May right to raise threat of law to underpin independent press regulation post Leveson

Teresa May is right to say the government would introduce legislation to underpin an independent regulation of the press if the press itself does not come up with a suitable plan, and soon. That’s a good negotiating tactic. Her legions of critics will say: “But it’s not Government policy, listen to the PM.” But there Read More

Leveson faces contradictions

The Leveson inquiry has to join up three major criteria in the regulation of the press: each with a contradiction in them.  They are:                 How should the public be involved?                 How can it be independent of both the press itself and the government of the day? And                 How can it be voluntary Read More

Methods not principles needed for media regulation

Ed Richards, CEO of Ofcom, got it wrong at the Oxford Media Convention today.  He said the regulatory authorities on the media had the same principles in mind.  But principles are not the issue.  There are plenty of codes which express the principles. What matters is action and methods. Desmond withdraws from PCC but no Read More

Journalism ethics: an oxymoron?

Can journalism be an ethical profession?   Let’s deal with the last word first: it’s a set of crafts not a profession.  Journalists do not regulate who joins, do not have the powers to reject members who breach its “code of ethics”.  So it’s a set of crafts which likes to call itself a profession. If Read More

Same rules for all: citizens and professionals

It is no coincidence that The Times today has a page of debate about the role of professional journalists as Blottr.com claims to have 1,000 “citizen journalists”.  Can’t show you The Times articles bacause of its fire wall. We know the perceived state of professional journalism: ethically challenged and less able to serve its purpose Read More

10 lessons from the NoW closure

1                     To paraphrase the Sun: “It’s the advertisers whot won it.”  Senior News International executives talked about the loss of trust by the readers as the cause of the closure of the NoW.  It wasn’t any such thing.  It was because the advertisers bailed out.   It was a ruthless closure inflicted on a team which Read More

PCC makes big mistake over Telegraph’s 2-faced Lib-Dems story

The Press Complaints Commission (PCC) has made a big mistake in its judgement against The Daily Telegraph and its story that Lib-Dem government members were talking out of both sides of their mouths.  They were saying in public they were in favour of many Coalition policies and in private dissing them.  Two faced, at the Read More