Senior regional newspaper journalists have admitted that the News of the World phone hacking scandal has ‘sullied’ and ‘demonised’ the name of the profession.
Through the pages of their newspapers, a number of editors and reporters have reached out to readers to reassure them that they should not be tarred with the same brush.
“The actions of a few people working for The News of the World have not only destroyed a once great newspaper but have also sullied the reputation of an important and skilled profession,” she said.
Maria made clear that the MEN does not use such methods, adding that “truth, compassion and an overriding commitment to common decency underpin everything they do.”
“Our success depends on the trust we build with our readers. Regional and local papers understand what some at the News of the World appeared to forget – people deserve respect.”
She added: “What has happened at the News of the World will remain a permanent stain on the reputation of my industry. But those crimes must not undermine the valuable work being done every day in newsrooms up and down the land.”
Writing in his column he said: “After 168 years and 8,674 issues, I feel the old girl – and its current staff who had nothing to do with the scandal – deserved a better end.’
“While it is true to say that no right-thinking person would approve of the kind of practices alleged in the latest phone-hacking revelations, the ensuing furore has, to my mind, been over the top.
“To attempt, as some have done, to tar every print journalist with the same brush as the small NOTW phone-hacking brigade is a bit like trying to implicate a cashier at your local bank in the global economic crisis.”
Former Sunderland Echo crime reporter Nigel Green who now works as a freelance and has written for the NOTW, told Echo readers: “I strongly believe that the closure of the News of the World is not just a gross over-reaction, it is also a major blow for British journalism.
“Rupert Murdoch has been forced to take this action by a hysterical bandwagon made up of sanctimonious luvvies who sneer at tabloid newspapers and their readers.”