"Media ethics are in a mess", says Simon Jenkins on the Guardian. "Shock disclosure - journalists sometimes behave unethically," he writes, leaving secrecy and privacy as things of the past and electronic surveillance and the internet demand a new map of the boundaries, he argues.
New technologies and the infinite possibilities of the Web have changed the barriers of privacy. The present world is the realm of all being public: pictures, status updates, "what's on one's mind". Facebook rules.
Consequently it's becoming harder to define boundaries between legitimate and illegitimate, ethical and unethical, legal and illegal.
"Journalistic ethics, if not a contradiction in terms, are a mess. This is the downside of fierce media competition and weak legislation on surveillance technology. It is also a consequence of a thoroughly confused boundary between the public and private realms, between openness and secrecy, publicity and privacy, rapacity and trust," Jenkins said to this end.
It's up to who to fix these boundaries? The duty of journalists is to go after the story, scrutinize those in power, report the truth and follow the public interest. But what is the difference between news of public interest and news revealed in the public interest? Because there is a difference, of course.