Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Newspaper outs anonymous blogger

An anonymous blogger in the UK gave a view of what it's like to be in the Lancashire (UK) police. Lots of "inside baseball" (if you can pardon the expression) which attracted hundreds of thousands of visitors.

The blog's gone now, and the blogger is in trouble, after his identity was exposed. By the press:

The [London] Times has overturned a court order which sought to protect the anonymity of a police blogger known as NightJack.

The blog, which has now been deleted, detailed the life and views of a serving police detective. Earlier this year it won an Orwell prize for political writing.

So why would a newspaper expose an anonymous source exposing government inefficiencies, and which criticized "senior politicians"? Let's listen to the Times' lawyer:
Antony White, QC, for The Times, argued that there was a public interest in non-compliance by a police officer with his obligations under the statutory code governing police behaviour and also with general public law duty on police officers not to reveal information obtained in the course of a police investigation other than for performing his public duties.
Ah, you see, it's illegal for someone in that position to talk to the press post on the Internet. Because next thing you know, secret terrorist financial tracking programs might get exposed. Oh, wait ...

So why would an organization that relies on anonymous government sources expose an anonymous government source?

Competition. You see, NightJack was getting lots of visitors who might otherwise read the Times. Or something. Can't have that.

Remember this the next time some hypocrite from the Mastodon Main Stream Media pleads for special protections from government leak investigations. They don't care about the public's right to know - they care about their share price.


TOTWTYTR said...

Why did they out him? Simple, they can't stand competition, especially when it writes better than they do.

Oh, wouldn't it "inside cricket" as opposed to "inside baseball".

Antonia - Beauty Health Finance and Green Issues Editor said...

I tried everything in order to see if I could get a sneak peak at the Night Jack blog, unfortunately, it's all gone now. Anyway, I hear he is writing a book about the whole thing.