The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

It can very powerful. It can be very powerful if it is combined with some kind of scandal, whether in his or her private life or perhaps in political life. A revelation, say, of an abuse or a supposed abuse, coupled then with a powerful polemic which says that this person is not fit for his or her post, then becomes extremely powerful.

I think more powerful -- this may be the subject of another question, but more powerful, I think, is the position the newspaper takes over time. The example that comes to mind is that the Sun, which had been, when Rupert Murdoch bought it, a paper of the left, with its origins, I think, in the Daily Herald, which had been a left wing newspaper, in the 70s and 80s, created, if you like, a working class conservatism. It gave permission to people who had been born working class and who may remain working class to be aspirational, to buy their council houses and to be -- to consume more than they did he have before, and indeed therefore to vote for a party which expressed these aspirations, which had been seen much more a party of the middle class. That the Sun should both create some of that trend and run with a trend which was running in society anyway was much more power, I think, than any individual attack, any individual attack or revelation. It was a kind of constant underpinning of the journalism of all kinds, in the Sun above all, but also in some of the other tabloids, and which, as I say, gave permission to large numbers of people to think differently and to therefore choose politically differently than they or their parents and grandparents had done.

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