comparativemedialawandethics

Statutory control behind the harlot’s screen. Subtle politics in law.

In Opinion on December 1, 2012 at 6:39 pm
Hacked Off campaigners give their reaction to LJ Leveson's verdict that the British press safeguards democracy and also wrecks havoc on the lives of innocent people.

Hacked Off campaigners give their reaction to LJ Leveson’s verdict that the British press safeguards democracy and also wrecks havoc on the lives of innocent people.

Former British Prime Minister of the 1930s Stanley Baldwin once said the power without responsibility abused by press was the prerogative of the harlot through the ages. Lord Justice Leveson in 2012 recommends that politicians should enter the harlot’s boudoir and direct the press how to behave behind a screen or two. They might do it via a cadre of Ofcom handmaidens, but the effect will be the same.

Well it’s happened. Sir Brian Leveson has given his verdict on the culture, practices, and ethics of Britain’s press and conduct with public, police and politicians. Like all good criminal judges he weighed the mitigation before punching with the sentence, though at the end he conceded ‘the ball moves back into the politicians’ court. They must now decide who guards the guardians.’

The Statutory Dilemma, Leveson Inquiry and Media Law and Ethics Reform

In Opinion on November 17, 2012 at 6:40 pm

The Leveson Inquiry Report- much anticipated and controversial history

The NUJ’s policy for ‘statutory underpinning’ of print regulation is one of the more troubling issues in my near 38 year career in journalism. It has been hard enough being in a University Department (Media & Communications, Goldsmiths) surrounded by colleagues who are at the very centre of the Hacked Off and Coordinating Committee for Media Reform that advocates the surrendering to Parliament of a vitally important constitutional independence.

My colleagues also back statutory ‘right of reply.’ In my opinion these are authoritarian measures of reform.

They will do nothing to improve media reporting and publication standards. They are antithetical to my professional existence as a journalist.

Ron Onions- remembering a lost generation of inspirational editors in UK Broadcasting

In Obituary on June 25, 2012 at 8:49 am

Ron Onions OBE before the microphone during LBC’s heyday in Gough Square, behind London’s Fleet Street. Copyright estate of Ron Onions.

An impressive and significant generation of editors in UK broadcast journalism who originated and pioneered key developments in the media industry during the 1970s and 1980s has  been passing away- largely unnoticed.

But the death (May 27) and well-attended funeral of Ron Onions (Kingston-on-Thames June 12) recently indicates that their contribution to British culture is beginning to be recognised and those who benefited from their leadership and inspiration are rightly publishing their thanks and appreciation.

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