Posts Tagged ‘press freedom’

Labour should champion good “producer” journalism

16/10/2011, 09:17:23 AM

by Carl Packman

At the start of last week many people were tuning in to watch the Lords debate the health and social bill. But at the same time, the House of Lords communications committee hosted a hearing attended by Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, the Guardian editor Alan Rushbridger and investigative journalist Nick Davies.

Up for discussion was what Roy Greenslade, writing for the Evening Standard, noted as the three things that haunt journalism: budget constraints, press freedom and regulation and libel laws. On the first of those, Alan Rushbridger mentioned that 70% of what is seen in the Guardian can be found free online, while in ten to 15 years’ time many towns will be without a local newspaper. For the most part, the panel were at pains not to do down the work of unpaid bloggers and citizen journalists. But, as they were keen to address, investigative reportage often costs money and takes time that volunteers often don’t have.

On the second thing to haunt journalism today – press freedom – Ian Hislop complained that Article 8 of the human rights act, respect for private and family life, has too much swing against Article 10, the freedom of expression. Nick Davies fantasised about throwing defamation law “in the river” and starting again “with a blank slate with statute law”. Balancing the right to privacy with free speech is one issue, but the other is how this fares in the eyes of the law. (more…)

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