PRESS freedom, does Joe Public even care? Surely it won’t be the number one subject down at the Bull and Badger tonight.
In a way I hate myself for bringing it up as, to date, I’ve avoided the whole subject like the plague.
It has, of course, been a hot topic in the newsroom, discussed almost as vehemently as it has in Parliament, but outside this precious bubble I think people have switched off, unless they’ve had their phone hacked or had a family member mercilessly hounded day and night.
So, here’s what I plan to do. I will give you my brief view about press freedom and then see if you care enough to comment about it yourself.
In past weeks stacks of you contacted me about lollipop people, firefighters and universities. Heaven only knows what reaction I’d get if I dared to comment about foxes, Doreen Lawrence or abortion?
Firstly, people love to hate the press, of course they do, it’s fair enough.
Secondly, it’s easier to lump all newspapers and reporters together – although national tabloids are a million miles from regional papers.
Self regulation has always worked for local newspapers, nationals have never cared an iota about being fair.
Phone hacking is a criminal offence and law already exists to deal with it. Likewise some of the other despicable actions which have taken place. New law is not required, isn’t warranted and could be hugely damaging to our democracy in the future. Fines should be introduced which are proportionate to the misdeeds committed.
So, surprise me, write and let me know what you think about the report produced by Lord Justice Leveson.