New Bribery Law Across The Pond Could Land Journalists In Jail

A new anti-bribery act in the U.K. effective July 1 places high penalties on anyone giving or accepting bribes, either in the form of hard cash or other “advantages,” the Press Gazette reports. The law is now considered one of the most stringent in the world.

Penalties include up to 10 years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine, and journalists are worried that the law could be interpreted to include journalists who accept freebies from publicists.

On the other hand, the U.K.’s tabloid culture means that maybe a law like this is necessary. One fashion reporter confessed to having “more than £3,000 worth of stuff” just sitting at her desk, stuff she intended to keep to “supplement [her] lower-than-you’d- think wages.” Among the loot: a new Powerbook, shoes, earrings, and a Blackberry. If the law is taken seriously, then “My way of life is over,” she said.