The first two of three Leveson Inquiry seminars took place Thursday 6 October at the Queen Elizabeth conference centre.
The inquiry looked at the pressures facing journalists in the competitive modern environment.Speakers were a veritable who's who of media, and you can view the full invitation list below:
- Former Daily Star journalist Richard Peppiatt cited the issue that each journalist had to fit in with an owner's agenda:"In approximately 900 newspaper bylines I can probably count on fingers and toes the times I felt I was genuinely telling the truth, yet only a similar number could be classed as outright lies."This is because as much as the skill of a journalist today is about finding facts, it is also, particularly at the tabloid end of the market, about knowing what facts to ignore." Link to Guardian liveblog entry.
It's something that media analyst Claire Enders agreed with. She said:"Commercial pressures vary on titles, you see no correlation between ethical or unethical and profitability."In fact the most ethical seem to be the ones that lose the most money and the most unethical seem to be the ones with the most complaints to the PCC." Link to Guardian liveblog entry.
One of the issues that phone hacking has raised is regulation. Should the press be self-regulating? Externally regulated? Or is there a third way?Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, said that "Gagging the media on the pretext of the public interest is one means of ensuring the public never learns the answer."Gordon Rayner of the Telegraph has a full analysis of Rusbridger's speech:
Dominic Mohan was up to speak about an hour after Rusbridger's first speech, and he spoke about how celebrity journalism sharing similar traits with the political lobby system - relying on a network of contacts.
Check out the Audioboo by Lisa O'Carroll below:
- Notable contributions in the afternoon of Thursday 6 October included Trevor Kavanagh, former political editor of the Sun, who laid into those who he believed are condescending toward tabloid newspapers.He said that tabloid journalists are the: "finest creative professionals in the business. Men and women who can adapt just as successfully as on other newspapers, though the reverse is not always the case.
"The tabloids drive the news agenda...they are followed up almost without question by the broadsheets,"
Of course the speech which got the Twittersphere talking was when Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail stepped up on October 12 to deliver a speech. You can view a full version of it below along with some analysis from Roy Greenslade, but I've also included some choice quotes:
- On policitians"Indeed, am I alone in detecting the rank smells of hypocrisy and revenge in the political class's current moral indignation over a British press that dared to expose their greed and corruption -- the same political class, incidentally, that, until a few weeks ago, had spent years indulging in sickening genuflection to the Murdoch press."On regulation"I'd like to try to persuade this inquiry that self-regulation -- albeit in a considerably beefed up form -- is, in a country that regards itself as truly democratic, the only viable way of policing a genuinely free press."This growing clamour for more regulation ignores the uncomfortable truth that the Press is already on the very cusp of being over regulated. Indeed, over the past twenty years, restriction has been piled upon restriction.
The Data Protection Act means that reporters can be criminalised for such basic journalist practices as obtaining ex-directory numbers which they need to do to check stories are accurate."
On corrections and clarifications
"I believe corrections must be given more prominence. As from next week, the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday and Metro will introduce a "Corrections and Clarifications" column on page two of these paper."
He predictably raised a few eyebrows on Twitter: