Leveson Report published
So the long-awaited Leveson report has been published. It depends who you speak to whether or not the recommendations are proportionate or not.
On the face of it, Lord Leveson’s call for legislation to underpin a more robust and independent industry regulation seems a reasonable one. Particularly since he recommends this legislation should also protect the freedom of the press, meaning no government could control what any newspaper chooses to write.
David Cameron has said he welcomes the majority of the recommendations in the report, however he has refused to back Lord Leveson’s proposal to underpin the new regulatory system with law.
Predictably, Nick Clegg disagrees with David Cameron. Even more predictably, so does Ed Milliband.
The PR profession has always been closely aligned with journalism. Many of us have crossed the muddy waters from one into another - and often back again. I have many journalist friends who are quite rightly affronted at all journalists 'being tarred with the same brush’ and believe passionately that any attempt to curb the freedom of the press is a step too far.
Indeed Lord Leveson himself said in his report that he "knows of no organisation where the serious failings of the few are overlooked because of good done by the many.” This is very sad, but very true.
Everyone agrees that what is needed is a system where it is easier and cheaper for individuals who have been treated appalling by the press to seek redress, and that journalists who break the law are no longer seen to be above it.
It is also fundamentally important here that when the dust finally settles the reputation of the vast majority of journalists, who are honest and responsible professionals, remains intact.