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13 Jun, 2007 20:13

British media hunts for sensations: Tony Blair

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has lashed out against the British media. He has said it is more interested in sensationalising facts than reporting news.

Sensational stories are nothing new to British newspapers. 

One of the most memorable recent targets of the British press has been the story of the former special services agent Aleksandr Litvinenko who died in London. 

Tony Blair has said that “the fear of missing out means that today’s media more than ever before hunts in a pack. In these modes it is like a wild beast – just tearing people and reputations to bits.”

And with the competition in the market growing, some of the media, especially the newspapers, start pushing the lines rather than reflecting the events. 

“You’ve got to sell newspapers so they are looking for the right headline and for the right angle, and so on. But it can have the effect of eroding value, of not reporting things in the way which properly reflects what’s going on. But on top of that there’s been the growth of cynicism as well,” said Martin Jacques, ‘The Guardian’ columnist. 

Mr Blair believes that many newspapers have become ‘viewspapers’ with opinion overtaking facts, and it is hard to find balance today. 

Many say that it is his own fault, as the ‘New Labour’ was spinning the media at the beginning of Tony Blair’s leadership. 

“Mr Blair has made himself a champion of personality in politics, so there might be an element of contradiction there. Nonetheless, I think it’s important that he’s raised this issue. However, it needs to be seen in the context that this is a Prime Minister who’s lived and breathed at the media in his political life. And I suppose you could say – if you live by the media you might die by the media. And having made his speech at the end of his premiership is perhaps seen as a little bit rich,” believes Mark Pritchard, Conservative MP. 

Tony Blair has suggested revising the way the press is regulated to bring the British media to better responsibility. 

Meanwhile, the journalistic society believes it is the politicians who should be responsible in the first place.