Tony Blair has said the media can operate like "a feral beast" and its relationship with politicians is "damaged" and in need of repair.
The prime minister said relations had always been fraught, but now threatened politicians' "capacity to take the right decisions for the country".
The arrival of web-based news and blogs and 24-hour television news channels meant reports were "driven by impact".
Mr Blair also said newspaper and TV regulatory systems needed to change.
In a speech to the Reuters news agency on public life, he said the media world was becoming more fragmented, with the main BBC and ITN bulletins now getting half the audiences they had previously and newspapers fighting for their share of a "shrinking market".
He said fierce competition for stories meant that the modern media now hunted "in a pack".
"In these modes it is like a feral beast, just tearing people and reputations to bits, but no-one dares miss out," he said.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
He's being a bit unfair to the untamed beasts, who do have some principles, after all.