Leveson Report this Thursday

Lord-Justice-Leveson

by Malcolm Cook

Lord Justice Leveson’s Report into the culture, ethics and ultimately, the practices of the press will be published on Thursday 29 November 2012.

At 1.30pm he will make a short statement at the QEII Conference Centre in London. No questions will be taken after he makes his statement and he will not be available for interviews either.

Ticket applications for the limited available public seating are made through the Inquiry Secretariat at generalenquiries@levesoninquiry.org.uk . Please make your application to the Inquiry by 12pm on Tuesday 27 November 2012.

These are four modules to the Leveson Report they are:

  • Module 1: The relationship between the press and the public and looks at phone-hacking and other potentially illegal behaviour.
  • Module 2: The relationships between the press and police and the extent to which that has operated in the public interest.
  • Module 3: The relationship between press and politicians.
  • Module 4: Recommendations for a more effective policy and regulation that supports the integrity and freedom of the press while encouraging the highest ethical standards.

It is anticipated that there will be recommendations concerning press regulation, freedom of speech and a general dissection of the industry.

The report was originally prompted following the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s news of the World Sunday, a News Corp tabloid last July after public fury that murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler was among the victims.

There are cautious expectations of a new independent regulation body with statutory powers of the press to be recommended irrespective of widespread concerns over freedom of speech.

The Inquiry has exposed the intimate relations between the top of government and top executives at Murdoch’s newspaper empire causing much embarrassment not just for Brooks and Cameron but the whole establishment.

“I’m hoping that he (Leveson) will have taken on board all of the evidence, not just the evidence of some of the celebrities, which was self-interested and self-indulgent,” said Bob Satchwell, executive director of the Society of Editors.

“Any kind of regulation by definition must interfere with the freedom of the press and freedom of expression. If there is any regulation which involved the state or the law, that is even more worrying, because what that does in effect is take you back 300 years.”

Will we be sent to the middle ages with complete State Censorship and total loss of Freedom of Speech as we know it?

Will it be a total white wash and the press be run by a few for the few and herding the people on mass to suit their whims and needs?

Will the needs of the people be put before the needs of the press?

…Or will Mr Murdoch be allowed to continue to inform large swathes of the population with his own agenda and the majority of its readers and viewers believe it to be news of unbiased good journalistic integrity.

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