Phone Hacking, So they think it’s all over – Julian Petley

24 07 2014

Phone Hacking VerdictsEntirely predictably, the verdicts in the hacking trial were taken by most British papers as confirmation that the whole three-year process from the Leveson Inquiry to Scotland Yard’s Operation Weeting to the trial itself had been both a colossal waste of public funds and a draconian threat to press freedom. Read the rest of this entry »





The State Journalism is in: Edward Snowden and the British Press, Part 3 – Julian Petley

8 05 2014

Snowden and GuardianThe third, and overarching theme in the press campaign against the Guardian and on behalf of the government is national security. Read the rest of this entry »





The State Journalism is in: Edward Snowden and the British Press, Part 2 – Julian Petley  

6 05 2014

Mail SnowdenThe first theme in the press campaign against the Guardian by and on behalf of the Government concerns pure and simple payback for the Guardian’s phone-hacking revelations and the resultant Leveson inquiry.

An early example occurs in a Mail article by Stephen Glover on 21 August 2013, headed ‘That Murky Arrest Troubles Me. But the Guardian’s in Murky Waters Where Those Who Love Their Country Should not Venture’. It concludes thus: Read the rest of this entry »





The State Journalism is in: Edward Snowden and the British Press, Part 1 – Julian Petley

3 05 2014

Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden is interviewedAt Prime Minister’s questions on 16 October 2013, the former Conservative Defence Secretary Liam Fox asked David Cameron: Read the rest of this entry »





Press Regulation: A Pantomime of Deceit and Disinformation – Julian Petley

17 12 2013

Press regulation dealBy rejecting the Royal Charter, the majority of the British press has  done exactly the opposite of what it claims it wants to achieve: keep  politicians out of press regulation…  On November 8, 2013, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) announced that it was sending an “unprecedented top-level press-freedom mission to the United Kingdom“. Read the rest of this entry »





Time for the government to stand firm on press regulation – Julian Petley

10 10 2013

Press regulation dealOn Monday evening, the BBC’s Newsnight programme revealed that a sub-committee of the privy council had rejected the Royal Charter on press self-regulation put forward by the Press Standards Board of Finance (PressBof). By the following morning, rumours were rife that consideration of the Royal Charter on press self-regulation agreed by the three main political parties on March 18 would be delayed until October 30, immediately sparking fears that, in the interim, the newspapers would do their utmost to pressure the Tories into watering down the agreed Charter. Read the rest of this entry »





Nudging and Filtering: Internet Censorship and Mail Hypocrisy – Julian Petley

15 08 2013

The Open Rights Group is asking people to sign a petition asking David Cameron not to require Internet Service Providers to switch on ‘adult’ web filters by default, meaning that anyone who wishes to access certain kinds of material online will have to ask their ISP to switch off the filter. Read the rest of this entry »





The Leveson Inquiry and the Raucous Press – Julian Petley

8 03 2013

Royal Courts of JusticeDemocracies require an unlovable press. They need journalists who get in the face of power’. So says Michael Schudson, one of America’s foremost media scholars, in a recent collection of essays, and most journalists would wholeheartedly agree. Such sentiments were much in evidence in the pre-emptive nuclear strike mounted by the press in the run-up to the publication in November 2012 of Lord Justice Leveson’s report into the culture, practices and ethics of the British press. Read the rest of this entry »





Lessons from Motorman, Part 4: Investigative Journalism and Conclusion – Julian Petley

9 01 2013

TabloidsBut the ICO were not the only ones furious with Dacre and co over their lobbying against custodial penalties under section 55 of the Data Protection Act. Writing in the Guardian, 7 April 2008, the paper’s investigations editor David Leigh stated that: ‘Rarely has there been a more disgraceful behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign’ than the one outlined above. He continued: ‘Tabloid newspapers want the right to commit crimes with impunity …  And they have the brazenness to complain that this campaign is designed to protect “investigative journalism”’. Read the rest of this entry »





Lessons from Motorman, Part 3, Government action and inaction – Julian Petley

8 01 2013

ICO LogoNotwithstanding the representations of the PCC and others the proposal to toughen the sanctions for infringing the DPA were endorsed by the DCMS Committee, which stated that ‘we believe that sufficient safeguards exist to protect legitimate investigative journalism and do not believe that the introduction of custodial sentences for offences under Section 55 of the Data Protection Act 1998 would have the chilling effect claimed by the press”.  It also noted with approval the fact that the government had in February 2007 proposed to amend Section 60 of the DPA (via the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill which was then going through Parliament) so as to introduce exactly the sanction recommended by the ICO. Read the rest of this entry »








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