This week saw Daily Mail picture editor Paul Silva face the Leveson inquiry. During the questioning he was asked about the privacy of children, here is a summary from the free speech blog:
Silva agreed with a celebrity asking for privacy for their children, and that he “would go along with whatever they ask”. He said it was the paper’s policy that images of children would be pixellated, and when asked by Lord Justice Leveson whether it was questionable that photographers should be taking such pictures in the first place, he responded, “possibly, yes.”
When the inquiry came to talk about MailOnline Silva made it clear that he only deals with pictures for the print edition of the newspaper, not the website. Which begs the questions: who is responsible for the pictures used on the Mail website, and why are they also not appearing in front of the inquiry?
The trouble with the Mail website is that children aren’t merely shown in pictures without any attempt to remove them or pixellate their faces, it is that they often are the story. Take this, for example:
This is just one example of a story that appears daily on the Mail website. The MailOnline business model is based around photo-led (the article contains 5 pictures) ‘stories’ in which photographers stick their long lenses into the private public life of a celebrity. We have a media model that thinks it is perfectly normal to photograph children, babies and families whilst they play in the park, walk down the street, get in a car, eat in a restaurant, play on a beach or perform even the most mundane task. How is profiting from the constant harassment of young children and families acceptable?
Just because we live in a society that provides a willing and paying audience for this invasive drivel, doesn’t mean we have to allow amoral websites like the MailOnline to provide it.
Claims the Daily Mail as Google releases details of the most searched for things online. The article states that:
the list of biggest search terms gives a clue to the hottest celebs and sites around. So there’s no surprise to see MailOnline making an appearance.
So, does ‘MailOnline’ make an appearance on this Google list? Er, no. The word ‘mail’ is in 9th place. Still, the Daily Mail is happy to take credit for part of this success:
In overall searches ‘Mail’ comes in at No.9, thanks no doubt in part to MailOnline, which this year broke the 50million barrier for the number of monthly unique users.
Or the fact that a lot of people check their ‘mail’ online. Still, in the news and current events category the Mail website does do very well, with ‘Daily Mail showbiz’ appearing in fifth place. MailOnline is very proud of this, which is odd, given that MailOnline editor Martin Clarke once said that:
News is far more important to us than showbiz. News is what drives our site.