Best of Hackgate commentary (6)…

I’ve been watching this crisis from the RSA in London yesterday… I’ve just had a very brief conversation with a Lebanese journalist whose view on it is that it is wonderful to see the law in action (even if there are a huge amount of freeloading agendas jumping on board)… So, here’s a taster of the best of today’s coverage of yesterday’s events:

The main immediate effect of these events may be that the Westminster authorities will get even more hysterical about security. But perhaps in the long run it will be remembered as an enduring triumph for those backbenchers who have at last started to prove themselves as serious representatives of the people instead of ciphers.

As for News Corp, the crucial question came when the Tory MP Louise Mensch asked Rupert why he didn’t resign. “I think frankly I am the best person to clean this up,” he replied. That’s yet another Rupert Murdoch exclusive, perhaps the very last.

Newspaper ownership has always been crazy and eccentric, dominated by ego and a yearning for glory. It seldom has to do with profit. If it had, the recent history of British newspapers would have been a miserable one. Murdoch’s influence on tabloid journalism has been dire, though he is hardly alone in this. His influence on the media industry in general has been that of a serial innovator – confronting unions, lowering production costs, pay-for-view TV and now paywalls. All newspapers have benefited from this, loathe though they may be to admit it.

None of this excuses misleading parliament or hacking phones. These are serious errors. But today’s stormcloud of hysteria is a poor prelude to what could emerge from this, not a sensible attempt to redefine journalistic ethics but a cack-handed attempt to restructure an industry. Perhaps instead the vast political and media resources currently on display might be redirected at the dire state of the nation, Europe and the world. They need it.

Show that you’ve earned the right to move on: All of these problems occured when Labour was in office. We have done more in two weeks to start a clean up of the press and police than Labour did in thirteen years.

Move on – away from media obsessions and to the public’s priorities:Hacking is not the biggest problem in Britain whatever some in the media might think. The biggest challenge is the economy. Labour want to talk about hacking because they have no ideas on jobs or welfare or crime.

Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty