tobyaw: (Frogmarch 2002 - Whitby)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 08:09pm on 30/11/2012 under , ,
According to news reports today, David Cameron has been accused of betraying the victims of phone hacking. In taking a principled stand against statutory regulation of the press in England, Cameron, like Alex Salmond has done in Scotland, is articulating a liberal position that I find very easy to agree with.

Many of the victims of the misbehaviour of the tabloid press have seen criminal cases develop from their stories. People have been jailed for phone hacking, and there are many pending criminal prosecutions. It is right that the victims have their opinions heard where a criminal act has occurred, and when it relates to the crime and the punishment for that crime.

But to be a victim of a specific criminal behaviour is a long way from making one an expert in the industry that encompasses the criminals. These victims — particularly the high profile media personalities — have their own agenda and are working with effective pressure groups to influence parliament. They cannot be expected to care about the impact that regulation may have on the newspaper industry, or to value traditional freedoms when they run counter to their immediate interests.

And I’m filled with the urge to stick my fingers in my ears and say “la la la” every time that Hugh Grant appears on the news.
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Frogmarch 2002 - Whitby)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 05:50pm on 28/11/2012 under ,
We’ve had years of media stories about the misbehaviour of the some elements of the press, sometimes leading to criminal prosecutions. The Leveson Inquiry held high-profile hearings with many of the major players, and is due to report tomorrow. It is one of the big political stories of the moment, and their response to the report could define how political parties are judged going into the next general election.

But today the BBC reported that Holyrood will makes its own decision about press regulation. In particular, Alex Salmond said that he would not support state regulation of the press.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-20520823

I’d not been aware before today that while control of broadcasting in Scotland is reserved to Westminster, regulation of the press is the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament. Maybe this has been reported before, and I’d missed it, but I think our national broadcasters do us a disservice by concentrating on the Westminster response to Leveson, when that won’t be relevant to Scotland.

I suppose we could end up with state regulation of the press in England and Wales, but a softer contractual form of regulation in Scotland. Could this mean that London-based national titles could see an advantage to moving their publishing to Scotland?
location: St Andrews, Scotland

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