And so, finally, she’s gone. After hanging on for well over a week, overseeing the sacking of two hundred journalists and admitting no guilt, Rebecca Brooks has finally resigned from the News of the World. In her parting words she very clearly denied having any responsibility whatsoever for the illegal and disturbing culture of phone hacking under her leadership at News of the World.
Brooks’ final words saw her trying her very best to deny any wrongdoing at the time of the hacking: “As chief executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place.”
It’s good that Brooks has gone. It’s good that News Corp has come under such pressure for the way which they pursue stories without paying any attention to the consequences of their actions. It’s good that, for the first time, politicians have stood up to Rupert Murdoch.
Ed Miliband should be extremely pleased with the week that he has had. He has been confident and strong in the House of Commons and his shrewd decision to publically denounce Brooks saw others clambering to keep up with him. But we must not rest on our laurels.
What we must not forget is that, once this scandal has blown over, the status quo will be all to easy to settle back into. Politicians are scared of the press and rightly so but they simply must not be beholden to them. When prison sentences are lengthened, drugs continue to be criminalised and people on welfare stigmatized we must remember that the power of the press over our elected representatives has not gone away.
It’s been a good week for people who don’t want a monopolized and corrupt media. Let’s keep this going.