Panorama’s allegations that GMTV’s premium phone-line competitions are not genuinely open is another blow to the trustworthiness of TV. In all surveys the public says that it believes what TV newscasters tell them above all other forms of journalism. So when that faith in the reliability and good faith of TV news is dented it is more than just a furore about what is effectively, just a form of lottery. But the bit I
don’t understand yet is why the phone competition company allegedly closed the selection early? Why not wait until the proper time and then decide on a winner? Can someone explain what gain there was for them to rush the selection of a winner and so render thousands of other calls useless?
To media folk it is clear that a GMTV presenter like Penny Smith is still one of our most popular and trusted TV journalists, but I fear that this kind of blemish will seen by the public to apply more generally to anyone in news. And as funding dries up for commercial TV news, the risk is that we see more situations where journalistic ethics are overshadowed by economic expediency.