Salmond prepares to let Westminster take the hit over post-Leveson press regulation

It may surprise you to learn that a separate Scottish response to the Leveson report on press regulation is looking unlikely. Stage One  was a separate report by an “expert group” headed by  the former Scottish judge Lord McCluskey who recommended “draconian “ powers and a regulator appointed by the Scottish government. If the London negotiations fail to produce the necessary statutory underpinning for a Leveson-compliant Regulatory Body with universal jurisdiction, then Scottish Ministers may consider introducing legislation separately to … Read more

Bluff and brinkmanship over press regulation – and blogs?

You won’t find it said in the press as they are all inevitably biased as interested parties. But if most of the UK national newspapers are going to reject even a “dab” of statute in a new tougher but still “ voluntary” system of  press regulation, why didn’t they come out and say so ages ago rather than faffing about for months? It’s left to a blog, to make the obvious point – leaving aside the one liner that blogs … Read more

Royal Charters ‘upgraded’ to beef up provision for press regulation…

When the Sun newspaper starts quoting Churchill, it is time to sniff the air on press freedom. According to Roy Greenslade the use of a Royal Charter gets the three parties at Westminster off the hook: By passing a law that affects the nature of all royal charters, rather than one specifically devoted to a press regulator, they have found a compromise where none seemed possible. In effect, what Harman has called “a small piece of legislation” can be said … Read more

Broadcasters’ right to free expression will become more restricted

Here’s a  worrying report by Breda O’Brien in the Irish Times which will  give RTE and public service broadcasters everywhere a headache.  McGuirk, PR consultant and former Libertas communications director (and prolific tweeter himself), recently compiled a list of journalists and producers who tweeted that they were taking part in a pro-choice march, or calling for support for it. He gave up at 37. There were some names associated with RTÉ, and nine from this newspaper (although The Irish Times is … Read more

#Leveson: A mixed response to the British Press’s mass indulgence in criminal activity…

Worth waiting for Charlie Beckett to shoot down the idea that reforms in line with the current Irish system would suffice… – Guido has a scathing an op ed in the Sun today (sister paper of the now dead NOTW), noting the paucity of work in the Leveson Report on New Media. And pride of place on his blog this morning is this short paeon to his ‘triumph’: It seems Mr. Staines color was enough to persuade Lord Justice Brian … Read more

Why doesn’t Leveson pass Cameron’s “bonkers” test? And would Ofcom really be a “flawed” backstop?

[David Cameron to Andrew Marr] “We must wait for what Lord Leveson says … I don’t want to pre-judge it. We don’t want heavy-handed state intervention. We’ve got to have a free press.” Backing up with legislation the self regulation of an industry that has consistently failed to be harsh to itself hardly qualifies as failing Cameron’s “bonkers” test. Labour – from the advantage of Opposition – are asking for the Leveson recommendations to be implemented in full. Ed Miliband: … Read more

Society of Editors meeting in Belfast – Leveson, distribution, tablets, journalism training and dead trees #SOE

The Society of Editors – representing newspaper, broadcast and online editors – is holding its annual conference in Belfast. Lord Leveson’s report is due out within weeks and discussion about the possible models of regulation and how editors would live with them was set to dominate the agenda. The BBC’s difficulties have cast their shadow over proceedings too. The outgoing President of the Society of Editors – Fran Unsworth – filmed a quick video message to welcome delegates to the … Read more

Roy Greenslade on hacking, Leveson, Murdoch, the local press and dissidents

After a break of a decade, Roy Greenslade was back talking at Féile an Phobail on Thursday lunchtime, lecturing in the Falls Road library about the built up to and impact of the Leveson Inquiry. Mark Simpson introduced the journalist, ex-editor, commentator, academic and wearer of braces who has written for every national paper in London and who splits his time between Donegal and Brighton. He spoke for around 35 minutes before taking questions from an audience seeded with characters … Read more