Ten things the press would rather you didn’t know

  • No witness or anybody else at the Leveson Inquiry advocated state control of the press.
  • Lord Justice Leveson’s terms of reference require him to make recommendations that support press freedom.
  • Editors have been seeking the power to license journalists by ensuring that only people they approve can have press cards.
  • Far from being in financial difficulty, the Daily Mail, Mirror, Sun, Express and Star papers make well over £200m in profit a year.
  • Twenty-six leading academics in law and journalism have written to the press to denounce the editors’ proposed new self-regulation scheme as inadequate.
  • Statutory backing for a press regulator is supported by the NUJ, the largest organisation in the country representing journalists.
  • It was ITV, whose regulation is underpinned by statute, and not the ‘self-regulated’ press, that opened the floodgates of revelation about Jimmy Savile.
  • The overwhelming majority of victims of phone hacking and data mining are ordinary people and not celebrities.
  • Only last month the Mail and Mirror were fined for contempt of court after their reporting helped cause the abandonment of a child kidnapping trial.

251 Responses to “Ten things the press would rather you didn’t know”

  1. Dan Smith

    “Seventy-eight per cent of the population wants independent press regulation backed by statute.”

    So what, using that logic you will start campaigning for the reintroduction of the death penalty.

    Reply
    • chris a

      do you have a poll saying that 78% of the population want the death penalty? if so, why does no major political party back this, surely they’d be on to a winner. comment fail.

      Reply
        • James the James

          what a load of crap! there is no way that more than 7 in 10 want the death penalty

          Reply
      • Julianzzz

        Yes but we want it reserved for Rupert Murdoch and other abusive newspaper proprietors.

        Reply
      • Matt Puddy

        No, as EU members it wouldn’t matter if the entire population backed capital punishment, we are bound never to return to those days, thank goodness.

        Reply
        • Keith H

          Erm, I think you will find that the UKIP are fast becoming a major party, and they certainly advocate leaving the EU (and the sooner the better!)

          Reply
          • neil tate

            Paul Sykes a very big Businessman is backing Ukip with serious money, He believes we should pull out of Europe. He says, he believes it will de-solve in time anyway, so we should get out now and that we will be better off out of it.

        • Elisha Wilkinson

          In case your wondering, the press is very xenophobic towards foreigners. Plus a great many businesses and organizations do not want us to leave. A lot of positive laws have been introduced as a result of us being in the EU. But of course the Conservative backed press does not want us to know of these things.

          Reply
      • Hilary

        I agree that the death penelty, it should be brought back.And as long as there`s proof, they should hang! Why do people stick up for some of the worlds worst monsters? without a doubt its a messed up society. Someone breaks into your home, they attack you, you defend yourself and the criminal is killed, but the poor homeowner.shall be the one who pay`s the price … Heres a thought, Why not look after our own decent people and not be all nicey nicey to the the crook!

        Reply
      • Steve Medcalf

        There are a lot of us out here who want to see the death penalty back. Its a pity this country is willing to send good young men and women to their deaths fighting a pointless war but are happy for the worst type of murderer to be kept in luxury at the taxpayers expense for their entire lives.

        Reply
    • John

      Nice comment… do you work for News International, or some dark arts PR company paid by them to write such comments?

      Reply
      • Lindy

        I think you’ve got to try to put yourself in the place of the McCanns and the Dowlers when you make your decision, that should make it easier. It did for me, I signed up. As for Crafty Cameron it is no surprise which side he’s going to be on, I’d be utterly shocked it he did the right thing for people.

        Reply
        • Bill Marlow

          Of Course Cameron does not want proper press regulation. He wants his pal Rupert ‘the digger’ Murdoch to help him win the next election. However since when did we vote for an Australian gangster to run the country. Oh! I forgot the last election.

          Reply
          • Martin Peters

            Your ignorance is stunning. Leveson is about conduct, not content. State regulation will restrict the collection of information. It will do nothing to alter the editorial slant. Murdoch will be just as free to print his pro-Tory nonsense post state regulation as he was to print all his pro-Labour nonsense before 2010 and his pro-Cameron nonsense ever since.

          • Harry King

            Hey, don’t say that the Australian/English/American was only elected at the last election. He has had Tony B Liar on the payroll since 97.
            Did you know that he two largest contributors to the Scottish National Party are the Souter family(they own Stagecoach) and the other major contributor is RUPERT MURDOCH. If anyone can explain why he wants an independent Scotland, I would love to know

      • Martin Peters

        Interesting that the most meaningful of the 10 things is the reference to hacking and data mining, both of which are criminal offences. I.e. no need for a regulator to deal with these. Likewise, the contempt of court for which the papers were find. State regulation would be a cloak behind which public figures would hide their misdemeanours and crimes. What price any new revelations of MPs expenses fraud if the state is in charge? I don’t want the press curtailed just so Hugh Grant can keep it quiet when he gets caught in public with a hooker.

        Reply
        • Self Serving Journo Finder

          Martin, Martin… Oh dear me.
          Put the boot in on everyone else to save your own troubled wages.
          Shame that forensic brilliance didn’t shine during Iraq, Hillsborough, Mccann, Dowler, Banking Meltdown etc, etc…

          Reply
    • Phil Holt

      The issue is you have to make a judgment. The death penalty is an emotional issue depending on lets say the death of a brave policewomen. Most of the time in the past many innocent people executed have been retrospectively found to be innocent. Too late! and so parliament have then been right to ignore a call which they have studied in depth. In this case over the years people have seen and constantly read what the press have done to innocent people and in many cases to people who have died. Now we have had this inquiry in depth confirming something must be done. Each individual can offer their view but I like the fact that most of my fellow citizens on this occasion want something reasonable and proportionate to be done. Its good to be in the majority against an unfettered press run by extremely rich proprieters

      Reply
      • Martin Peters

        And most of your fellow citizens want the death penalty restored. In fact, if the figure of 78% in favour is accurate, it is about the same as the vote for the death penalty. You want to hang the press. I want to hang murderers. You vote for mine and I’ll vote for yours. You can’t have it both ways, so p*** or get off the pot.

        Reply
        • Self Serving Journo Finder

          …And now NI take out a Super-injunction to cover up more scandals.
          And there we were thinking you wanted free speech. Make your mind up! Oh, if it’s okay with your owners. Invertebrate.

          Reply
      • Lynne Allison Moore

        quote “in the past many innocent people executed have been retrospectively found to be innocent.” Many? How Many? Who are your sources? In the past many more people have been the fatal victims of criminals who were not hanged. Time we placed the victims views before those of the criminals.

        Reply
        • Lindy

          Lynne Allison Moore – If you don’t know about all those that have been wrongly executed, just google it and then you will. Some have been posthoumously pardoned. We cant take the risk of kiiling any more innocent people. Just think if it was a member of your family and it could easily be you know. Imagine how would you feel then and then extend that feeling to others.

          Reply
    • Sean Edwards

      Dan – what a way to try and trivialise the Leveson petition. Fine, if you disagree with the 78% of the population just say so, don’t just add supposedly clever or fatuous comments as if the 78% don’t matter, you demean yourself.otherwise

      Reply
      • Martin Peters

        So, the politicians can’t ignore what 78% of the public want? Death penalty it is then!

        Reply
      • Sam Millard

        By 78% percent of the population they mean, 78% of the population who were asked/responded. In fact one of the issues of this 10 point critique is it uses similar wording as a tabloid paper to mislead people. For example, ‘Twenty-six leading academics in law and journalism have written to the press to denounce the editors’ proposed new self-regulation scheme as inadequate.’ Well how many wrote to support it? Twenty six out of how many in Britain? In the World?

        Equally, the comment about Jimmy Savillie is one example, however, there are probably many examples where the press beat ITV and the BBC to the punch through legitimate means? What is the point they are making?

        One final point off the top of my head, when referring to the NUJ’s support of state regulation, did they poll their members? Or is that just the opinion of their spokesperson or chairperson?

        I’m not sure where I stand on the wider issue of press self regulation, but this article annoys me not because it doesn’t make potentially valid points but because it uses many techniques that the website has criticizes the press for.

        Reply
    • Pedro

      So why not? This is a democracy isn’t it? Or are the majority of people in this country less important than you?

      Reply
    • Berthold Dwinger

      Considering we live in a democracy where the will of the people should be prevailant I think your comment arrogant and ignorant. Majority over-rules so tough cheese pal.

      Reply
    • Harry Anderson Trucker

      In 1791 some extremley wise men passed the first ammendment to the American constitution specificaly protecting the freedom of the press. Now in a few offended and hurt, mainly celebrities whish to take control of the press. Please read Nigel Farages response, it’s the only bit of sense i’ve heard since Levison began.

      Reply
    • Nick Baldwyn

      Dan stop being ridiculous. That’s not a rational argument. How can you compare imposing a a statutorily backed disciplinary process that would impose fines with one that condemns someone to death!

      Reply
    • llandm

      Yes, why not re-introduce the Death Penalty. The majority of the country support it.
      Or do we let the vociferous minority rule us again and again as currently happens.

      Reply
    • Leo Edwards

      Yeah, I’d bring that back in. There’s nothing “civilised” about our country if there are murderers, rapists and people who would be doing life in other counntries, just walking around our streets committing more crime.

      Reply
    • Francis

      It is the government of David that don’t want regulation as he wants all the bad people in his social circle protected, because they have the money to fight. Whatever reason this government put up, there is always a hidden agenda. They are evil people

      Reply
      • Lindy

        Francis Very true. I am fed up of listening to their lies by omission, just like the gutter press, deliberately distorting the truth to make things appear better than they actually are, i.e. they said people are getting back into work but what they didnt tell us was it was only part time work, they kept on saying the deficit was reduced by 25% which isn’t true because they were basing it on a monthly figure and the reality was that over the year it was only reduced by about 1% and lending is higher, I wouldn’t trust Cameron and his cronies while their lips were moving.

        Reply
    • Wilson Kemp

      Very true. Any genuine opinion poll for the reintroduction of the death penalty would achieve at least 75% in favour; if it was held after a particularly violent crime eg child murder or murder of police officer, the result would be 90% in favour.

      Reply
    • Mike Dolan

      Giving statutory regulation to the press does not imoly a loss of freedoms unless your trying to argue against regulation. The press have had plenty of chances to clean up, and failed. Instead, under the banner of freedom of speech we are fed a daily diet of meaningless drivel and celebrity. Apologies are given back page placing and we live in a country happy to expose and exploit those charge before trial. Dont we believe in justice before we ruin lives? Ban naming those not yet found guilty, it does not serve justice or the community at large. Funny how we dont get daily stories of those charged from the media over phone hacking. Stuatory regulation, front page corrections and apologies, heavy fines or closure, imprisonment for the guilty. Lets stop regarding journalists and bankers as untouchable hero’s.

      Reply
      • Reader13

        I think you’ll find that as soon as a person is charged the contempt of court act stop papers publishing stories – that’s how come juries don’t get to know the past of accused except in unusual circumstances.

