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Superinjunctions and ethical journalism – is it really in the public interest?

journalismI believe in free speech. As a PR, I know that journalism is my bread and butter and as a human being I know that a free press is vital to any democracy.

Lately journalists have been up in arms over the use of superinjunctions. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll be clued up on the latest drama over the cover up and eventual illegal revelation that Ryan Giggs had an affair with ex-Big Brother nobody Imogen Thomas or his brother’s wife.

Journalists claim that superinjunctions are a way for the extremely wealthy to hide their misdemeanours from the public. True.

They also claim that stories that expose celebrities for their sins are in the public interest… erm…

I genuinely find it hard to see how Ryan Giggs’s latest off-pitch score is in the public interest. Really. Even if his whole personal brand was around being a family man (which it isn’t) I still don’t see how it’s in the public interest to know “the truth” about him. Advertising is fiction – anyone who believes otherwise needs a serious reality check.

We also need to take a step back from this whole footballer “role model” hysteria culture – he’s paid to kick a ball around, not to behave as a pillar of morality – that’s what parents and teachers are for.

Our instant access to information has made us greedy and nosy. We feel cheated when we can’t find out every juicy detail of every affair ever had by any celebrity ever because we’ve somehow come to feel it’s our right to know.

But would you really want your every indiscretion splashed across front pages of papers, speculated over and gossiped about by the whole country? Probably not.

So I say let the super rich have their secrets – at the end of the day we know he can still score and that’s all that matters.

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2 thoughts on “Superinjunctions and ethical journalism – is it really in the public interest?”

  1. Of course celebrities should be allowed to have their secrets – providing, as you rightly say, that these secrets are of no concern to the general public. (And the fact that Ryan Giggs is an adulterer is of course, not in the ‘public interest’).

    However, the press and media perpetuates this culture. As a society, we have always loved malicious gossip – however social media and a polarised society has simply meant that this desire is played out through popular celebrities rather than hanging over the garden fence and gossiping about ‘er down the road.

    Yes – the super rich are entitled to their secrets – but until we as a society stop baying for public scandal, the media will continue peddling it to us – and social media will only exacerbate this.

  2. What may be worse is the idea that “superinjunctions” actually exist in a meaningful way. Best guesses put the total of true superinjunctions in single digits- and most of these lasted only weeks until the urgent and justified interest of one party in secrecy elapsed.

    Ryan Giggs didn’t have a superinjunction. If he had, even the guardian and times’ circumspect and responsible reporting would have been in contempt of court. This is where journalists are using blatant lies to give their weasely selves ever more power over us. They’re using one misjudgement in Trafigura to front a full assault on the sort of injunction which has been protecting people for around a decade now, and gaining complicity from scum in yellow in commons.

    The rule of law exists for a reason, and I’ll not be happy until I see scottish herald journalists/editors and at least the original tweeter in jail.

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