“Just when journalists thought legal threats to press freedom in Britain couldn’t get any worse, along comes another menacing piece of legislation. After the Investigatory Powers Act, correctly nicknamed the snoopers’ charter, and the law commission’s proposal for a new Espionage Act that could transform journalism into spying, comes the data protection bill.
This bill, now making its way through parliament, has the potential to inhibit investigative journalism. It has alarmed news broadcasters and newspapers alike. Yet thanks to the domination of our media landscape by Brexit, the bill has not received anything like enough attention. That is a grave oversight.”Continue reading Journalism under threat but not trusted→
In a well argued letter to the Guardian published on 12 June, Professor James Curran who writes and lectures on media history and policy, declared that: “… the reign of the tabloids is over. For weeks, the ancient bazookas controlled by Murdoch and Dacre and other press oligarchs were trained on Corbyn and McDonnell, portraying them as patrons of terror and fantasists forever shaking a magic money tree. The Campaign failed because the English Press is more distrusted than any other in Europe, its circulation is in free-fall and young people in particular get their news and political information from the internet…”
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).