        Reply
    • K.Mullen

      We don’t have a ‘free’ press, most newspapers are owned by powerful people like Murdoch, Rothermere, etc. SO the existing press is hardly free or democratic.

      Reply
      • Chjristine Coombe

        I think the phrase ‘free press’ means nothing on its own. . A free press alone is not good for democracy. A free, VARIED and RESPONSIBLE press may well be. The few press moguls run the country and the politicians. Their views dictate public discourse, where are the alternative views? Who can take on Murdoch, Dacre and Desmond unless they have lots of money.

        Reply
        • david prince

          agree whole heartedly, there is very little free press in this country; newspapers that are just propaganda mouth pieces for their proprietors’; there to feed xenophobia fear and hate. And national broadcasters who stick strictly to the script of the establishment.
          Fortunately most people especially younger people get their information via the internet which is why they are so disaffected with mainstream politics.
          So surprise surprise, our politicians are so keen to censor the internet supposedly to prevent piracy and paedophiles.

          Reply
    • Kevin Kerr

      The reality is most people would have the Death Penalty reintroduced with certain conditions. When have MP’s ever backed what their constituants want – they vote the way the Whip tells them adding fuel to the fire that believes we live in a democratically elected dictatorship.

      Reply
    • paul

      dan, you are deriously deluded, what planet do you come from ??, oh sorry, its obviously mr camerons pocket profit planet, you muppet.

      Reply
    • Ben Francis

      That’s right! Because regulating Newspapers and state sanctioned murder are exactly the same.

      Reply
    • frank mccoy

      It is the introductory ‘So what…’ which is so telling of what I can only describe as contempt for the views of ordinary people. Yes, a majority does not prove a moral case – ever…but perhaps some consideration needs to be given to grass roots opinion by the ‘intelligentsia’.
      .

      Reply
    • Pete Ingram

      Indeed, just where did this number come from? 78% seems a very precise number. Where is the data to back this number?

      Reply
        • Simon Barré-Brisebois

          Hi. Thanks for this fascinating Google document. Also got to see the poll results here at and am very glad that you take the time to show us these statistics. Very appreciated.

          Happy New Year!

          Reply
          • Simon Barré-Brisebois

            Noticed on my reply that the web link between “here at” and “am very” didn’t appear on my reply. So I am saying it is the “Poll shows public support for independent regulator” page. Just a little detail that I wanted to show.

    • Frank Hooper

      The 78% is an indicator of popular feeling and demands a response to the Tories attempt to weaken the key proposal of Levenson. The Tories talk about a free press when they mean an unrestrained press, which means that when the pressure fades from the issue, they will get back to their old abusive and intrusive habits. We need the legal underpinning. It works in Ireland and other media, e.g. TV.

      The death penalty issue is separate. It too needs addressing. But popular support for the death penalty is not connected to Levenson. The pros and cons are completely different.

      Reply
    • Matthew Roberts

      You have a point, but it’s what you don’t say that gives you away. Yes, of course we should beware of the ‘tyranny of the majority’. However, we expect democratic principles to apply in our country (whether they do in practice is a moot point). Therefore, you need a good reason to ignore such a strong majority opinion. Arguments against the death penalty are compelling. Arguments against “independent press regulation backed by statute” are significantly less so. And, as far as I can see, only made by media apologists.

      Reply
    • Peter Yoprk

      ignoring the odious and inappropriate reference to reintroducing the death penalty, the press have repeatedly flaunted public opinion and failed to put their house in order. Time for action as required by more than three quarters of the populace.

      Reply
    • paul smyth

      I think I am right in stating that the public support has always the death penalty but the politicians are not willing to turn this into law.

      Reply
    • Peter Foster

      What a stupid response. Since when has Press regulation got anything to do with the reintroduction of the death penalty>

      Reply
    • Terri

      I read recently that a petition to re-introduce the death penalty struggled to get 20k votes in 6 months. This one reached 100k within three days, if I remember correctly.

      Reply
    • Pete

      Without any need for logic, don’t most Daily Express readers crave the return of the death penalty – especially for foreigners!

      Reply
  2. OscarJones

    Indeed it took one TV program to expose the allegations about Jimmy Savile and since then the combined tabloids have been re-writing their role in promoting Savile and directing the spotlight at his former employer.

    At the same time tabloid editors are lining up to claim they heard rumours about Savile but were powerless to publish them.

    That does not explain why, in their haste to produce reams of show-biz froth they printed endless tales about Savile and his charity exploits.

    If Savile felt impervious, it is no wonder. Yet these profitable corporations still demand a privilege not available to any other corporation.

    Reply
    • Chirpy

      Of course the so-called ‘free press’ have no agenda in respect of discrediting/undermining the BBC and its funding. The Beeb have hardly helped themselves though.

      Reply
      • Mike

        Sadly, they DO have an anti-BBC agenda – particularly News International, the parent of the Sun, the Sunday Times and the late and unlamented News of the World, whose combined vocal power was trained endlessly on the public broadcaster it saw as hampering its monopoly objectives. And does anyone seriously imagine the Daily Mail has a shred of regard for the BBC?

        Reply
        • IMac

          Come on, the BBC is itself in a very privileged and protected position from which it delivers its own left liberal political slant. People are forced to pay for the BBC whether they like it or not, whereas for every other media outlets, people can opt not to support them. This artificially protected position means the BBC tends to exercise excessive ‘monopolistic’ power over large areas of the national debate.

          Reply
          • Olly

            Sorry but I’m sick and tired of the lie that the BBC is left or even liberal slanted.

            Have you seen the Sunday Politics? Is Andrew Neill is not only bald-headed but is a bald-faced Tory and can’t either fact. This week instead of focusing on Leveson his programme spent forever discussing the appointment of the new justice minister, and how his views differ (or not, apparently) from the last tory justice minister zzzzz Not a distraction from the major issue of week, Surely? And I WILL call you Shirley.

            A few weeks ago Neill spent nearly half of his interview following Ed Miliband’s conference speech trying to nail Douglas Alexander on exactly how many £thousands millioaires would receive from Cameron’s millionaire tax cut, and how it wasn’t as much/many as Miliband claims – blissfully unaware that virtually everyone in the country doesn’t believe millionaires should receive ANY pay cut while the rest of the nation is forced to endure austerity rations while our social infrastructures are dismantled and handed over to private wealth. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19862354

            How this fat-arse permitted to pipe tory drivel into our homes week after week is probably in no small part thanks to the myth that the BBC is liberal-left slanted. It’s a joke.

            Nick Robinson is a Tory.

            Tim Donovan, political editor of BBC London (news) is a right-wing propogandist who has invested his his air-time licking Boris Johnson’s arse, muck-raking about Ken Livingston, undermining union action and acting as an apologist for gross tube fare increases.

            He is honestly as brazen a tory scumbag as you could have a nightmare about and awaken in a cold sweat thanking god it was all just a dream.

            The BBC is very establishment, very much the channel of privilege. Presumably to deter British muslims from showing solidarity playing down the recent anti-US-oppression muslim revolts sweeping country after country following the YouTube film. Instead it focused all of its (meagre) attention on the risk it might pose to Prince Harry instead – ffs.

            After the summer riots in Britain, it played down the origins of the riots – Police bigotry against British black youths – and in doing so was horribly disrespectful to Darcus Howe.

            These are just a few examples – almost every news story is spun to the point of meaninglessness.

            If you get your news from the internet as most intelligent people now do to some extent, BBC news looks like a right-wing cover-up. There’s practically zero content. It’s as though practically nothing ever happens outside of Westminster or the City apart from football or floods.

      • Daz

        The head of the BBC went after the scandal, I don’t see The Murdoch dynasty displaying the same humility!

        Reply
        • James

          Well News International put up 2 front page scandals WRONGLY naming people as paedophiles. On each occasion the editor, one R, Brookes gained promotion rather than resigning. The person who appointed her, one Mr Murdoch, was not pressured to resign after showing such poor judgement particularly after the second occasion she did this soon after being promoted to the Sun. The same bigot who is hounding the BBC via the Sun and his old pals network.
          The poor Joe Soaps wrongly named had to go into hiding with the aid of taxpayer funded police protection and their lives were ruined. So much for Press responsibility and regulation then.

          Reply
      • Ron Milet

        I work on a community radio station and Ofcom regulate us, and all the radio and TV as well. It works fairly and well.
        So what is the difference?…It is this, as Stanley Baldwin’s said nearly 100 years ago, the press enjoys “the privilege of the harlot down the ages–power without responsibility”
        Its time their power was matched with some responsibility.

        Reply
    • Teds

      You don’t need to ask an entire population to be able to make inferences about it. If 78% of a sample agree, you can say that 78% of the population also agree

      Reply
    • Dee

      Errr…. Statistics 101? Using sampling methods to quantify a value in a large population? Its the standard (and only way of doing opinion poles) for large populations. Asking everyone is impossible!

      Reply
      • Don

        Asking everyone is what is called a REFERENDUM.
        A swear word to this government.
        So , you can ask everyone.

        Reply
  3. Zeds

    “Twenty six leading academics”.

    They’re not “leading”. They’re just academics.

    Reply
      • Julianzzz

        Not really, there’s plenty of lowly paid Phd students, researchers and part time lecturers that don’t feel “leading” at all. To be a lead academic means fairly precisely, to lead other academics and to be at the fore front of current knowledge or research.

        Reply
      • D Morgan

        Unless of course they are not top scientists or have not won awards.

        If you’re going to make a comment, at least try not to be so lazy in your analysis.

        Reply
  4. Alan

    The magazine The Oldie had been publishing stories about Jimmy Savile and the rumours surrounding his behaviour for years before ITV ran with the story. This was long before his death.

    Reply
    • Julianzzz

      They got it from RAP, Rochdale Alternative Press, Rochdale has long had a radical element, including music and art. Faced by allegations against the weighty Cyril Smith machine, they acted, at risk to themselves, but the establishment closed ranks. The abuse of minors is one thing, but when it includes the corruption of the body politic, then it is truly frightening.

      Reply
    • Adrian Perry

      I think Common Purpose is OK. Basically it is leaders of different services – police, social services, business, health, education – meeting up to share experiences and make linkages. It’s a good idea that wouldn’t happen unless someone arranged it. I am aware, though, that the current febrile press campaign against any control wants to make it sound like Scientology.

      Reply
  5. anon

    @dan smith

    wtf are you talking about? if 78% of the population wanted the death penalty then reintroduction of the death penalty might actually be worth talking about but they don’t and it’s got nothing to do with anything. you’d have been better off asking for a source for that number. i know i was never polled.

    Reply
  6. Chris Rae

    As this site is unregulated perhaps it too is full of lies and half truths, otherwise known as statistics

    Reply
    • Dav

      On the contrary, this site seems to have its finger on the pulse of public opinion, who have been disgusted by the repeated excesses of the printed media.

