The tabloid TV pursuit of the grieving family of 13-year-old Molly Lord is despicable to most. But it’s not unusual.

Plenty will choke on the comments in Crikey today from a former TV current affairs reporter. Writing about the latest example of intrusion by Channel Seven — and the social media fightback from Molly’s mother Linda Goldspink-Lord — the ex-hack remarks:

“I couldn’t help thinking it looked like standard operating procedure on the part of any of the networks. The journalist was on the property looking for someone to who might want to give comment. This is completely normal.”

Completely normal. If it wasn’t Seven, you can bet it would have been one of the other crews camped outside.

This is the business of what passes for “current affairs” on commercial television. It’s grubby stuff.

But you asked for it. From Today Tonight and A Current Affair (which between them bring in close to 3 million people each night) to the newspapers, magazines and websites that trample on privacy (and each other in a race to breach it), intrusion sells.

Regulation won’t stop them; it certainly hasn’t so far. Only consumers can.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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