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Friday, November 30, 2012

Leveson lands, rhetoric set to soar

The Leveson report runs to 1987 pages, one million words and includes 92 recommendations.  

The Executive Summary is 46 pages.

The Spectator has a useful six point guide on "regulation."

Expect waves of instant punditry, including plenty of gloom and doom on the "press freedom" front here with Lord Leveson due in Australia next week.

Keep an eye out for how often you see or hear:
That the Report stresses it is not proposing "statutory regulation of the press" and
"The proposed legislation would not give any rights to parliament, to government, or any other body to prevent newspapers from publishing anything they wanted."

Lines taken from the Huffington Post summary.

(Update: For some dispassionate local comment see The Conversation including these observations from the Chair of the Australian Press Council Professor Julian Disney, giving some of his members a touch-up :
"there are some significant things we would benefit from adopting...I think the statutory underpinning for the privileges has considerable strengths....On the argument about statutory regulation, the media has to do a lot better in its analysis of that proposal. A lot of it is riddled with misrepresentation, overstatement and lack of perception. If it is feared this very minor form of government involvement risks the independence of the body, what does it say then for a body that is totally funded by the publishers? How is a body of that kind going to be able to convince people that it is independent?

There’s a fair amount of hypocrisy here. The media wants statutory privileges. They want statutory intervention when it suits them but not on any conditions. All this is saying is if you want these privileges, you have to sign up to this body. If you don’t want the privileges – and in the case of the arbitrator services, it’s a new privilege – then don’t sign up.

And on the transparency front, some observations relevant to all influence peddling:

There’s a very interesting and good recommendation by Leveson that senior executives and editors of newspapers should have to record or announce all unofficial meetings with senior politicians. I agree with that completely. These meetings are not about a particular story. Not what was discussed but the fact that they met. We don’t have that problem as badly in Australia but it’s not a bad principle

1 comment:

  1. Andrew8:56 am

    Volume 3, part H, chapter 6.4 recommends replacing the Information Commissioner with a Commission. The preceding chapters give voluminous detail as to how Leveson has ended up at this position. The short version is that there were serious failures of leadership and management, and it is asking too much of a single individual to have all the experience and skills necessary to regulate privacy (much less the other responsibilities attached to the Commissioner) across all the varied sectors it applies to.