      The setting up of Leveson demonstrates this adequately.

      Reply
  7. Gez Sagar

    @dan smith – death penalty not the best example, opinion is split about 50 – 50 >

    http://ukpollingreport.co.uk/blog/archives/3802

    most polls tend to be carried out after v upsetting cases/trials eg the Soham murders

    If there was a referendum and the arguments were thrashed out, the public would reject the death penalty.

    The arguments on press complaints have been well aired in the last 18 months for the first time in 20 years and the public (77% of them) say that self regulation of the press by the press is no longer acceptable.

    Reply
      • Rob

        Why are we discussing the death penalty? This is about the repugnant bullying by some newspaper media that has perverted the course of justice and inflicted appalling psychological injuries on their victims. Along with hacking and merciless stalking these are all criminal offences and should be treated as such.
        Newspaper organisations need to be licensed in the same way independent television is for precisely the same reason: the phenomenal power they wield – and frequently abuse. Serious transgressions of their moral code of practice could then incur a licence suspension meaning they would be temporarily off the streets. That is the only language of accountability they truly understand.

        Reply
        • Peter

          Rob, you mention the press stalking victims. Recent legislation at least now hands such victims a tool to deal with this.
          Make sure that you take your camera to record exactly who is camped on your doorstep!

          Reply
        • Self Serving Journo Finder

          This is how ‘news’ papers behave. It’s called ‘Straw Men’.
          They’ve got themselves confused with fiction writers.

          Reply
    • Dan Smith

      Well hang on now Gez, this 78% in favour poll has been carried out at the height of the press misbehaving, you can’t have it both ways.

      Reply
  8. Cam

    If we lose the freedom of the press we lose the freedom of information which would be another of our freedoms the government wants to take away. When does it stop?

    Reply
    • gerry

      Freedom of the Press, who are you kidding Cam. It is freedom of the Press Proprietors to spread their personal opinions on Politics etc. Try writing to The Mirror saying how wonderful Cameron is , or write to The Mail singing the praises of Milliband would you really expect you’re letters to be printed! Grow up.

      Reply
    • Neil Harvey

      Cam, when a teenager, after staying out too late once too often is told by their parents that from now on their behaviour is going to be closely monitored, of course they whinge and whine about it. They may even stamp their feet. If they are being particularly hilarious, they may even do a dramatic speech about their ‘loss of freedom’.

      Of course, ‘it stops’ when the teenager leaves adolescence behind and enters adulthood. At this point the ex-adolescent may stop yakking on about (their own) freedom and begin to talk about responsibility.

      It is the personal ownership of responsibility, rather than freedom, which is the defining hallmark of an adult.

      Reply
    • Hugh Allen

      We don’t have freedom of the press. We have a consensus among 2/3 of Fleet Street to dish us trash, celebrity gossip (mostly untrue), political hysteria and only very expensive recourse to correction and compensation.

      Reply
    • kLARZY

      Why does the press have a right to be free when we are not free from the press?
      If they can hound, make false accusations, spy, pry and ruin lives, why can the people not push back?

      Reply
    • D Morgan

      And yet if we DONT lose the “freedom” of the press by regulation, more innocent victims will continue to be created and nothing will change. We’ve had this debate 7 TIMES now, and each time we’ve let them have another chance and each time they have gone on to commit an even worse offence.

      A lock in at the last chance saloon indeed!

      Reply
    • paul

      As far as I can see the recommendations in the Leveson report will not in any way prevent the press from printing what it likes.
      The freedom of the press is as Lord Leveson points out, fundamentally important.
      What the recommendations provide is a framework where mistakes can be addressed wrongs can be righted. Not just for those able to invest considerable time and money but for any one that is the victim of false reporting. As the existing situation has discredited the press to such an extent that its value and as such the value of the”freedom of the press” is of little consequence. Self regulation has failed both the industry and the public.
      Unless the recommendations are implement I fear that the validity of the press will be lost. The press industry lost to a multitude of unstructured online media.
      The freedom of the press can only existwith an obligation of integrity and trust.

      Reply
  9. Roger

    Just a point to note that most of the people involved with Leverson and Hacked-off are also involved in secret child sex rings – doubled standards are the standard with these people. And then they ask for a donation….you rich snobs make me sick….I thank God you devils will die one day and burn in hell!

    Reply
  10. EmmittBrownBTTF1

    I’m reminded of Ben Elton’s thoughts concerning Dante’s Inferno, where if I recall correctly, the seventh level has Judas Iscariot encased in ice with his eye open for eternity to see the consequences of his betrayal.
    Ben posited an eighth level, where “The editor of The Sun his looking up his arse to see if he’s queer or not.”

    Reply
  11. Marvin Price

    Some of these comments seem surprisingly naive and juvenile.

    It is obvious that when people politically approve of what a survey says, they don’t question it. I.e. ” ‘Most’ scientists agree that global warming is anthropogenic. ” Yeah, heaven help you if you ask about words like “most” and “scientists” in that one. You’d be labeled a, (what is the made up word?) “denialist” and burned in effigy.

    It is sad, but some kind of “official” media watchdog might be just what this country needs. Depending on how it works, I would be in favor. Reporting could be analyzed for facts vs. opinion. Opinion is slipped into reporting in sneaky ways.

    I just read a report on a black oriented website. The headline is “Paul Ryan Blames Obama Win on ‘Urban Areas.’ ” Well that sounds a bit racially tinged doesn’t it. He “Blames.” In fact if you read what Ryan says, he “credits” the win to higher than average turnout in urban areas and makes it clear that this is something that the GOP has to address in the future. How do you make everyone understand that the problems you want to fix effect us all, not just a particular subculture.

    I just watched a report on MSNBC in which the reporter, speaking to an Israeli official about the hundreds of missiles launched against Israel before the heated conflict erupted and the incomprehensibly high number since literally said, “But they aren very effective bombs are they?” I mean, what kind of journalism is that? Perhaps the Israelis that have been killed and injured might have a different opinion?

    Opinion is fine in pieces clearly labeled OPINION. Unfortunately our media inserts opinion in all reporting now, and they share largely a unified cultural singular view of the world.

    Reply
    • TheLordsMyCat

      Nothing other than poor language in the reporter’s question.
      “Bombs” (see my first point) are devices generally accepted to kill and maim – in contrast to Israeli munitions, the launch to bloodshed ratio is not very high for the Palestinians.
      I suspect your point arose from an inference that the reporter was obscurely encouraging more efficient killing tools (which would be abhorrent), but facts, however distasteful, always serve a purpose to those who attempt understanding.

      Reply
    • EmmittBrownBTTF1

      Most means 97%. The vast majority of the remaining 3% are connected to fossil fuel industries.

      Reply
    • Julianzzz

      My opinion is that you live in an alternative reality, that doesn’t bear much relation to the actual physical reality that exists outside your bubble. Nature has a way with such deviant behaviour, it’s called evolution, and in mankind it expresses itself in violent corrections and early death through accident, revolution and war. You can believe what you want but you may have to suffer the consequences.

      Reply
    • Jules

      And what about the Palestinians that have lost their lives as part of this ‘conflict’???
      There have been many losses on both sides….

      Reply
    • Nick Green

      Opinion vs fact is one thing, but salacious stories vs facts is what we are talking about here. The press have taken the freedom that we give them, abused our trust and now turn every headline into selling papers rather than ensuring that they report the truth to enlighten the wider public on the issues of the day.

      My concern over Levenson is that regulations enforced by statute “could” harm the freedom to report the truth at some point in the future. The majority of people who follow politics are all too aware that legislation is continually built on by future governments when it suits them…..an example is VAT which now is used to tax everything they can get away with rather than the “luxuries” it was initially intended for.

      My example highlights a potential problem with a statute driven policy of regulation that over time could be misused by politicians who inevitably enforce it.

      Saying that, I hate how our press now operate. You read a headline, then the body of the article and in most cases they don’t match! Regulation should be enforced by statute as long as there are limitations on who enforces it. Giving that power to politicians isn’t in my opinion the right way nor is self-regulation by those who have abused their freedom in the first instance. For me, this is just starting to become an issue for discussion rather than the end of the process……there are more things to explore here.

      Reply
    • Keith Wear

      But Marvin, it’s not a juvenile practice to query the detail of a statistic or the the objectivity of a definition in order to derail an otherwise sound and unquestionable argument. You cite the global warming debate and that’s a perfect example. There are those such as the energy lobby that label global warming a complete fabrication because it threatens their cosy existence and selfish short term ends. They confuse the facts and pick up on any point of trifling clarification in order to baffle, stifle and slow the debate so the point ends up getting lost and the debate loses its momentum and direction. It appears juvenile but it’s actually very dangerous and very difficult to overcome.

      Reply
  12. Matthew

    Marvin; you fell into your own opinion trap at the end there. I think the many more Palestinians who have been killed and injured would also have a different opinion. Currently standing at around thirty times more, If the BBC report correctly, and they have been displaying a distinct pro-Israeli stance by omission recently. Funny how this always happens when an election is coming up.

    Reply
  13. Adrian Perry

    Beware public opinion polls. When the 2001 census asked “what is your religion ?”, 14% said ‘none’. When 2008 British Attitude Survey asked “do you regard yourself as belonging to any particular religion ?”, 50% said “no”.

    Reply
    • James

      Adrian Perry: the reason for that is that “What is your religion?” is a leading question: it presupposes that you have a religion, encouraging people to give a positive answer. People might also have interpreted “belonging to any particular religion” as asking if they were officially a member of a religious organisation. Also, the number of nonreligious people probably did increase a bit between 2001 and 2008.

      Reply
    • kLARZY

      We all know for a fact that 87.65% off all statistics are made up on the spot!
      and 14.22% of people cant subtract!

      Reply
    • Snowqueen

      Actually it’s more Brave New World where Huxley theorised that there was so much information people were no longer able to discern the facts from fiction and gave up trying which made it easy for things to go unnoticed and unreported.

      Reply
  14. Craig

    The TV news programmes should start a ‘Blog review’ alongside the ‘Press review’ of the following day’s news stories and let the public decide by viewing numbers to which is more popular.

    Reply
  15. Adelaide

    The ironic thing here is this is only a small sample of what the Press do not want us know!- the truth is when you have corporations of this size with the freedom they have greed takes over the respect for others.

    Reply
  16. Mark Fiddes

    Forget regulation, freedom of press is important. State funded prosecution, so the victims can prosecute, and the majority of the pay out goes to worthy causes. The risk of publishing untruth’s, hacking phones, interfering with personal lives will all stop, as they won’t be able to afford it. May be then we will get newspapers that take longer than a few minutes to read in our search for intelligent content.

    ‘I know, my statement is fantasy, but wouldn’t it be cool’ Press mistreats the innocent, the government for not clamping down on them and sucking up to them have to pay for the court, and charity gets the proceeds. Ah, the tax payer ultimately pays, you might say – no, just tax the banks more. We can bash em all at the same time!!!

