Category Archives: Press

Failing to defend press standards

The other day I came across a surprising quotation from Sir Alan Moses (see below in paragraph 5).  He was the first head of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso), the latest incarnation of what passes for a UK press regulator. Ipso came into being following the conclusion of the first part of the Leveson Inquiry, the judicial public inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press which followed the News International ‘phone hacking scandal. Leveson 2 was intended to examine relationships between journalists and the police. It was scrapped by the government in March 2018.

Set up in 2011 the inquiry held a series of public hearings during 2011 and 2012. Even Rupert Murdoch found time to attend, in April 2012 and you can read a very interesting account of his evidence reported by Nick Davies at

Sir Alan headed up Ipso from 2014 leaving at the end of 2019.

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When you want to know the future don’t ask Liam Fox (amongst others)

I don’t know how many extensions there have been during the government’s protracted negotiations with the EU to achieve (or not) a trade deal. The talks started at the beginning of March 2020 and yesterday after it appeared that a ‘no deal’ was likely, a joint statement by the parties announced that there would be a further extension, “to go the extra mile” but with no cut-off date this time (although there is the real date of 31 December 2020 –but they could ‘stop the clock’ I suppose). Wind back to September when Prime Minister Boris Johnson proposed a deadline of 15 October for a free-trade deal with the European Union. If missed, both sides should, he said, “accept that and move on”.

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The loss of an outstanding journalist

One of the UK’s finest and most controversial journalists, Robert Fisk died suddenly in a Dublin hospital on Sunday 30 October. Although born in Kent in July 1946, he later became an Irish citizen.

His career with the nationals began at the Sunday Express, (after learning his trade at the Newcasle Chronicle see: ) but he first distinguished himself in 1970s Belfast, having become the Northern Ireland correspondent for The Times in 1972. “I was astonished to see that I was reporting a war,” he said of his time reporting in Belfast. “I always refer to Northern Ireland as a war and not the Troubles.”

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