Press freedom and fairness should be enshrined in a British Bill of Rights

Now that the party conferences are over, politicians are settling down for what they believe will be by far the bigger show: the trial of Andy Coulson and Rebekah Brooks.
Both are former tabloid editors who acted respectively as press secretary and confidante to David Cameron and were caught up in the hacking scandal. The evidence produced in their prosecution and defence is expected to be extraordinary, and enthusiastically reported on television news. The blanket coverage is likely to revive an old question: what is to be done about the press?
Ed Miliband is getting warmed up already. He poses as the nemesis of the wicked newspaper barons, and presented himself to last week’s Labour Party conference as the man who took on Rupert Murdoch over hacking. Now he is squaring up to the next biggest monster in Labour’s pantheon of villains: Paul Dacre, editor of the Daily Mail. He’s annoyed about a disobliging piece the newspaper ran about his Marxist father, Ralph Miliband, and even more annoyed that a reporter from the Mail on Sunday turned up at a family memorial service making further inquiries. He sees himself as a man at war.
And as with all wars, timing is crucial. The Privy Council meets next Wednesday to consider the newspapers’ attempt to preserve Britain’s 300-year history of press freedom. The industry is proposing what amounts to the toughest press regulation in the free world – but, crucially, on its own terms. This is not good enough for Mr Miliband, who favours a system in which politicians license the print media and bring newspapers under the purview of the government. This is what Lord Justice Leveson recommended in his inquiry and he’ll probably say so when he (grudgingly) appears before a parliamentary committee on Thursday.
The power of the press, meanwhile, is draining away. In the two years since Sir Brian Leveson started preparing his report, newspaper sales have slid by a further 17 per cent. Earlier this week the Guardian’s chief executive declared that his title cannot survive in Britain and its editor said he could imagine it morphing into a digital-only feed in five to 10 years’ time. This perhaps explains why that newspaper is quite relaxed about regulation by politicians: it may not have a print edition by the end of the decade. On current trends, the same is true for the Financial Times and the Independent.

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About truelabour

Investigative Journalist/Researcher for major media. Exposing the truth and police corruption with in UK police service.Certain forces say their motto is Honesty & Integrity One must ask is it lip service or genuinely meant. CO-OP Labour Party member questioning is the party standing for working class of Britain. Trade Union Activist & promoting diversity,community cohesion within multicultural Britain. Anti fascist speaks out against all foams of discrimination.
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