    Reply
  17. Andrew Palmer

    Come on now, any kind of ‘watchdog is always populated by some Lord or other stating the bloody obvious. How about getting a few ‘lay’ people on a rota regulating all sorts of things – is it so wrong that a true member of the public should sit on these regulatory boards or am I completely missing the point here. For instance, if an Editor of a Newspaper came up to me and said, here we go, we have listened to some ansafone messages fo so and so and we have got this stuff out of it – do you honestly think I as a member of the public would go – ‘oh go on then, it can’t do any harm – of course I wouldn’t. in the same vein, if a financial services company presented me with a get rich quick scheme would I approve it if I thought it was a bit dodgy – no I wouldn’t. It is time for ‘normal’ people to get involved in regulation – regulate by common sense and we should be alright – surely.

    Reply
    • Harry Anderson Trucker

      If we could really rely on the public to make good decisions with “common sense” then we would not have a Labour Party still in existense.

      Reply
    • D Morgan

      As wonderful as that sounds, “common sense” born of ignorance of how something works can be just as misguided as people knowing a subject inside out using that knowledge to form opposing arguments. Nothing would ultimately change because neither option is inherently more immune to causing damage than the other.

      Reply
  18. ben slater

    Once again the politicians are on the side of big business, spineless Cameron been got at by his chipping Norton cronies.

    Reply
    • Colin Egan

      There is a stong smell of political opportunism and exaggeration around. The care Leveson took to find an acceptable outcome is being pushed aside for political support from the press when the next election comes round.

      Reply
  19. TheKeyauthor

    There is no freedom of press. My case proves that. In a way it’s the opposite of point 10. My daughter was illegally removed (parental child abduction case) out of the UK. Yates’s SCD won’t investigate. But the press won’t print my story even though I’ve contacted publishers and the papers directly. In not printing my story they are protecting the Establishment and endangering the public & their children to a similar fate as my family suffered.

    Reply
  20. Martin Guest

    A free press is actually a myth! It has never existed! It has always been controlled by powerful people! Put Legal Eagles, Supermarket Shelf Stackers, Office Managers, Single Parents on benefits, Doctors and Entrepreneurs on an Independent Watchdog Panel and give them some teeth!

    Reply
    • Patrick

      i agree with martain, give ‘normal’ people power to repremand the press and the effect would be very intresting.
      With regard to another comment, i think the press should be made to pay into a fund Say about £1,000,000 per newspaper / year which can then be used to sue the papers (self funding court cases) if a newspaper has not been sued 5 years later then they can have the first of the £million returned and so on from then onwards. if they have been sued then they loose the million.

      Reply
  21. Garet

    I not a wordsmith like most of the commenters on here. But to be honest most of the comments I’ve just read seem to miss the mark wildly. It would take Stephen Fry to filter what actually being said from the grammatical pissing contest going on.
    No, I’m just a normal working man. I have a good job, I pay my bills, I follow the rules and I take care of my family. I can only speak for myself but the thing that’s really twisted is that there seemingly exists a protected industry who can psychologically manipulate the minds of the parents of a murdered child. Then, at the suggestion that there really should be some rules to follow from now on, that same industry balks. It’s immature, unethical and immoral behaviour that needs discipline.

    Reply
    • Julianzzz

      Yes you are right, but the psychopaths in charge write the rule book, the inmates never get to challenge the institution. I’m really not surprised the average person gets flummoxed by the press, the politicians and the corporations, after all, they can afford to pay the best in the land, the most intelligent and gifted, to protect their interests. However I they keep on abusing the average persons intelligence, the reaction can be savage. Adolf Hitler was elected by popular vote. It seems to me that the last police Comissioner elections sounded a warning, nobody voted, because there was no trust left in our mainstream parties.

      Reply
      • egpeak

        just to set the record straight Adolph Hitler burned the ballot boxes and declared himself elected He had trained the bully boys to protect him and put d own any revolt. and here we are now in a society where rogue police are seldom brought to justice World war 2 was supposed to solve that.

        Reply
    • Harry Anderson Trucker

      No rules? people sent to jail, a whole Newspaper shut down, jobs lost, carreerrs ruined. lbelieve the sanctions of public opinion are far more devaststing than anything that Levison could devise and a dammned site less dangerous.

      Reply
    • Rob H

      Self regulation for the press? It’s funny how they would be first to say that’s inadequate for anyone else, yet somehow they think it’s okay for them. The whole stinks to high heaven of corruption, with that odious creep Cameron sitting at the top. Funny how he has come to the aid of his wealthy friends in the media, isn’t it? Journalists, time to join the real world, I’m afraid.

      Reply
    • Graham

      Garet, yours is the first comment on this page that I read without groaning. Much of the discussion seems to be limited to silly point scoring and vacuous rhetoric.

      There is so much shouting and scaremongering about gagging the Press that it is clear the Press want to continue to print whatever they like, whatever the damage to people and public trust in what they print. I’d have thought they’d want to salvage their plummeting reputation but clearly that’s not their priority.
      As for stifling freedom of speech, that’s been eroded more in the last 10 years by Labour’s diversity, equality, multi-culti and human rights bonanza than anything effective regulation of the Press will ever do.

      Reply
    • Spleen

      Now look here. What on earth is a normal working man like “Garet” doing here. This site is solely for members of the chattering classes and Barry Sheerman

      Reply
    • Danny Jones

      I’ve been uncomfortable with the relationship between the press and politicians for some years now. I remember a few years back watching David Starkey’s chat show, he had the ex ambassador to the US on. He talked about walking into 10 Downing Street where he saw a huge wall chart; he went on to say that Sarah’s Law had already been pencilled in, even though The Sun was still campaigning to get it introduced. I guess the Sun got to claim some sort of victory and Tony Blair got some positive headlines. I remember being quite shocked at this revelation, so to all of you who say we need to protect the freedom of the press, I ask you if you really think you have a free press or are you just being played by powerful corporations and politicians? Every time I see Millie Dowler’s mother on TV I feel sick, a women whose suffered unimaginable pain, exploited to make a few more pennies for these sociopaths, doesn’t she and innocent people like her deserve some protection?

      Reply
    • Mike Vere

      At last a modicum of common sense! Well done Garet. The threat to democracy is from these self appointed proprietors who seek to manipulate, distort and pervert public discourse. Its about time they came to heal and Leveson has signaled the way.

      Reply
    • George Brown

      I absolutely agree with Garet. one might add that voluntary regulation of the Press has never worked.

      Also:
      The motives of political parties, particularly when wanting to stay in Government, are dubious.

      The arguments put forward by opponents of a genuinely independent regulatory body underpinned with legislation are either word blind, not read the key recommendations of this report or have been hoodwinked by the newspapers they read.

      Reply
  22. Darzil

    I am unconvinced that regulation of the press is necessary. I am convinced that they should not be allowed to abuse their freedoms. If they want to stalk people with cameras, they are stalkers and should be prosecuted. If they want to harrass people, they are guilty of harrassment and should be prosecuted. If they want to demonise groups of people, they should be prosecuted for that. At the moment they get away with an awful lot of activities that wouldn’t be allowed if they weren’t journalists.

    Some institutions are using fear of the young, the unemployed, immigrants, crime, etc to sell papers, twisting the facts to suit that view of the world. People that are terrified by this to let their children out of their sight, or to leave their homes, are having their lives destroyed. I do not believe that a free press should be free from the consquences of their actions, but I do not believe that a seperate set of rules for the press from everyone else is required. All that is needed is for the police and courts to be willing to prosecute them for their actions.

    I suspect the media would prefer Leveson over that !

    Reply
  23. Akram

    Funny how some papers have turned criminal, immoral activity into a demand about freedom of the press. No one has suggested any kind of restriction of the press, rather the issue is one of redress. It seems there is one rule for the powerful and one for the common man, and we lecture other countries on civility.

    Reply
  24. steve s

    The newspaper industry for to long have had things there own way.They have had seven good chances to clean up the industry(threat of legislation)over many years and they have basically ignored it!
    Yesterday I saw people from the industry saying on TV” not us mate” when over years most news papers have lied,destroyed innocent lives,manipulated the truth, in the scramble for a good story! of course they don`t like the threat of being rained in! well hard cheese because I beleive most folk in the UK want the press to follow certain rules,of basic descency.

    Reply
  25. Malcolm

    With freedom of speech comes responsibility for honesty and reason.
    The press is convinced it has a right to the former with no need to take account of the latter if it will increase their sales.
    It seems that Cameron is as convinced that the press barons will be good boys from now on (so long as he doesn’t tread on their toes) as he is that the bankers (remember that wunch?) will not be awarding themselves another dose of criminally derived bonuses this happy holiday season.

    Reply
  26. Robbie

    These comments about press freedom assume it is black and white, whereas in reality all we are talking about is underpinning new regulation whereby if thereis a rougue who ignores the new rules, then there was a legal mechanism to force the situation. One would think the new body, whatever it turns out to be, would work in a simialr manner to the ASA. Lets give it a shot, we can always change it if it falls too short.

    Reply
  27. Phelim Mc

    We have an independent media in the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and BSkyB all of whom are regulated by Ofcom. If they can be independent, as the BBC is by Government Charter, why then can the press not be independent if subject to the same regulations. Or is it simply that we can have one rule for the Press and one for everyother body?

    Reply
  28. Mark Thompson

    Perhaps having an independant regulator might result in redtops that are actually worth reading for a change, ie the staff might actually have to work for a living and dig for their stories, rather than just making things up

    Reply
  29. Justice for Victims of the Gangster Press

    “Freedom of the Press” has gone too far. We Brits have been too soft. Editors acting like gangsters think they have the right to ruin the lives of innocent people by publishing their weasle words. They need to be reined in hard.

    Reply
  30. Ian Beckerton

    The bottom line is all we want is truth, honesty and accuracy from the Press…………….. Naaaa, it won’t happen!!!!

    Reply
  31. Adam

    @ EmmittBrownBTTF1 – I agree with ur comment. This is why we need a regulated press. Free press is in my a false positive as matthew says “Marvin; you fell into your own opinion trap at the end there. I think the many more Palestinians who have been killed and injured would also have a different opinion. Currently standing at around thirty times more, If the BBC report correctly, and they have been displaying a distinct pro-Israeli stance”. Sky News are also pro israeli, which George Osborne has clearly pointed out on air numerous times. A regulated “free press” will allow freedom of information but more importantly information that is truthful and unbiased. This is why I have signed the petition. Its not an easy task but we need to start somewhere.

    Reply
  32. Alan

    The clue is in the response of the print media owners and their mouthpieces. They don’t like Leveson and they are trying to tell us that the public either agree with them or don’t care. How do they know that? (see above) Perhaps they have just got used to the unfettered ‘freedom’ to speak on behalf of the rest of us. Bearing in mind turkeys don’t vote for Christmas we should perhaps draw our own conclusions?

    Personally, I’m in favour of Christmas!

