|Photograph: the Asian Awards|
The Times of London’s has revealed that evidence of its involvement in email hacking was withheld from the high court. The editor, James Harding, made the statement during a lengthy cross-examination at the Leveson inquiry on the 7th of February 2012.
The hacking occurred back in 2009, when a young Times reporter, Patrick Foster, hacked into an email account to identify and expose the award-winning police blogger, NightJack. James Harding claimed he was unaware of all the details of this case and instead blamed the paper's then lawyer, Alastair Brett, for taking on a high court legal battle without his knowledge but admitted all the same that “when you look back at all this, it's terrible."
This is just one of many startling revelations that have come out of the ongoing Leveson inquiry, which was launched in September 2011 to investigate the culture, practises and ethics of the British media following the News International phone hacking scandal. The inquiry is rapidly changing the media industry as it becomes clear how widespread unethical journalistic practises have been. In the short term, editors are more cautious in what they publish and reluctant to take risks in breaking big stories. In the long term it remains unclear where the investigation will lead us. While some, such as the Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, are campaigning for a new regulator ‘with teeth’, many others remain wary of state interference. To be continued.