The Leveson Inquiry: Who Wins

Call it regulations if you will, I say it’s the end of a free press. The British 4th estate as we know, love and loath it may be ending with this farce of an inquiry  (The Leveson inquiry into the culture and ethics of the British press) Not since the Watergate scandal has the free press been under such scrutiny. Common sense must prevail or the press as we know it will die and instead of journalism we’ll be left with PR robots that toe the party line and are afraid to break eggs.

Ok, so let me sum up what this inquiry is really about, if its not just here to make the Murdoch’s life uncomfortable. I think we can all safely say that the red tops in this country (NOTW, The Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily star) have behaved in immoral ways for decades. Until a few stories came out with the celebrities involved not knowing how the information had leaked. Oh the Horror.

Sienna Miller I’m afraid to say I don’t have much sympathy for, the same goes to Max Clifford, Andy Grey, Jude Law, Hugh Grant and all the other fame hungry celebs that seem to think they can become public property with no consequence. They all got substantial pay offs from the NOTW.

I do on the other hand feel some sympathy for the former Royal editor of NOTW Clive Goodman, who was the initial scapegoat to save the skins of Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks both former NOTW editors. January 26th 2007 Clive Goodman and Private Investigator Glenn Mulcaire were both jailed for illegally accessing the Royal phone messages. Andy Coulson subsequently resigned from his post as editor of NOTW only to become David Cameron’s media advisor for the Conservative party. Clearly it’s not what you know but whom.

Rebekah Brooks whom I admire somewhat, revealed back in 2003 to a Commons Committee that the paper (NOTW) had regularly paid the police for information. Coulson sitting next to her at the time tried to rebuff what she had said but the damage was done. I often wonder why an inquiry wasn’t started at this time, as this worry’s me more than getting frivolous gossip from a celeb’s mobile.

So the shredding begins, the News of the World is closed down, lots of good journalists lose their jobs while Rupert, his son, Mr. Coulson (Dave’s mate) and Rebekah Brooks (again Dave’s mate LOL) remain in uncomfortable coziness shall we say?

This is where the Leveson Inquiry loses me. From the outside looking in I see a national newspaper proprietor and editors clearly breaking the law. So as a straight thinking person I’m of the opinion that these offenders should be brought before a court of law for justice and not an inquiry in to the ethics of the media. If we have laws in place to dissuade the media from using immoral tactics then why not just use them.

Press Says No to Royal Charter But the People Say Yes, A New Survey Reveals

Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 12.04.32Since 2011 newspapers have been under severe scrutiny after several accounts of phone hacking by News International were uncovered. All through last year, public hearings were conducted by Lord Justice Leveson to review the culture and ethics of the British press.

In a report published last November, Lord Justice Leveson declared the then- current regulator PCC, unsatisfactory recommending a new independent body with more power to apply fines as well as rule to what extent apologies and corrections should be carried out.

The reaction to the report was quite controversial. David Cameron was one of the first to show his disapproval in implementing a new form of legislation and most newspapers followed suit backing up the Prime Ministers opinion. However, a new survey conducted in London suggests that public opinion lies in favor of a new independent regulation backed up by the Law.

The Survey:

Over half of those that answered the questionnaire said they would feel at large risk if the press were to continue being regulated by them-selves.

The poll involving just over 100 people shows that 82% of the participants wants more transparency between politicians and the media.

Just over half of those interviewed believed Lord Leveson’s recommendations should be implemented in full.

The lack of confidence in the press was widespread with only 5% saying Lord Justice Leveson recommendations should not be implemented.

Follow the link  and have a look at our Interactive Chart.

After several months of discussion and impasses between PM David Cameron and the other parties the three main political parties in the UK were able to reach a deal on the 18th of March. The plan was to introduce a new independent regulator backed by a royal charter.

Copy and paste the following link to view the questionnaire if the hyperlink fails to work:

file:///Users/Chaves/Documents/survey.htm

The Press  response and Hacked Off:

However, the press had other plans, they announced they would set up a regulator under a royal charter of their own. According to protesters and victims group, Hacked Off, this option should be fiercely opposed.

Director of Hacked Off Brian Cathcart

Director of Hacked Off Brian Cathcart

“I’ve been a journalist for thirty years the things that were uncovered during the Levenson inquiry is not journalism it’s vandalism,” says Brian Cathcart, director of Hacked Off.

“I think too much power in one place is not a good thing, and we all saw the results of that, a huge scandal involving bribery and corruption through out the news papers industry. I think it is time for them to be regulated by law,” says freelance writer and journalist Anne Winston, 27.

Hacked off, replied with a post declaring newspapers have learnt nothing from past events and said that by rejecting the charter they also rejected the only regulation that would be fully able to protect the general public from abuses like the phone hacking scandal ever happening again.

“We don’t need another useless body like the PCC, people needs to be protected from all this,” says protester, Paul Griffiths, 33.

So, whats next?

MPS will now vote this Tuesday in order to decide if they are or not backing up the press.

Listen to the clip below for our exclusive  Q&A conference with Brian Cathcart director of Hacked Off, and find out more about the Leveson inquiry and Hacked Off campaign in favour of victims of the press.

A review of Leveson’s Key recommendations:

Screen Shot 2013-04-27 at 12.36.41

How does people feel about all this? Watch the video below and find out.

Let us know what you think.