Archbishop warns press over 'damaging' practices

By Dominic Ponsford

The Archbishop of Canterbury has warned journalists against “lethally damaging” practices.

Dr Rowan Williams was due to tell an audience of media professionals
at Lambeth Palace on Wednesday night that their central task was to
“nourish the common good of society”.

An advance copy of his
speech said: “If the profession is to perform its necessary job, some
aspects of current practice are lethally damaging to it, and contribute
to the embarrassingly low level of trust in the profession (especially
in the UK) shown in most opinion polls.

“There is a difference
between exposing deceptions that sustain injustice and attacking
confidentialities or privacies that in some sense protect the
vulnerable… high levels of adversarial and suspicious probing send the
clear message that any kind of concealment is guilty until proved
innocent.

“That is a case that needs more than just assumptions to be morally persuasive.”

Williams also argued that the media creates “a parallel universe” remote from most people’s real experience.

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