There is a lot of thinking to be done this morning.
We are at the heart of a media storm and the storm focuses on three key things
Firstly, the future of News International and its senior management
Secondly, the implications for the political and police establishment as we start to understand its complicity in what is starting to look like an systemic culture of corruption
Thirdly, the far more important and longer-term debate about the kind of media we, as a society, will tolerate and the balance within it between public interest and commercial interest.
As far as the first is concerned it seems hard to believe that the closure of the NOTW is the end of the story. More senior heads will have to roll surely. And I will be interested to see the Union response too!
For the second, we must wonder just how the PM and Downing Street generally will shake off the scandal of association with Andy Coulson. They will only weather the storm, if they are seen to take action on the third point. And to me that isn’t just about a judge led enquiry into the phone hacking scandal.
This is, as I say, the fundamental issue. Should freedom of the press over-ride all other moral codes and values? As an example, do we want a press that is free to investigate and disclose celebrity mis-deeds as a matter of fact and of public interest? Or a press that is free to print pages of salacious detail as a matter of prurient interest to sell more papers?
It’s a key question that defines the society we live in.
Where do you stand?