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

Never expect full freedom of speech

Don’t expect that we will ever have total freedom of speech in content. It is an object of libertarians.  But unobtainable. On the eve of Leveson’s report next week keep this in mind.  He will propose restrictions on the freedom of speech of the press.  And many will criticism him for restricting freedom of speech.  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

US Congress moves against “pirates”: Wikipedia protests

The US Congress is taking ”piracy” of US intellectual property seriously by proposing to attack the financial basis of foreign sites running copyright material without permission.  Two acts are in Congress to let media owners force search engines to stop linking to “pirate” sites and stop US advertisers advertising. Wikipedia offline in protest The opposition Read More

EU probes e-book publishers and Apple

The EU is to formally investigate whether Apple and 5 European publishers are gouging the e-book market.  Have they conspired to set prices and so rig the market, is the question. E-books more expensive than paper  E-books are more expensive than paper editions, much to the surprise of many experts.  Manufacture and distribution of paper 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 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

Two steps in IP

The government has taken one step forward and one step back in its policy over intellectual property (IP). The step forward is the appointment of IP attachés to UK embassies around the world.  These attachés will pressure foreign governments to crack down on infringements of the IP rights of UK companies and citizens, it announced 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