaper, other than the making of money, then their campaign to expose paedophiles rings rather hollow. If their readers didn’t really care about that issue then the NOTW would not have pursued the matter. It’s just another attempt at providing something that they think people want to read about. It’s as deeply ingrained in their raison d’etre as Rebecca Loos wanking off a pig, a picture of Michael Jackson’s deathbed or whatever they learned from the voicemail of a murdered schoolgirl.

And that’s a dangerous path to go down: you ask the question, ‘Will this sell us lots of copies?’, and if the answer is ‘Yes’, you do it, no matter if it’s illegal, immoral or indefensible.

Many companies have a mission statement for how they go about their business. But is it the truth, or is it what they want their customers to think is the truth?

I think that we’d find, depressingly often, that the latter is more often the case than the former.