The Evening Standard yesterday reported the desperately sad news that amid the huge pressure on journalists at News International two individuals have attempted to take their own lives.
The individuals involved have not been named.
The Standard also reports on anger inside News International about the actions of the News Corp management and standards committee which has handed over information to police which has resulted in 11 arrests of serving and former Sun journalists. Many more former News of the World journalists have been arrested as part of the Met Police investigation into phone-hacking.
No journalist has yet been charged with any crime in relation to the new police investigations.
The Standard quotes one insider condemning the MSC and those who head it up – specifically former Telegraph editor Will Lewis and Simon Greenberg: “These former journalists are turning their own people over to police for ‘crimes’ that newspapers have indulged in for centuries.”
Meanwhile, the Attorney General is understood to be looking into Met Police deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers who made widely reported comments to the Leveson Inquiry about a “culture of illegal payments” at The Sun which appeared to pre-judge any trial which could proceed from the arrests of the 11 Sun journalists.
While serious corruption cannot be tolerated, the consequences of such a draconian clampdown on unofficial information disclosures could be a police force which is far less transparent and accountable and a media which is cowed and cautious. It seems that the remedy could prove worse than the ailment.