The Daily Mail has lambasted News Corp over “smashing” the convention on the journalist’s “sacred rule” of always protecting sources.
In a trenchant leader article, the tabloid declares: “Forget the Leveson Inquiry, the dawn raid on senior Sun journalists’ homes and the brouhaha over phone-hacking.
“British journalism has now received the most devastating blow of all.
“The reporter’s sacred rule is always to protect sources by refusing to identify them, whatever the duress. Newspapermen have gone to jail to uphold that trust.”
This week, says the Mail, as human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robert pointed out, The Sun’s owner News Corp “smashed that convention, with dire implications for the public’s right to know.
“The firm’s risibly named Management and Standards Committee has disclosed the names of public sector sources to the police on the grounds that they may have been paid for their stories.
“Commendably, a Lords committee yesterday extolled the ‘vital role’ of investigative journalism in democracy.
“However, all this will come to nothing if the sources essential to good journalism fear exposure.
“Truly, News Corp’s MSC should hang its head in shame.”