Excellent piece by Peter Wilby ('The press has lost the moral plot') in the MediaGuardian (24 Feb 09). It suggests far from all the pointless, knee-jerk hand-wringing about a 'broken society' we should focus on the role of the media in the shameful episode of Alfie Patten. He writes:
In truth, the story was about the media - not schools, the NHS or welfare. Several columnists nostalgically recalled the days when a teenage pregnancy was hushed up. They didn't mention how the media-created stardom of Alfie and Chantelle suggests premature parenthood has become a route to instant riches and fame. Once, when a girl got pregnant, every teenage boy in the neighbourhood would deny he ever laid a finger on her. Last week, they fell over themselves to claim fatherhood of Chantelle's baby - two candidates were named - presumably in the belief they might get a small slice of the rewards on offer.