Savile, Leveson and the Olympics: The stories that made the headlines in 2012

Darius McQuaid
year in review 300x225 Savile, Leveson and the Olympics: The stories that made the headlines in 2012

Clockwise from top left: Jimmy Savile, Lord Leveson, Jessica Ennis and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (Getty Images)

This year has been an interesting one to say the least and we have witnessed a lot. The year the Mayans prophesied we would see the end of the world has certainly been eventful. Recent hurricanes, unrest in the Middle East, solar flares, mystery planets about to collide with us – all “proof” of what the ancient Mayans knew would come to pass on 21 December 2012. If it all does comes to pass, then at least we can say we have all had an interesting ride.

Hopefully you will be reading this on 22 December, so the first story I will talk about is the infamous Leveson inquiry. Although it originally started in 2011 it spanned most of 2012. The public opinion of British journalists now ranks very low. The inquiry led by Lord Justice Leveson into press ethics, which mainly focused on the tabloid press, painted a disturbing picture for all of us to consider. We heard allegations that reporters and associates, bullied and cheated with impunity, while their bosses fraternised with police officers and politicians. As a young and aspiring journalist this particular case really annoys me, I just hope that everyone doesn’t perceive all journalists are like this and that most journalists are good people.

The 96 deaths in 1989 at Hillsborough stadium was in the news this year and although it happened before I was born it still shocked the foundations of football and society. One of the disturbing facts to come out so far is the police were feeding false information to the press. This produced the notorious headline in The Sun entitled “The Truth”; some fans picked the pockets of victims, etc. When people say, “we have all gone health and safety mad”, remember Hillsborough. If we had some of this madness at the time, I think we could have avoided these tragic deaths.

Prince William and Kate’s baby story was a nice, uplifting story. However as positive as the story was, it has been overshadowed with the tragic news of the nurse who took her own life. This unfortunate woman passed the call through to the ward where Kate was recuperating from a form of severe morning sickness. A very innocent action, how could she feel so guilty? We will probably never know. You may see it as a prank that simply went wrong or another example of the press overstepping the moral boundaries that they should adhere to.

Yet another media fury to hit us this year was the shock and horror of Jimmy Savile’s disreputable past. His actions were completely disgusting, and no excuse about the prevalent mood and attitude of the time will ever recompense for his dreadful actions. What is even more disturbing is that there were many rumours within the police and authorities that Savile was a paedophile but as he had done so much for children’s charities they turned a blind eye. A friend of mine, his father is a retired police officer, told me that rumours were circulating that the police did in fact suspect what was happening.

The last story that I am going to focus on for 2012 and something I believe is fairly uplifting is the Olympics. We as a country did incredibly well and hopefully the boost of tourism to our country’s capital is just what we needed, considering the constraints of the credit crunch. I was lucky enough to go see a volleyball event with my friends and I must say it was a brilliant day and one I shall not forget.

Hopefully 2013 will usher in a lot of good reasons to be British and we as a nation we hopefully strive to be what we once were.

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  • Vitaly Klitschko

    There is no substantive evidence whatsoever that Jimmy Savile is guilty of any crime. There is no possibility of criminal proceedings or trial by jury.

    However, there is plenty of evidence that there are now no restrictions on the press’s ability to publish defamation, rumour and scurrilous gossip as if this was factual – so long as the individual is dead and/or not in a position to sue for defamation. We have also learned that the press have no qualms about whipping up public hysteria. Further there seems to be no interest on the part of the press in either criminal proceedings or justice, but rather the promotion of a victim culture and the legal compensation industry; the latter apparently not requiring forensic evidence or even corroboration.

    These developments are deeply worrying for an impartial observer interested in due process and habeas corpus.

  • Andrew K

    “…and although it happened before I was born it still shocked the foundations of football and society.” You self-centred little twerp.

  • kawasakiman

    Someone once said it is the history we made that defines who we were….oh hell.

  • John B

    I don’t think you should be commenting on areas that are either out of your realm of understanding, area of expertise or you just don’t know about. Reading your section about the Leveson inquiry clearly shows you have no grip or understanding into what the inquiry was for and what it set out to achieve. Simply saying that it’s focus was on the ‘tabloid press’ shows your clear inexperience as both a blogger and a so called ‘journalist’. This piece seems like it was written when you were last at your local, all the material is what you would expect to hear from your friends over a good pint, this is the sort of journalsim that is letting us down.

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