Whilst the complete absence of professionalism on the part of Jane Hansen is obvious, it seems her lies and deceit are really just small parts of this picture.
It is clear that the bigger issue at stake here is that The Telegraph now knows that they got this entire story diametrically wrong and that its agent Hansen has tried to do great personal harm to innocent people. By contrast, there is actually a great story to be told rather than the miserable hatchet job that Hansen trumped up; we can leave that for a journalist with vision. What Hansen did was similar behaviour at The Telegraph’s sister company The News of The World during the phone tapping saga. The bigger issue here is whether the leadership of The Telegraph will simply wait until the regulator and lawyers come knocking or will it be a good corporate citizen and come forward with double page apologies now that it knows it has deeply wronged? At issue here is the already tarnished media industry’s reputation.
The same issue applies to The Telegraph’s owners – represented by the Directors and Officers of News Corporation. What will Julian Clarke (CEO) or Rupert Murdoch do when they get to hear about this matter, as will surely be the case? Do they wait to be undone by the rest of the media and regulators as in the case of The News of the World? Or do they treat Hansen’s gross deception with what it deserves – a complete and fulsome public withdrawal and a heavy censuring of Hansen? Let’s see what mettle this media specimen is made of.
And then there is an even bigger issue at stake: Why do the citizens of Australia buy this journal at all? It is clear from the abysmal results leaked to the media recently that this media model is in trouble. But rather than blame the burgeoning internet for its demise, is it more a case that we, the consumers, now have many news alternatives and anything is better than this Hansen trash? We are voting with our feet and with this Hansen style journalism a few thousand more readers will be lost forever.