    Reply
  33. Robert Reynolds

    January 2012
    Dear Lord Justice Leveson,

    Re: Beyond Piety, Regulation & Fire-Fighting, Wider Context for Effective Prescription

    The future role and rule of conscience in the media, and so your fulfilment of the spirit of your remit, will depend on address or otherwise of the social context within which we all work, not just journalists, police and politicians.

    A wider picture of the public good should, in a democracy, include understanding of the conditions for enduring meaningful equality, for all, with respect to political expression and representation, specifically dependent on equal command of personal financial means.

    Whatever the individual passions and peccadillos that might bear on conscience, fear of material loss and hope of material advantage should be recognised as dire threats to freedom of expression and democratic purpose.

    It might properly be asked of every witness whether the particular media problems seen, reported, exploited or compounded, would have arisen but for the fear and greed, at times the subservience and criminality, that in reality almost must attach to unstable inequality of share in market access.

    Closing of ranks, against liberation of conscience, will be a temptation today for the wealthy, the not coincidentally powerful, just as it has been for those who have for so many years titillated, infantilised and misinformed each other and the public.

    The undercurrent of betrayal in our media and politics, exceptions honoured, is almost as nothing – in moral terms – compared to silence on freedom and democracy from our learned professions, their members largely confined to the narrower business of their callings, in spiritual ministry, law and medicine.

    If proof were needed as to requirement of income share equality, for the enjoyment of true enduring democracy, we would need look no further than the failure of higher callings to allow or compel protest and effective prescription.

    The response of scapegoating is of course all too easy.  I would pray that your Inquiry begins the conscious liberation of People and Planet, for a world we can all be glad – even proud – to hand-on.

    Yours sincerely,

    (Leveson oversight will be of help to all if transparent, allowing issues to crystallise for general address, probably to provide further ‘argument’ for genuine democracy)

    (Leveson has failed to address the role of the press in ‘socialisation’, plurality being left for the news-stand, individual papers to serve ideological ghettoes. We needed One Cover, Many Strands. Might HACKED OFF liberate the detailed submissiions of ‘ordinary people’, perhaps not all worthy of dismissal by the Leveson Team?)

    16th July 2012

    Dear Lord Justice Leveson,

    The puzzles have been refined, but still none ‘sees’ the key in all our hands.

    I hope you will forgive my reminding you, in the light of today’s oral evidence from the philosophers, that ‘the public interest’ is what a free people collectively believe it to be. Its totality is – beyond abstraction(s) – unknowable. It is maximised only by genuine individual freedom of conscience – necessarily equal – amongst all of ‘the free people’.

    Given that not even the state can ‘know the public interest’, it will be wise to say the least – even in the best of societies – not to seek a prescriptive statutory control of media content. Problems with content will always need address in retrospect, but vital prospective address must be in relation to process.

    Though Baroness O’Neill and others might agree the minimum requirements of process in abstract, to operationalise those requirements, and to regulate them, is another matter. We have a shortage of baronesses. For a better press, all agree, the critical need is for a better ‘culture’.

    We ask too much of our journalists if we expect them forever, almost without fault, to uncover the failings of ‘tolerated’ self-protective elites in crime, politics, business, higher professions, religion, etc., and of course amongst themselves.

    It might be to ask too much of ‘ourselves’, to hope that we can almost overnight be informed enough, to care enough about ‘our problems’, such that ‘the obvious’ is seen by all, and the implication for democracy accepted by all. My suggestion is that trial should be attempted, of explanation and invitation.

    The elusive nature of ‘the public interest’, its reality the ever-changing sum of our objectives in ‘the collective mind’, should not dismay. The focus of practical concern comes down to something actually graspable by all. ‘The public interest’ is assured simply in living ‘as a free people’, all able to follow conscience, all able to trust that none labours under significant conflict of interest, all of us as economic equals ‘representative’ of each other, all of us ‘knowing for whom’ we make our decisions and recommendations in every sphere, all able of course to question and to answer without fear.

    That which has been ‘missed’ in arriving at ‘the culture of today’, and at its adverse consequences, is likely also to have been ‘missed’ by your witnesses (by much less than the common mile, but missed nevertheless), and there is I fear grave risk that a miss is on the cards for the Inquiry Team too.

    Your witnesses have spoken ‘darkly’ of commercial pressures, and you have given thanks not to be drawn into discussion of reward and vocation. As the senior team member, to whom the whole country and wider now looks, it falls I believe to you, quite possibly alone, to face and out-face a long intimidation, so long as to have become subconscious, along the lines described by Baroness O’Neill.

    The ‘difficulties’ of living with ‘rough equality’, of individuality in choice of spending rather than differential quantum, are I believe as nothing compared to the sheer impossibly of what otherwise you might attempt, assuming shareable aims. Without genuine democracy, ‘the public interest’ will remain a mirage, beyond even heroic service with respect to civilisation and long survival.

    Reply
  34. GERRY

    I May be missing something, but surely a free press is desirable. As long as it literally means what it says, print what you like about what you want, just don’t expect anyone to actually PAY for publications. That would be worth atry….

    Reply
  35. Roman Steven Toczyski

    Politicians in power fear a backlash against them should they implement the Leveson Inquiry recommendations in full hence the weasel worded, mealy mouthed response of dullard Flashman and his toadies

    Reply
  36. HH

    @Garet: Thank you for bringing this discussion back to the point!

    The Leveson Inquiry was called because there was overwhelming evidence that there was widespread and systematic hacking going on into ordinary people’s personal lives, done cynically and for glory and profit. To interfere with the search for a missing child in order to sell more papers is criminal, immoral and despicable, and the industry has shown itself unable to admit to or grasp that.

    Can we please talk about that, rather than how to conduct polls? What is the best way to bring truth and moral decency back into popular journalism, and keep it free from undue influence by those seeking personal gain?

    Reply
  37. Paul

    Cameron spends millions on our maxed out credit card and then protects becky and Andy the man is a disgrace.

    Reply
  38. Alex

    I am amazed that Ministers got off so lightly.
    I wanted to say some something about that? But I cannot quite recollect or remember what that was?
    lol

    Reply
  39. Sinead. just Sinead.

    Semantics. “Statistics”. Meh.
    Get a grip.
    I can only speak from experience, and discussion with freinds and family, but I’m going to guess that what most reasionable people want is that the press should be held properly to account when they wantonly screw with other people’s lives.
    Right now, if you’re rich, that’s grand.
    If you’re not? You can ruin yourself trying for recompence.
    So–I think most reasonable people are not in favour so much of statutory regulation so much as statutory (and properly punitive)penalties. perhaps it would restore faith if, just once, they actually published a full page expose of THEIR misbehaviour, methods, journalists involved and motivation. Rather than the anodyne, one inch column hidden on page thirty that is currently the case?
    You know, proper explanation, apology, and if needed, recompense- for all.
    Not just the rich.
    Or are we saying, as in Cameron’s society as a meme, that only the rich deserve that?

    Reply
  40. Sinead. just Sinead.

    Apologies for any grammatical errors, I typed this on a samrtphone whilst simultaneously juggling a seven year old with a lie-in allergy!

    Reply
  41. Stan Chappell

    If the regulation is backed by statute then any contentious matter would be open to discussion in parliament and then to all. This will be much better than the cozy tete-a-tetes we have been having stitched up between Rupert Murdoch and David Cameron and Tony Blair in their meetings.

    Reply
  42. julie jackson

    news coverage played a big part in convicting my son,of which at the trial, had most of the evidence to clear him.Two police officers set up a self defence class and used his name in the media four months before the case ever come to court. Read the story full story on Anthony Jackson on miscarriges of justice website.

    Reply
  43. Stephen Cree

    Anyone else noticed that since Leveson delivered his report, the press ‘whips’ have mobilised their minions to hit the forums and social media in order to scare-monger and claim concern for freedom of speech should LJL’s recommendations be implemented?

    Reply
  44. Andrew

    I will give odds of 1,000,000,000,000,000 that not one chum of camerons will serve one second in prison for ordering the hacking of / hacking victims phones. This is corruption at the highest level and is completely disgusting in a so called democracy.

    Reply
  45. Mr T Buchansn

    It makes you wonder whether all the comments against the implementation of the entire Levesons recommendations I’ve read are from people in the press disguising themselves as the general public. It is clearly evident that David Cameron’s stance is purely to keep within the presses fold so that they will favour the conservatives when it comes to local and national elections. Implementing press regulation into statue is the only why to show the enough chances have been given and now its time to act in the interest of the general public.

    Reply
  46. Terry Simms

    Whilst the british tabloids think that the public only interested in seeing bigger boobs i see no reason to change anything as they seem to be right according to their profits. Frankly i think any involvement in trying to control the media will be a waste of time. They will print what they like from their owners perspective. I have seen this globally it does not matter the nation as long as the owner has a political or financial agenda the paper will print his view that is if the reporter wants to keep getting paid. Once you try to make the newspapers accountable they will basically just fill the paper with more naked woman and advertising than news and still make a healthy profit. After all according to my survey 50% of the public like looking at boobs. I like them my wife declined to vote. Statistics what a joke!!!

    Reply
  47. really?

    buy the press? read the press? then you enable the press, stop buying it and they will lose money and thus influence and power .

    Reply
  48. Brian Davies

    Having worked in PR for nearly 30 years I found that most journalists are reliable until they are told by their Editors /owners to skew stories a certain way. This excludes the 10% who can’t follow information even when presented to them in writting.

    Reply
  49. Tom

    Editors – man up, you were caught – now you’re going to have to pay the price.

    Instead of doing that they’re throwing their toys out of the pram. In fact I would love to see a Spitting Image type sketch of that. Piers Morgan, Kelvin MacKenzie and Rupert Murdoch depicted as spoilt babies getting punished and throwing their toys out their pram.

    Reply
    • David

      (LOL) Wow! What a brilliant idea for this campaign! Are there any cartoonists reading this page? Something like that could possibly go viral, especially if it’s an animation that can be shared via Youtube. I think the idea is worth considering. Seriously. It would be great poking fun at the media barons!

      Reply
  50. Eric

    Surely all we want from the press is “facts”
    Unfortunately all we get is speculation, half truths and sometimes even lies.
    I hate the idea of a government run body to control the press, but can we trust them to self-regulate, I doubt it.
    Please someone bring out a fact filled newspaper so at least we can believe the stories that are printed.
    If everybody bought this perhaps the others would fall inline, or am I living in cuckoo land,probably

    Reply
  51. Ian

    A few points if I may. The argument that we have had a free press for three hundred years and thus it should not be controlled in any way by law is naive. In the past twenty years the communications and dissemination of reports, pictures and news have changed totally. The internet, the ability to make comments via email, text and photographically mean that nothing is able to stay quiet for long. The press have abused this skillfully but need some limitations which I think should be supported by law. As for the argument that we have free speech that is not so. Ask who you cannot criticise and you will know who controls you. If we had free speech we could sensibly discuss subjects like the Israel/Palestine situation and the holocaust without being rounded upon and accused of all sorts including anti semitism.

