Is Hackgate really the biggest story? – Jon Snow

“A really extraordinary spectacle.” is how Channel 4 News Presenter, Jon Snow, started of his talk at what was the 300th Coventry Conversation. But is hackgate really the biggest and most important story at the moment?

The talk started with how the hacking scandal is both terrible and interesting and Jon asked the question as to what it would take for us to question the tabloid journalists in the same way they question others. Jon then stated that: “You wouldn’t actually do it to your worst enemy.” relating to the idea that it is that bad. The idea came across that they don’t care about others and this is why they can get horrible stories. Jon explained: “I have nothing against the tabloid press.” And described how some of the tabloids are successful in bringing enjoyment to people but there has to be a line drawn at what is acceptable.

Written by Alex Maidment – First year Journalism Student.
He then asked: “What is acceptable?” adding that: “There has been grotesquely unacceptable behaviour by a significant number of tabloid journalists.” This lead to the argument that the press is not being regulated and as much as they believe they are being regulated by the PCC (Press Complaints Commission), the PCC haven’t really been seen to blow the whistle. Jon went as far to describe the set-up of the PCC as “Outrageous”. The press needs an independent regulatory body and this was coming from a regulated journalist, as Jon Snow is regulated by Ofcom for television and feels the press need a regulatory body like Ofcom.

Whilst all of this will be covered by the Leveson Inquiry and is the hot topic for news at the moment, Jon brought up what he thinks is a bigger and more important issue; Euro crisis. He said: “I don’t believe that the Euro crisis is being adequately covered.” and he described how this is something which affects everyone. Something has to be done about the Euro crisis and the public need to know what is going on. Jon was bold enough to say that if the Euro goes down, Europe will go with it. Jon’s own opinion of the situation argues that this is the biggest issue the country has seen since the Second World War and he said: “I fail to see how Britain can conceivably exist beyond Europe.” He added that: “It is the greatest challenge for journalists to face.” referring to the reporting of the Euro crisis which has been minimalistic so far.

The fact which exists is that realistically the Euro crisis is a much bigger issue for the country than that of Hackgate. Whilst the hacking scandal is important and will continuously be in the news, the Euro crisis needs more coverage in order to make the public aware of the consequences of what happens next if Europe falls. It is a sensitive issue which people want to avoid but it is an issue which needs to be dealt with.

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