• Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Our media has shown a gross dereliction of duty

ByMolly Mackay

Mar 8, 2021
Image: via Flickr

Our media is broken. The thing in society that is supposed to hold those in power to account, now needs to be held to account itself.

The High Court recently found that Matt Hancock acted unlawfully by deliberately covering up lucrative COVID contracts for his associates without the necessary credentials. But the media gave this minimal coverage despite its severity. They instead focused on Harry and Meghan; how they have allegedly upset the Queen by not continuing their royal duties. 

The British public deserves better than this. We have a right to know when politicians mess up- it’s the media’s job to inform us. How can we vote with full knowledge and confidence at elections if the media itself covers up ministerial mistakes? Our mate Matt is just one of many examples. 

Former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn rightly commanded Boris Johnson to sack Matt Hancock and replace him with somebody ‘who will obey the law’. The blood isn’t solely on Hancock’s hands as Corbyn argued.

“Answers are required’ from him to justify why Hancock isn’t being punished for his actions. Surely Corbyn is right here, the bare minimum request that a minister obey the law shouldn’t even have to be requested. Yet the media had so little to say about this very serious issue.

To rub even more salt into the wound, the government has previously been accused of awarding contracts to firms with links to prominent Conservative buddies, including Bojo’s former aide Dominic ‘crusty castle-loving’ Cummings, who also seems to think that the law doesn’t apply to him. 

The Cummings case saw unusually highly coverage in the media. However, it was prematurely forgotten and is now collecting dust alongside many other ministerial mishaps. A betting man can confidently stake a hefty sum that messy Matt too will soon be on the same shelf absorbing up dust.

The media in its usual fashion has allowed for our unconstitutional government to slip back behind the Downing Street walls once again. Instead, they distracted us all with the millionth episode of the Harry and Meghan show. The latest plotline alleging that by not resuming royal duties, the couple has upset poor dear Queenie. The media constantly slates the couple. On this occasion, they were branded ‘insensitive’ and ‘ungrateful’.

The media and the couple are arch enemies (and best friends when the Sussexes want good coverage). Meghan recently won a legal privacy battle against the Mail on Sunday over the illegal publication of extracts from a private letter to her father. Why does the press believe it has the right to publish a private and confidential letter? The press has shown a complete disregard for Meghan’s privacy ever since the couple announced their engagement. It’s disgusting.

Private is private, end of. Well, you would think so anyway.

Harry has also successfully sued the Mail on Sunday for libel, over false claims that he ‘turned his back’ on the Royal Marines when stepping down from his senior role. This wasn’t the case and Harry has actually been in constant contact with the service, yet the media hasn’t corrected their blatant mistake. The media loves to paint the couple as heartless and only capable of making decisions for themselves. However, it’s not them who are doing this but instead our very own government who can’t seem to act lawfully for love nor money. 

But just because Harry and Meghan have won these two cases doesn’t mean it will be the end to their mistreatment at the hands of the media. The ‘royal’ couple has instructed their PR team not to talk to the UK’s most popular newspapers, who have in return shown no sign of backing down just yet.

Politicians have too much privacy, with sleaze being brushed under the carpet, whereas for others, privacy is non-existent. Our media needs to be held accountable for not holding everybody to the same standard. Hancock can get away with covering up illegal backdoor dealings, but poor Meghan can’t even eat an avocado without a media frenzy.

Our media has lost all sense of its boundaries and duties. Hopefully, this trend of unjust reporting can be reversed, but only time will tell.

Image: via Flickr

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