This may not be quite in the same category as HonestReporting’s Dishonest Reporting Award, which the Guardian won in a landslide, but it’s certainly worth noting that the journalism blog “FleetStreetBlues” published their list of top 5 journalism villains of 2011, and, lo and behold…
3 – The Guardian
Inevitably a controversial one this, but the Guardian actually scooped more nominations than anyone else for their over-enthusiastic prosecution of the phone hacking story. Had things gone a bit differently, the paper could have topped our heroes list instead – but after the initial jaw-dropping moment when Nick Davies revealed that Milly Dowler’s voicemail had been hacked, and the feeding frenzy which ensued, things started to unravel.
For neutral journalists it didn’t help that the story always seemed to be more about Rupert Murdoch than phone hacking itself, with the Guardianconcentrating its investigation of a relatively widespread practice almost exclusively on News International. Gloating at the demise of the News of the Worldcompounded the error, with repeated references to the ‘unlamented’ paper when 200 journalists had lost their jobs causing particular offence. The icing on the cake, though, was the furious reverse-ferret executed by Davies, Rusbridger et al when it emerged that poor Milly Dowler’s family had not in fact been given false hope by theNews of the World deleting voicemails – the killer allegation which initially broke open the story.
By the way, one last note. Despite the fact that the Guardian is continuing to hemorrhage money – which, its been reported, will likely result in another 120 layoffs – they’re evidently still hiring, and trying to fill the position of “Live Blogger for Guardian America“.
Anyone out there interested in infiltrating the crusading broadsheet (aka, CiF Watch-style Zionist Subterfuge), can apply here.