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Piccadilly Pulse: News of the World phone hacking scandal – 07/07/2011

By Amy Senior & Joshua Powling

Hours before James Murdoch, the Chief Executive and Chairman of News Corporation, announced that Sunday would be the last ever edition of the paper, MM asked Manchester what they thought of this week’s hot topic of phone hacking.

Phone hacking allegations came back to plague News International and News of the World, as the Guardian revealed that the phones of Milly Dowler and her parents had been hacked.

Other victims unaware of the hacking were the family members of deceased soldiers that served in Afghanistan and even victims of the 7/7 terrorist attacks.

But just how black and white is the case of phone hacking when the public demand information on our high and mighty as though it were a right, and why not?

Some even argue that every British citizen has the right to know about the people we place on the pedestal of fame and who we elect to lead us and if they are guilty of serious wrong doing, how much does the method matter as long as it is exposed?

So we asked the people of Manchester:

Is it ever acceptable for a journalist to hack someone’s phone?

Options

Results
Yes
7%
Only if in the public interest66%
Never

 27%

Paul Jones, 43, Insurance, Heaton Chapel.

“It is diabolical, obviously they have to sell papers, but as far as I’m concerned it is completely illegal.”

Eli Mobawi, 36, HR, City Centre.

“They stick their noses in where it’s not wanted.”

Claire Johnson, 42, Actress, Altrincham.

“I just think that it is disgusting that someone would record other people’s conversations.”

Christine Doherty, 42, Customer Services, Salford.

“It is preying on other people. These poor parents are going through enough; they don’t need people hacking in to private conversations.”

James Davis, 35, Unemployed, Didsbury.

“It’s every tabloid at it and they’re just taking the wrap for what every other paper has been doing.”

Jessica Branning, 23, Sales, Burnley.

“Only the police have the right to do it. It is their job to stop criminals rather than the newspaper.”

 Martha Brown, 22, Sales, Stockport.

“It is higher than the bosses are letting on. If Murdoch didn’t know what was happening then he is a fool. Most likely it’s a case of don’t look, don’t see.”

Keith Mitchell, 66, Retired, Sale.

 “Monstrous, that’s the only way to describe it. Monstrous that the newspapers are getting away with it. Rebekah Brooks must have known and the irony is that David Cameron and his wife went to Cornwall on holiday and met her there. He has got a lot to answer for.”

Henry McMillan, 54, Teacher, Eccles .

“It’s shocking that these people have had this done to them. People should be able to enjoy their right to private phone calls.”

Jane Crosby, 28, IT, Salford.

“There are some things that are off limits, and the papers have not only intruded on family’s privacy, they have intruded on their grief.”

Richard Peters, 24, Sales Assistant, City Centre.

“It sounds good in practice, only hacking phones when then it’s in the interest of the public, but a story is a story to most writers, and they would not ignore something juicy.”

Michael Green, 20, Student, Fallowfield.

“Hacking into celebrities is one thing, but innocent people going through emotional times is another.”

 

More related stories:

 

It’s Twitter wot won it: Social Networking and the end of (News of) the World

My Big Mouth: MM opinion on phone hacking and the closure of NOTW

My Big Mouth: MM opinion on where the NOTW closure leaves Murdoch’s BSkyB bid

 

 

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