Leveson has failed us; journalism is doomed

21 December 2012

Lord LevesonFrom The Guardian today:

Newspaper owners and editors are due to meet leading politicians on 10 January to table their latest proposals for press regulation amid signs that divisions are emerging within the industry that could lead to clashes with some politicians.

When Lord Leveson exonerated former culture secretary Jeremy Hunt over alleged improper contacts with Rupert Murdoch’s News International, the entire phone hacking inquiry became worthless. Labour didn’t object to the whitewash because they’d been drinking at the same well. Ex-Sunday Times editor Harold Evans confirmed recently how Thatcher bent the rules to help Murdoch grab enough share of national newspapers to ensure Tory rule by editorial endorsement.

With evidence like this Leveson could and should have named the guilty – including Blair and Campbell – who agreed to deliver whatever media ownership rules Murdoch wanted in exchange for his papers’ election support. Crucially, what enabled him to claim reader influence was the massive circulation guaranteed by repeated tabloid exposes of celebrities and unlucky ordinary people, obtained illegally through phone hacking.

Leveson has already failed to save our media and the poisonous arrangement of politicians, media and hapless victims will continue as before, with new illegality yet to be discovered.

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