    Reply
  52. CW

    OK: So let’s just say the 78% figure is baloney. That doesn’t change the fact that a lot of people (both celebrities and otherwise) have had their lives ruined by journalists out to make money who think they can say and do whatever they like. I’m not in favour of Orwellian measures but common sense says this has gone way too far. We’re supposed to be civilised but the bulk of the press in this country don’t behave like civilised members of society. This is damaging to our national identity as well. Enough is enough.

    Reply
  53. Frank Adam

    We need a lot more publicity about the action for ” malicious trespass ” which in the last few years a pair of ladies were able to use because they had no libel funds, to corner a newspaper a get some satisfaction. Have our lawyers look thos up and put up a page here about it!

    Reply
  54. Beejay Brewis

    Self-regulation has been proven not to work before, why would anyone think it would suddenly work now?
    And all this talk of a free press is nonsense, there’s no such thing. What we need is an independent press, free to operate on its own merits, rather than further the aims of individual owners. An independent press could operate within the constraints of a properly constructed regulatory body to which it is accountable.

    Reply
  55. Ashy

    These organisations have far too much power with no accountability whatsoever. They can print whatever they want about whoever they want, lies, untruths, call it what you will. The common man has no form of redress which is outrageous. Free press i’m all for but equally there must be redress if the publication has got it wrong. A retraction the same size as the original article would be a start.

    Reply
  56. kLARZY

    Why does the press continually state that they investigate stories that “the people want to know about”, I do not give a toss which actor / actress is shagging animals in a custard factory in Bath, or which TV celeb has an alcohol problem. I do want to know when the leaders we put in place lie to us, I do want to know if any of the people we are currently pissing off around the world actually pose a threat to us?

    What is the press actually for these days…?

    The papers are full of adverts….
    People do not want to buy books of adverts…
    Journalists get worthless stories of ruin and titillation to get the sheep of the world to buy the paper…
    The paper can say to their advertisers “we sold XXX hundred thousand copies today and that’s how many people have seen your advert… advertise with us again and pay us for it..!

    If there were no adverts in papers what so ever then you may actually have a chance of reading something of use to you…

    It would be interesting to know what the average advertising % of page area the different publications have….

    Oh, and don’t be a sheep!

    Reply
  57. William Wells

    We don’t have a free press we have a corporate press. Cameron is licking Murdoch’s backside for fear of what might emerge when Brookes and Coulson appear in court.

    Reply
  58. Steve Houlihan

    Stop buying newspapers!! If we didn’t buy them they wouldn’t think we want to read about certain things so they wouldn’t sensationalise stuff. It’s quite simple really.
    But people will always buy papers. I personally don’t.

    Reply
  59. Ian Duncan

    Isn’t it typical of Cameron’s arrogance, enhanced by his intellectual laziness, that his response to the massive effort of the Leveson enquiry is finalized within minutes, even before he has read the report. If I were asked to speculate on the relative intellect and intelligence of Levison and Cameron, it would take me about the same amount of time.
    Ian Duncan

    Reply
    • Hugh Allen

      Right on the button Duncan. Cameron’s speech to Parliament was obviously prepared before he’d even read the report. I actually admire the man for being so unerringly out of touch. His glibness is less forgivable.

      Reply
  60. Elizabeth Brown

    A few Questions:
    Who will foot the bill for the regulatory body?
    Who will be able to nominate/hire its members/employees?
    How will the press be held accountable for transgressions? Fines? Imprisonment?
    I would like more information on the details of how the reccomendations would be implemented.

    Reply
  61. Jon

    The press does need regulation – so long as it’s independent from government, what’s the problem? An independent regulator may not be totally independent 100% of the time, but it surely is a better option than what we have at the moment. In the past, large companies have worked together to manipulate markets, even if it is illegal (banks, energy companies perhaps?). A regulator governed by the press has a great danger of going the same way and it can never be trusted. Also, I’m sure many people agree that we need the press, and if standards of reporting and journalism are improved, wouldn’t this work in their favour? I might start buying newspapers again!

    Reply
  62. David

    From my point of view, stats aren’t of fundamental importance, because this is about how a powerful group of people in society treats others. It’s simply about common decency and treating people with respect.

    Emotional abusers and bullies (sections of the press) should not be allowed to get away with their many years of practiced abuse while destroying peoples’ lives in the process. Based on hard evidence, that’s the conclusion by judge Leveson.

    The abuse needs to stop! Plain and simple!

    And the press has proven over the years that they are not capable of stopping the abuse because the profit motive is too overwhelming for them to handle responsibly.

    Well, if they can’t balance human decency and money-making, there needs to be legal underpinning that protects the rights and lives of citizens.

    Reply
  63. Mike

    Why is regulation required when the abuses that occurred are already illegal under current law. Prosecute for phone tapping, stalking etc. Why regulate even further?

    Reply
  64. John M

    Stopping the press from camping mob handed outside the house of a family who’s child has been murdered; trying every trick in the book to obtain a picture or screaming through letterboxes for a quote or statement cannot be called an infringement of the right to free speech.
    Neither can the much quoted line “in the public interest” be used again as an excuse without it being rigorously tested independently. The owners and editors of the UK press have proved time and time again that they can not be trusted so now the time has come for them to be given a little guidance. If they don’t like it they always have the other option and naff off.
    We have had the banks acting as if they ran the country and putting the country close to bankruptcy not to mention fixing the price of gas and electricity, Members of Parliament fiddling their expenses, police taking bribes from press barons, the near collapse of the NHS and the serious issues with education and all the other mess we have had to wade through over the last few years. I am not going any where near the issues with Europe I always thought that it was the job government to protect the people from all this. It would seem that they are incapable of doing so perhaps they also need guidance. Maybe Thomas Paine was right if they are incapable maybe it is time we reminded them who they work for.

    I say a Govt.. of National Unity now, replacing the politicians with people who know what they are doing.
    Westminster? I’ve had it; petition to shut the place down and throw the ineffectual occupants out all of them.

    At aged sixty five they have turned me into a revolutionary.
    Err any more mints?

    Reply
  65. Martin

    I would have signed this petition if Hacked Off hadn’t supported the media whores, the McCann couple. For those who know, enough said.

    Reply
  66. Kaltlawyers

    While a large portion of the British Press is owned and controlled by the business and personal interests of a wealthy foreigner and a wealthy porn provider, any claims by the Press to Press Freedom is disingenuous. With a legally supported regulatory entity that can counter the self interest, power and lobbying muscle of these commercially driven, egotistical individuals, the Press will arguably be more free.

    Reply
  67. Fred

    The pen is mightier than the sword.

    Should any one person have that much power? I think not more than one person should decide before you destroy anyone’s life. I gave up on news papers years ago to much scandal and bad news. Now prefer to watch BBC news they may not get it right all the time but their live reporting leaves papers far behind.

    Reply
  68. Mark H

    The Press has been breaking the Law for years and not even the Police saw fit to intervene until it came into the Public Domain – the Press could not snitch on one of their own, so we need some underpinning of the Law to make the Press think not once but twice before running a story.

    Reply
  69. Paul

    ‘Don’t judge us all on few rogue operators’ say press who’ve been slamming whole of BBC for one Newsnight program! Something needs to be done about the gutter press who revel in the sadness and downfall of others

    Reply
  70. Bob Grif

    We used to have ‘D’ notices whereby media were not allowed to report on matters covered by those notices, and we used to have sub judice matters that allowed nothing but reporting of basic facts in a manner that would not in any way influence on-going trials. Where did these two safety valves go and why was every infraction not punished?

    Reply
  71. Andrew Cooper

    Could we also have legislation banning the sexualisation of under age girls by the Daily Mail and others?

    Reply
  72. Shaun

    A Free press? no .All I see is a press with no scruples no morality running amok invading peoples privacy
    In fact its not a free press..a free press would have included withing its pages a right to reply .. It doesn’t ..The press can only be held to account presently by court actions ..and that is beyond the pockets of ordinary people .
    Also the press doesn’t speak for everyone ..its just a business ..it has no divine authority ..Its been placed on a pedestal as some arch angel of public guardian ship ..that’s a myth . It merely publishes not in public interest but to make money . Unless your suggesting that newspapers are some organization of avenging warriors hiding Clarke Kent style in the daily Planet .hiding behind sleaze gossip and faux outrage ..
    It has no special virtue or privileges. it should be as subject to regulation as any another private industry or business.
    we don’t give an open season permit to any other individual or sector or industry.
    The Press holding itself up as moral guardian while engaging on titillation gossip ..thinly veiled slander and harassment.
    No /// I support a regulated press ..

    Reply
  73. Robert Reynolds

    Looking at the Liberty Response of 29th November 2012:

    Liberty appears privileged in its next-day certainty against statutory under-pinning.

    Liberty lists its own approved points as “the main recommendations” of Leveson.

    Liberty sees “good” a regulatory independence that is hoped for but not secured.

    Liberty sees “benefit” from a press that “remains” able to hold the state “to account”.

    Liberty sees “the press” as to-date effective, but now threatened, by ‘democracy’?

    Liberty is ready to trust in quick, cheap, perhaps lucrative, second-class ‘justice’.

    Liberty is content to see “exemplary damages” against divergent publications

    Liberty envisages assistance to the courts from perhaps “many bodies”, one each?

    Liberty sees a “recognition body” as both redundant and implicitly threatening.

    Liberty chooses, for itself and others, a voice not of right but by continued favour.

    Liberty sees a false choice, dominance by either commercial or political interest.

    Liberty quotes papers against a free press statute, “understandably unanimous”.

    Liberty, pragmatic enough to neglect Equal Partnership Democracy, has bad form.

    Liberty clarifies “confusing reports in today’s media”, 2nd Dec, on Leveson “bomb”.

    We have only to watch, hard of course, as our proprietors debate our “standards”?

    Trust is to rest in judges, as to ‘standards’ and ‘regulators’, all in ‘discretion’?

    A “simple statute” could provide a basis for prejudice against those without ‘cover’?

    From the evidence of history, of our own lives, of the Leveson Inquiry, and of the chaotic ‘debate’ now ensuing, it should be clear to all that emulation of democracy is certainly not easy and is most probably impossible, successive attempts ever more contingent on self-deception or worse.

    If we wish to be ‘seriously’ free, all able to act ‘in conscience’, then we will need to reconcile ourselves to secure economic equality, making possible significant penalties (or relevant help) for the few who might still find temptation (or vulnerability) toward laziness or criminality.

    The weight of “public interest” decision-making – in parliament, in regulatory bodies, in newsrooms, and in all of the spheres reported upon – cannot happily be left to individual “Directors”, perhaps not even to majorities in grand committees,
    even if obliged to ‘consult’ and to work ‘to camera’.

    The prime function of the democratic state in relation to the individual should be to ensure the supply of income, equally to all, subject to judgement between ‘equal-power’ parties, with a jury the backstop, costs at judicial discretion.

