Gareth from the Office: We aren’t all bad

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For those who have been living in a cave and are unaware of what I am referring to, the News of the World stopped printing after 168 years after it was revealed amid the phone hacking scandal which has involved 4,000 politicians, celebrities and crime victims.

Gareth Ellis

Gareth Ellis

And some of those are thought to include kidnapped teenager Milly Dowler, whose voicemails were deleted giving her family and officers investigating her disappearance false hope.

Although I work for a newspaper myself I feel no remorse at all for those involved. At first I felt bad for the journalists who had done nothing wrong and had no idea of what their former colleagues were doing – but after learning The Sun will run for seven days I felt a touch more cynical.

Those directly involved with the scandal (that means you Rebekah Brooks) have tarnished the reputations of journalists who have always upheld the correct ethics that our profession stands for.

As the days go by it is hard to keep track with the level of scandal that is going to run and run with this story, with Andy Coulson, the Prime Minister’s aide, thought to have been involved in the hacking as recently as 2007.

But for one person without shame it seems Rebekah Brooks has decided not to step down as boss of News International but instead has merely giving up her role fronting the internal investigation. Back in September 2010 a YouGov poll revealed the public’s trust in journalists was in serious decline. Now after this latest scandal we learn from a Daily Politics commissioned poll that only 19 per cent of people trust us – lower than politicians.

No offence to politicians but I never thought I would see the day when we were trusted less than they were.

A friend of mine remarked that this hacking problem mirrored the politicians’ expenses scandal, and for shock value I would have to agree. However, the big difference is the politicians who had cheated the government out of thousands of pounds had the option to pay the money back. Once the hacking had been done there was no going back.

Whatever happens from here on in please don’t distrust the media, at least not us guys who cover local events.

I work with a strong dedicated team who all go above and beyond every week to bring out quality papers and to uphold the values and integrity of the local press.