Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Know Your Enemy

"His appointment is a slap in the face. Some of the other patrons want Leveson’s recommendations to be implemented but the point about Stoppard is that least he does have a long and honourable record of defending freedom of expression elsewhere. Whereas Coogan by his own admission, as far as I can see, has never been involved in any such defence of free expression or anything even remotely connected with freedom of speech or the press except for being involved in Hacked Off."

Private Eye deputy editor Francis Wheen explains why the appointment of Steve Coogan as a patron of the Index On Censorship has led him and the magazine's editor Ian Hislop to quit in protest.

An over-reaction, perhaps? The organisation have made clear they're not about to change their position on the Royal Charter that came out of Leveson's recommendations. In any case, the charter calls for the establishment of a framework to ensure and promote ethical, responsible reporting rather than for outright censorship. Such a framework is necessary as the phone-hacking scandal has made it obvious that self-regulation simply doesn't work. It's a delicate balancing act, though, of course - without press freedom, the Guardian would never have been able to break the phone-hacking story in the first place.

(Thanks to Adam for the link.)

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