    Reply
  74. Joe Phillips

    The vast majority of us, including MPs journalist and newspaper owners, haven’t got a clue as to what is proposed until we see a bill drawn up by people who’ve read all four volumes.

    The basic idea, as I understand it, is a regulator free of any newspaper people or members of parliament will have cases put to them and they will decide what should be done.

    Which is the same as the present set up, only it won’t be the “criminals” being judge and jury in their own cases?

    They will be legally required to submit themselves to this independent authority.
    The legal aspect is the newspapers will not have the right to say I want no part of this, so I won’t join and I’ll continue to do as I like and two fingers up to you who we upset and cause misery.

    So where is this threat to freedom of speech?

    It will be a threat to freedom of newspaper to make up stories and destroy peoples’ lives and just have their knuckles rapped by fellow newspaper owners who all do the same thing.

    I could be wrong, and I’m willing to be persuaded otherwise in due coarse

    Reply
  75. Kailani

    I just wonder how many people on this board are awake?? I wonder just how many know exactly what is going on, and how much danger we are all in. Free speech eh? I wonder. From where I stand, the government are setting themselves up for a fall, and its all being done for a very good reason. OsUnborne the real leader of the Torid party is crashing the economy to help hasten in a world currency, the new central bank governor has been chosen by the Bilderberg group aka the shadow world government (he was ‘invited’ to the last one in Chantilly) as was the new PM (puppet minister) someone with the name of Boles. Check it all out, though don’t go to the newspapers, or the BBC or any so called free media because all they will tell you is more BS. There, see how long this stays up before it gets taken down.

    Reply
  76. Robert Reynolds

    Celebrating the courage of victims, of campaigners, of Leveson, and of politicians thinking to act, can it be said here that a more fundamental analysis is needed for effective prescription?

    Not meaning to be cynical, but to-date our ‘healthy press diversity’ reflects and solidifies our traditional oppositions, the best and bravest daring a little debate, as much perhaps ‘to know the enemy’ as to encourage understanding.

    Opportunity dictates ‘service’, ideological service is further differentiated by ‘weight’, and where there is still commercial space by competition for scoop and scandal.

    The consequent problems of ghettoisation and depravity would be much alleviated with a new single National Cover, all strands / titles contained, its high circulation giving income security, freedom to test new against old, and independence in advertising policy, any ‘excess’ of profits to ‘good causes’?

    To go beyond weak emulation of democratic freedom, we would of course need general understanding and agreement on income-equality, allowing “the public interest” to emerge as the sum of all that we do ‘in conscience.

    Reply
  77. Gotcha!

    A significant proportion of the press, from proprietors and editors down, lack both conscience and empathy with their fellow citizens. These traits are fundamental to the application of self-discipline. If they are so seriously lacking in self-discipline, how on Earth can they be trusted to regulate themselves? Their corrupting influence does nothing but drag their industry off the moral scale.
    Who, in their right mind, would suggest that shoplifters should be allowed to have any influence in the selection of store security guards? Would anyone object to Sir Alex Fergusson selecting the referees for Manchester United games?
    We can all too plainly see how well Bluechip company Chief Executives and Bankers regulate themselves, when it comes to awarding their grossly disproportionate pay schemes and bonuses, and how well they regulate the rest of us.
    Leveson states that a free press is essential to our democracy, and most would agree with that sentiment. However, freedom of the press means freedom from undue political influence and oppression. It does not mean freedom from conscience, or freedom from empathy, or freedom from the norms of basic human morality.
    The opponents of independent regulation, backed by statute, are not even bothering to offer any demonstration of how this would undermine our democracy. Their objections are baseless, self-serving, and utterly corrupt.

    Reply
  78. Kelly

    It’s depressing how people are so quick to clamour for Government regulation and legislation after events like these. Some of the activities of the press were shocking but all of these are already illegal. Complaints were made to the Police who should have investigated these properly in the first place. Most of the problems were caused by the Police and Government being to cosy with the press. How will any kind of regulator stop that? It should be the job of the Police to stop illegal activities not a regulator.

    We we are paying the Police and the courts to enforce the law and should expect them to do it without fear or favour.

    In the mean time just don’t buy the papers from these Companies. The News of the World was forced to close but I wonder how many of the 100,000 who signed the petition still buy the Sun.

    Reply
    • Robert Reynolds

      Leveson’s “approving body” both promises and threatens to raise or respond to vital questions of definition, to inform politics and police as well as the press.

      Some old compromises and naturally attendant fears may be ‘left behind’. Sad to see ‘Liberty’ ducking the challenge of legislation, ‘because it might be adversely amended’. Like the Human Rights Act?

      Hopes duly expressed, responsible freedom, of individuals and their organisations, depends on freedom of conscience, afforded universally only with agreed security of ‘living’, necessarily Equal Partnership.

      From the evidence of history, of our own lives, of the Leveson Inquiry, and of the chaotic ‘debate’ now ensuing, it should be clear to all that emulation of democracy is certainly not easy, in the long-run most probably impossible, successive attempts ever more contingent on self-deception or worse.

      If we wish to be ‘seriously’ free, all able to act ‘in conscience’, then we will need to reconcile ourselves to secure economic equality, making possible significant penalties (or relevant help) for the few who might still find temptation (or vulnerability) toward laziness or criminality.

      The weight of “public interest” decision-making – in parliament, in regulatory bodies, in newsrooms, and in all of the spheres reported upon – cannot happily be left to individual “Directors”, perhaps not even to majorities in grand committees, even if obliged to ‘consult’ and to work ‘to camera’.

      The prime function of the democratic state in relation to the individual should be to ensure the supply of income, equally to all, subject to judgement between ‘equal-power’ parties, with a jury the backstop, costs at judicial discretion

      Reply
  79. susan

    Freedom of the press does not mean journlists hacking into a teenagers phone and then delating the messages , giving false hope to parents of their missing daughter.
    In all of this , it has to be the most disgusting thing that they have done.

    Reply
  80. iain pringle

    The death penalty should be brought back in without delay. Quite apart from it being the right thing to do it also happens to command the majority of public opinion in this country. We also must leave the EU as soon as is possible. It is an utterly indefensible organisation. Us leaving is now only a matter of time anyway thank goodness. The rise of ukip is a great thing for this country but has all the lefty/do-gooding/pc brigade in a total flap which is hilarious to watch at the very least.

    Reply
  81. Vicki

    Memories of the last time the press were told that they were “drinking at the last chance saloon”. They were given that “last chance” to make self-regulation work and what we got was the PCC, which has worked – for the Press.

    If we think the press should have curbs on what it can print, especially when there is NO public interest defence, then it appears that statutory regulation is the only route left. Self-regulation is clearly the same as “Who gives a monkey’s?”

    This government (like the previous one and the one before that) is only too happy to curb the civil liberties of individuals. You can find yourself answering to the police for wearing the wrong T-shirt or walking along a path labelled “cyclists”.

    If the Free Press did not uncover the Savile scandal, but did make false accusations and insinuations about the McCanns then it is not using that freedom to anyone’s interest but their own.

    Reply
  82. Derek James Taylor

    When I see The Sun, The Times, The Mail etc. camapighning as they are, then I immediately want to do the opposite to what they are campaighning for. The Sun and the Mail are trying to denigrate the Hacked Off petition by claiming there are Mickey Mouse and \Donald Duck petitioners. It would not surprise me to learn thay had put those names in themselves just to be able to headline it. One thing is certain. You cannot trust these newspapers on a single thing. These papers need a satutory authority. And what Leveson proposed is NOT statutory control

    Reply
  83. Robert Reynolds

    ‘The public interest’ is what a free people collectively believe it to be. Its totality is – beyond abstraction(s) – unknowable. It is maximised only by genuine individual freedom of conscience – necessarily equal – amongst all of ‘the free people’.

    Given that not even the state can ‘know the public interest’, it will be wise to say the least – even in the best of societies – not to seek a prescriptive statutory control of media content. Problems with content will always need address in retrospect, but vital prospective address must be in relation to process.

    Though Baroness O’Neill and others might agree the minimum requirements of process in abstract, to operationalise those requirements, and to regulate them, is another matter. We have a shortage of baronesses. For a better press, all agree, the critical need is for a better ‘culture’.

    We ask too much of our journalists if we expect them forever, almost without fault, to uncover the failings of ‘tolerated’ self-protective elites in crime, politics, business, higher professions, religion, etc., and of course amongst themselves.

    It might be to ask too much of ‘ourselves’, to hope that we can almost overnight be informed enough, to care enough about ‘our problems’, such that ‘the obvious’ is seen by all, and the implication for democracy accepted by all. My suggestion is that trial should be attempted, of explanation and invitation.

    Reply
  84. Robert Reynolds

    Saluting here the further courage of Hacked Off, not only to mount a spirited campaign for a truly free press, free to follow conscience, but also to host a debate with honourable moderation, willing to risk serious engagement.

    I commented on the puzzling stance of Liberty, on 2nd December, and I stand by the analysis that has now passed moderation.

    Similarly puzzling, I regret to say, have been the stances of all whose evidence to Leveson was professed explicitly as ‘to support the public interest’. Even amongst philosopher witnesses, understanding of ‘the public interest’ was lacking. The concept tends to be used in context-free support of truthfulness, but – otherwise beyond definition – the truth is missed or evaded that ‘the public interest’ is knowable only in belief, as ‘the sum of all that we do in conscience’.

    Despite my writing on this subject to Lord Justice Leveson, commending further engagement with Baroness Professor Onora O’Neil, it seems that no such effort was made. Yesterday, 7th December 2012, in A Point Of View for Radio-4, the Baroness omitted rationality from her ‘clues to trustworthiness’.

    In lack of understanding and agreement on Equal Partnership, ‘expectation’ can only be of ‘untrustworthiness’, from real and imagined Conflicts of Interest. For the rational expectation of trustworthiness, we need to know the likely understanding and agreement of all to secure Economic Equality, and the very high probability of Equality as Secured, freedom thus secured for all to act ‘in conscience’.

    In the privacy of homes and offices, of gated communities and corridors of power, we will always need to exercise judgement, on propositions and the personalities
    in whom we invest ‘most trust’: but, not least from the weight of evidence given to Leveson, on ‘pressures’, Equal Partnership will take us far on the asymptotic path ‘to civilised democracy’.

    Reply
  85. Chris Jones

    See Craig Murray’s excellent blog post about Leveson “Leveson: Wrong Answer to the Wrong Question”:

    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2012/12/leveson-wrong-answer-to-the-wrong-question/

    Leveson fails to address the corporate structure of the UK media even though he says it is within his terms of reference.

    “The real problem is the ownership structure of UK mainstream media. Newspapers and broadcasters function as the propaganda tool of vast and intertwined corporate interests, shaping public opinion to the benefit of those corporate interests and ensuring popular support for politicians prepared to be complicit with those interests.

