Re: The media story that wasn't. What has become of the news?
In the UK we've had a huge press scandal and there has been a very long enquiry into media ethics as a result of voicemail interceptions and the like. I support a free and independent press but with that power comes great responsibility. One newspaper in the UK (The News of the World - a Murdoch) actually ceased publication in the wake of the scandal (only to be resurrected under a different name).
I believe that the press should have powers to report to use legally ambiguous methods of research when the story is in the general public interest. It was demonstrated in the UK that these techniques were being used as a matter of course to get stories on celebrities and even a murder victim's voicemail was allegedly intercepted - which is the lowest of the low. As a result, a close aide of Murdoch (Rebekah Brookes) has been charged with unlawful interception of communications and the former editor of the same paper has been charged with perjury - after resigning from his position as an advisor to the Prime Minister. So the rot goes all the way to the top. Hopefully this will be dealt with properly but I have my suspicions of corruption in the Police force in the UK due to another court case that I am not at liberty to divulge but involves a member of my family.
Unfortunately, the press is all about money and shareholders. It always has been and it always will be. For that reason, I think it's important to have strong libel laws to prevent the press from spreading rumours and to ensure that they research their stories properly. For any illicit methods, there should be justification.
Rumours have no place in news reporting and fabrication is obviously abhorrent.