We the general public wish to issue an apology.
We are deeply sorry that our desperate fascination with tittle-tattle and petty gossip has caused an entire industry to emerge in the UK dedicated to feeding our nosy addiction.
We are sorry that every time a newspaper or magazine printed details of someone’s private lives, we rushed out to buy that paper and read about it.
We are sorry that we gave newspapers the impression that we would pour over almost every tiny detail no matter how insignificant.
We are sorry that the newspapers seeing this as an easy way to make money ceased printing actual news and simply became modern day “penny dreadfuls”, albeit costing rather more than a penny.
We are however alarmed that they then decided to break the law to feed our addiction.
We are concerned that the newspapers listened to people’s private messages and tricked us into reading stories printed because of that illegal activity.
We the public wish to say sorry to the celebrities, and so-called celebrities who suffered the financial loss of having their private lives published by the newspaper before they were able to sign an exclusive agreement with Heat Magazine first.
We feel outraged not because it took place, but because we have been embarrassed into realising that we, the public are in part responsible for creating the culture where this sort of behaviour might be considered acceptable by journalists.
We are sorry.