    The only answer to this is to break up the corporate structure of the UK mainstream media. The legislative framework to do this is not difficult. What needs to be changed are the criteria. I would propose something like this; no organisation, state or private, should be allowed effective control of more than 20% of the national or regional newspaper market or the television market, or more than 15% of those combined markets.”

    Reply
  86. Robert Reynolds

    Lord Hunt is being left free to imply, ‘no need of statutory carrots and sticks, only bringing instability from the threat of their subsequent removal or extension’. His point requires address.

    It seems to me that the implicit challenge of Lord Justice Leveson, for parliament, is the creation of a Statute for Press Freedom that is, by its very nature, incorruptible, at least for as long as reason stands to prevail in national counsel.

    Unlike the Charter & Agreement of the BBC, subject to down-grade from “upholding fundamental principles of democracy” to merely “explaining British Parliamentary Government”, the moral logic of a Statute for Press Freedom must be fit to stand the test of reason.

    The Labour Party’s draft Press Freedom and Trust Bill seeks to “guarantee the freedom and independence of the media”. This is unfortunately without address of need to secure the freedom (in conscience and under law) of individual human actors. Without such freedom, ‘the press’ will remain ‘free’ (in fact by fear and greed compelled) to indulge an on-going freedom to abuse the public interest, even the false claim of service made only ‘as necessary’.

    Within the draft Bill, in the Schedule, paragraph (5), “the public interest” is already in a sense abused, given that ‘guidance on interpretation of the concept’ is left to the new supposedly independent board, ‘in relation to the (standards) code’ of its own creation. Thus enacted, Parliament would be failing to make plain our genuine “public interest”, recognisable ‘in the pursuits of a free people’, leaving its definition wide open to anti-democratic abuse.

    Of a piece, the draft Bill defines ‘independence’, for the press, only as ‘from the executive’. Thus dwelling on understandable fears, made the more understandable in the above neglect, the Bill would ignore realities of overwhelming significance at the heart of all conflict-of-interest scandals, not least of those that led to the calling of the Leveson Inquiry. It has been from the insecure inequality of individuals that the “culture and practices” of the press and others have made a mockery of their ‘codified ethics’.

    In advance of general education for the institution of genuine democracy, if our Parliament wishes to support a Statute for Press Freedom made securely protective of individual professional conscience, for not against advance to democracy, then the primary ‘guarantee’ will have to be of public right to receive – in all publications – proportionate political education and declarations of conflict of interest.

    The Bill should make clear the expectation that, in advance of wide understanding and formal agreement on full institution of democracy, occasions of ‘public interest’ disregard, or confusion, will continue to make necessary the provision of a reliable special avenue for address of complaints and redress for grievances, preferably to be funded from general taxation, its costs an incentive upon all with more material roles in public life.

    With the above provisions, the market could then be left to decide as to whether due plurality is delivered in one educational cover, or by many titles, each title meeting statutory requirements.

    Another way to promote ethicality and democracy in printed media, would be statutory inclusion of all national strands within one national cover, the ‘titles’ being left free to compete on their own terms for periodic votes on their space-allocation.

    Reply
  87. Halima

    It’s about time we heard other stories in the local papers, besides them saying how ‘ Muslims have ruined everything ‘. Because, I don’t see how, on one side no more people have died in the last decade (muslims) than any other. How all this terrorism started, which was never this bad after 9/11. We’ve all got our own understanding on. If you want to give news to the world. Let them see it all… why cover up the damage the American army are doing, the Israeli bombs are doing. Ok? So if one bomb is thrown, they’ll throw 20 back. Whoever finds joy in watching people die in this inhumane manner. Then those individuals have very sick minds. Back to topic….. I support the death penalty for people like those defiantly.

    Reply
  88. Emma

    Hi,
    I’m writing because I too am a victim of corrupt journalists and I wish to expose the bullying and harassment I suffered at the hands of these morally bankrupt individuals.
    My story began in 2008, just prior to the financial crisis breaking. I began posting in the Wall Street Journal chatroom under the moniker ‘Acerbicanna’. My impact was almost immediate and obvious to any outside observer. Prior to my posts, the WSJ only really reported US domestic financial issues and was largely centred around the stock-market until I made the point in the chatroom that Iceland was hyperinflating (taken from a report in the Guardian I believe). Suddenly, Iceland hyperinflating became an issue and was reported (breaking their seemingly isolationist policy of other nations’ financial situations).
    That in itself was not an issue. The issues began when I brought up the topic of the US potentially hyperinflating as my financial guru, Marc Faber was suggesting (due to excessive quantitative easing). In the meantime, I met a very wealthy owner of an Investment company (now defunct) who I began a relationship with. He was convinced that as opposed to hyperinflating, the US would experience deflation. Upon careful study, I realised he was right – the US economy was hugely inflated by asset bubbles which were bound to burst; and despite QE, as the reserve currency of the world and with obvious contagion, people would return to the USD as a safe haven thereby dulling any threat of hyperinflation. The more obvious reason however being that as asset prices were driven down, the purchasing power of the dollar would increase. Anyway, coming to this conclusion was a long process of examining financial data in great detail, and employing logic to an area of study relatively alien to me at the time (I was studying a Masters of Accounting but my undergraduate degrees were in 3rd world politics and Psychology so I was unfamiliar with the subject and maybe ‘fresh-minded’ about the whole thing).
    Either way, I was plagiarised by the Wall Street Journal with Chuck Jaffe attributing my verbatim answers to questions in the chatroom.as an interview with the Nobel prize winning economist Anna Schwartz. All evidence of this has now been deleted from the Internet. Now to be fair to the Wall Street Journal, I was invited in to the journalists’ room which I retrospectively believe may have been the grounds for a job offer. However, since I was new to the subject of economics, busy with my Masters and had even been an anti-capitalist protester in my younger days, I didn’t feel I really was enough of an expert to be making calls that may permanently effect peoples’ lives so I didn’t follow it up.
    However, after my ex-boyfriend revealed I’d been plagiarised (he had access to subscriber articles that I didn’t have access to), I contacted an intellectual property rights lawyer I knew to ask him what my rights were (If they were going to so blatantly plagiarise my work, I wanted to be paid for it; even if I didn’t want to be a financial journalist).
    That is the point at which the trouble began. Had they not been hacking my computer, they would never have known that I contacted the IP lawyer. However, it became clear to all and sundry that they were worried about the legal ramifications of that email – even though I had no intention of taking action – I just wanted to know how to protect my IP rights. That seemingly innocuous email set in motion bullying to extremes I didn’t think non-sociopaths were capable of (maybe they are all socio or psychopathic).
    Over time it became obvious my house and phone were being bugged. As a student of politics, I was an avid watcher of the Australian program ‘Lateline’ and the follow-on ‘Lateline Business’. Since I’ve always supported the Australian Labor Party, and am a keen political pundit, I would passionately respond to comments made by the opposition. I didn’t think they were listening in the vain of a schizophrenic, I just stated my opinion at the TV as a football fan might do. However, it soon became clear to me that my comments were being listened to live – some even responded to me however ridiculously out of context their statements might have seemed to the average viewer.
    Then began a series of statements – one made by Peter Costello (former Minister of Finance) and another by David Kosh (or ‘Koshie’ as he is affectionately known) – with both saying ‘Don’t mess with journalists’. Despite the fact I had no intention of pursuing the plagiarism issue legally, it seemed an ominous warning that there was trouble ahead, and I was right.
    Since I hadn’t initially anticipated the bugging etc .I shared a lot of personal details of my life with my best friend with whom I lived at the time. I was soon to find that anything personal that could hurt me was going to be used against me and was. Since I’m not a big fan of commercial TV, I predominantly watched the government stations – the ABC and SBS. However, it didn’t seem to matter which station I watched, I’d notice a blip on my screen, and then something insulting the very private issues I’d discussed with my friend would be brought up and used against me. This was endemic.
    The real sociopathy came in to it when I became suicidal about the whole thing. I couldn’t even sit down and watch TV without being bullied. That’s when Ali Moore and Tony Jones started putting death notices up after every episode of Lateline. They were trying to get me to commit suicide……
    I guess the issue I am trying to alert you to is that in Australia, journalists are as thick as thieves. Few have a conscience, let alone the brains or strength of character to break the mould – if one is doing it, they all do it. There is a very serious need for Australian journalism to be seriously examined and some of their more dubious practices prosecuted. I was bullied every time I turned on a television set – they were clearly breaking laws by not only hacking me, bugging my phone and playing with my TV but harassing me to the brink of suicide. These people are morally bankrupt and I now know there are no limits to what journalists will do to get a story.
    Anyway, thanks for listening.
    Kind regards,
    Emma

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  89. Barry Futers

    Can you imagine the British press behaving in a ethical way. They are certainly worried about the word STATUTE.
    Being made to behave under the law is not what they had in mind. These evil people have Cameron in their pocket.

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  90. Richard

    I have to wonder, when the press talks about the need for “freedom of the press”, just how free exactly do they mean? Do they mean they should be completely exempt from the law, so they could do what they please to follow or produce a story? Like with all stories in the media, they are so one sided and hyperbolic in their arguments that it would seem any regulation whatsoever whould plunge the country into a fascist dictatorship.
    I think its truely dangerous to allow any body with this much influence to be so free from any form of regulation.

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  91. Richard

    I’d also like to add that the idea that the press media create of them being some sort of virtuous guardian fighting against opression is completely ludicrous.They are a business and a corporation first and foremost, and just like any business, they tailor their stories to what sells the most papers and generates the most profit. If they truely wanted to be protectors of the population, they wouldn’t be in business.

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  92. V. Smith

    I think it is about time this blog conversation was refreshed and started again. After all it is now December 2013, and is pretty obvious that some right-wingers were out to trash it from the beginning, so that is all you get at the top of the page. Moderators please note.

    For what it is worth,
    1. We certainly do not have a ‘free’ press because it is 90% owned by right-wing businessmen, actually extremely right-wing businessmen compared to the general population. They have made it their business to influence government policy in all areas, because they can. They have bought this power. Bullies always shout loudest – until someone squares up to them.
    2. No-one is above the law. Not even newspaper proprietors, who have bullied and bribed their reporters into breaking laws, and taking the rap. They have been blackmailing politicians for years.
    3. Levinson is all about creating a free-er press, where there is redress for victims, and a slightly more level playing field. There is no such thing as absolute freedom and we will never have a free press because there is no such thing. Everything is relative to something else.
    4. Believe it or not, the Sun was launched on a wave of hope as a brand new Labour paper, until R. Murdoch bought it and decided there was more mileage/fun in low-grade sleaze and attacking the then-Labour government. Moguls can buy up any paper they like and use it as a plaything, whereas any state subsidy of a newspaper is regarded as an oppression. There seems to be no way out of this impasse. Levinson is the best shot at public press-ownership regulation that we the have had in the last 100 years (roughly when the Daily Mail started its political fog-horn ‘yellow press’ activities). Check out the history of newspapers.

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