This week the two main parties published their election manifestos. Labour’s, which is set out below, is tighter than the leak from the previous week, and represents a good basis to build on. The Conservatives, on the other hand have thrown the press owners a life line by pledging to scrap part 2 of Leveson and repeal section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 which would give victims of press abuse access to affordable justice. It also provides that in the event a ‘relevant publisher’ (i.e., a provider of general news in print) is sued, and that publisher has chosen not to register with an ‘approved regulator’ (i.e one that is Leveson compliant), that publisher will be required to pay a claimant’s costs even if the publisher wins in court. The provision was recommended by Leveson and supported by Parliament in 2013, but would only come into force once an approved regulator was set up (as IMPRESS was last autumn (see my blog “After all this time…” 27 October 2016).
I have just finished reading ‘Unleashing Devils’ by by Craig Oliver, David Cameron’s former spin doctor (Director of Politics and Communications to give him his official title, a position which he held from September 2011 until Cameron’s resignation in July 2016). It’s an insider’s story of the decision to call the ill-fated (and in my view irresponsible and divisive) referendum and other key moments, through to defeat and resignation. It may seem odd that I’ve read a book written by someone who is diametrically opposed to most of the things I believe in, but it’s fresh history, published just a few months after the victory for the leavers and there are many questions and deeper concerns posed by it, regardless of how you voted in the referendum. Continue reading Making the broadcasters raise their game
On 16 February 2013 in my blog ‘Journalists trusted as little as bankers’ I reported the results of a Ipso/MORI poll which reported that journalists and bankers were trusted by just 21% of the people. The bottom group at 18% was taken by politicians. You would have thought that post the Leveson Inquiry, public perception of journalism might have improved. In fact its got worse.
A new YouGov poll for IMPRESS, the recently approved Leveson compliant press regulator, has revealed that public trust in the press is at an all-time low. Only 11% of people in the UK trust journalists at mid-market newspapers such as the Daily Mail and the Daily Express to tell the truth whilst fewer than one in ten trust journalists at tabloids such as The Sun and the Mirror. Journalists at broadsheets and local newspapers fare a little better, with just 36% of the public trusting them to tell the truth.