IT is not want you know, it is who you know. This old adage is probably true in many industries but in journalism it takes on a whole new meaning. In this business you get annonymous tips, tips from contacts, tips from friends which can often lead to exclusive stories. When a big celebrity is on the island you try and use all your contacts to try and get a photograph or an interview; this is the true nature of journalism. But journalism is on trial at the moment in Britain and basically the way we work has come under the spotlight. Obviously phone hacking is illegal and is a clear invasion of privacy and what allegedly occured at the News of the World was outrageous. But I sincerely doubt that phone hacking was widespread in the British media and in the majority of cases journalists were using their contacts and their experience to get their stories. To portray the tabloid media as a sort of mafia-style-family is way out of line. It must be remembered that many of the celebrities who are now crying wolf owe the media for much of their popularity. What would happen if the media decided to boycott the launch of a film or snub the interviews with the stars which have been set-up for them? Hollywood would be severely hit and takings of film would fall and actors and actresses would get less money as a direct result. Celebrities and the media have to work together but a compromise must be reached so that both sides can work in peace without fear of prosecution.
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