There are some lines you don’t cross in journalism and that includes digging up illegal information…
The Sun should’ve known better than to dig up illegal information on Meghan Markle in the early days of her relationship with Prince Harry. According to Elle, the primary targets of this ‘attack’ on the Duchess of Sussex were herself and her estranged father, Thomas. The PI, Dan “Danno” Hanks uncovered information such as the former actress’ social security number and mobile phone numbers for her and her dad. He even found Intel on Trevor Engelson, the Duchess’ ex-husband and potential former boyfriends.
This information is backed up in an article by The Guardian. Hanks says it never his intent to cause distress or to damage Meghan’s reputation. Now, we’re all for exposing the truth but obtaining intel through illegal means isn’t on.
It is damaging when someone asks a PI to dig into someone’s history for profit. The Sun wanted the exclusive scoop on who Meghan was before anyone else. They played Russian Roulette with several bullets in the gun. Journalism is meant to be about uncovering the truth not selling someone’s personal information to the general public. This is the privacy Meghan and Harry have harped on about so often that it is etched on the insides of our eyelids.
However, they themselves are guilty of giving out personal details of their private lives. One example is Meghan’s miscarriage. Why reveal it publicly when the world never knew she was pregnant?
Going back to The Sun, it already has a reputation for being a tabloid newspaper. If they want to quash that rep, they need to begin reporting on actual facts and engage in fact checking. Another thing they need to consider is how their subject will feel if they read about their personal life being put out there for the world to ridicule.